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Federal Building

715 Peel Street, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/08/02

View of the façade of the Federal Building, showing the use of metal spandrels between each of the wide windows, which visually unites the space between the piers into a series of elongated panels, 1978.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1978.
Façade
View of the exterior of the Federal Building, showing the strong vertical emphasis of the elevation defined by narrow brick piers which extend the full height of the building, 1938.; Library and Archives Canada / Biblothèque et archives Canada, PA 61811, 1938.
Historical view
Detail view of the Federal Building, showing the gothic detailing around the main entrance, 1983.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, M. Caraffe, 1983.
Detail view

Other Name(s)

Federal Building
Former Montréal Postal Terminal
Ancien hôtel des postes

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1934/01/01 to 1937/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Federal Building, also known as the former Montréal Postal Terminal, is a massive, seven-storey building in downtown Montréal. Its façade is divided into a one and two-storey granite-clad base, which supports the subsequent floors clad in brick. Gothic detailing is found around the main entrance, and the corners of the building are accented by slightly projecting pavilions with tripartite window groupings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Federal Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Federal Building, the first of its kind, is directly associated with a new type of postal facility in the 1930s in Canada, found primarily in large urban transportation centers.

Architectural Value
The Federal Building is valued for its very good aesthetic and functional design. A slightly gothic influence is seen in its design, reinforced by the gothic detailing around its main entrance. The building represents the first time that principles of modern industrial design and planning were applied to the problem of mail handling in Canada and is a distinctive building type.

Environmental Value
The Federal Building reinforces the present character of its urban setting in downtown Montréal. It is a familiar building in the area.

Sources: Marc de Caraffe, L’ancien Hôtel des Postes, Montreal, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 83-029; Federal Building, Montreal, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 83-029.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Federal Building should be respected.

Its very good aesthetic and functional design and good craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the seven storey massing;
- the reinforced concrete and steel construction;
- the façades, divided horizontally into a one and two storey granite-clad base, which support the subsequent brick-clad floors;
- the strong vertical emphasis of the three street elevations defined by narrow brick piers which extend the full height of the building;
- the corners of the building, which are accented by slightly projecting pavilions punctuated by a distinctive tripartite window grouping;
- the use of metal spandrels between each of the wide windows, which visually unites the space between the piers into a series of elongated panels, which are capped by a slightly pointed arch;
- the gothic detailing around the main entrance;
- the window treatment and arrangement.

The manner in which the Federal Building reinforces the present character of its urban setting in downtown Montreal and is a familiar building, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonized with the architectural fabric of the neighbourhood;
- its large scale and prominent location which make it a familiar building in downtown Montréal.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1984/08/02

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1953/01/01 to 1953/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Government
Post Office

Architect / Designer

Department of Public Works

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

2342

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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