Description of Historic Place
The Paterson Block, a three-storey brick apartment building, is located on a major thoroughfare in a mixed-use area on the southern edge of downtown Winnipeg. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint and the following elements: the entranceway and stairway, stained-glass windows and skylight.
The Paterson Block, erected in 1909, is a well-appointed multiple-family residence in a reserved Tudor Revival style that exemplifies the type of luxurious downtown rental accommodation developed in the early 1900s when Winnipeg reached the size, wealth and sophistication that could support this market niche. To complement the building's setting in an area then noted for its grand homes, architect J.D. Atchison created a subdued, domestically proportioned structure enriched at the front by red brick and Tudor Revival details executed in stone, roughcast and ornamental half-timbering. This refined exterior was matched within and supplemented by features that emphasized privacy and convenience, including only two suites per floor, each spacious and bright, finished in quality materials and equipped with amenities usually reserved for single-family houses. Though its surroundings have greatly changed, the block itself retains considerable design integrity and remains a splendid illustration of affluent apartment living in the early twentieth century.
Source: City of Winnipeg Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development Minutes, July 5, 2005
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Paterson Block site include:
- the downtown location on the west side of Donald Street between Broadway and the Assiniboine River
- the building's placement, facing east and filling much of its lot, with a modest landscaped front yard
Key exterior elements that define the building's domestic Tudor Revival style include:
- the long, narrow, three-storey rectangular form constructed of brick over a limestone foundation, with a small central interior court with a glass skylight
- the two-volume composition, with the rear two-thirds plainly finished and flat roofed, and the front Tudor Revival in presentation, featuring a pitched side-gable roof with cross gables, finishes of red brick, roughcast and mock half-timbering, a pair of two-storey oriels, oversized brick chimneys, etc.
- the plentiful fenestration throughout, mostly tall flat-headed openings in various sizes and arrangements, some with modestly arched heads, and including large front sunroom openings, etc.
- the off-centre main entrance set within an ashlar stone architrave that also envelopes a multi-paned transom and south-side window, etc.
- other fine details such as the rusticated stone base, the wood and stone banding elements, the twin gables' heavy wooden brackets and bargeboards, the brick window heads and stone sills, the quoin-like intersection of red and common brick on the side walls, etc.
Key interior elements that define the building's well-appointed residential character include:
- the centre-hall plan, with two suites per floor oriented lengthwise east to west, including a light well, etc.
- the richly detailed common spaces, including the front vestibule lined with grey marble and with marble steps, the hall with finishes of natural hardwood and terrazzo flooring; the hardwood stairway with finely worked newel posts and handrails; the graceful Art Nouveau stained-glass stairway windows; etc.
- the long, narrow but spacious apartments with sunrooms, living rooms with fireplaces, bedrooms, dining rooms, pantries, kitchens and servants' quarters, and featuring hardwood flooring, trim and doors, built-in oak sideboards with cupboard doors of leaded glass, built-in pantry shelves with glass doors, stained-glass hallway windows that open on to the light well, etc.
- the basement caretaker's suite and brick partition walls delineating the boiler room and coal storage chutes, storage and utility rooms, etc.