Description of Historic Place
The Warehouse and Office, also known as Building 1 and the Store-Office-Warehouse, is a two-storey concrete building topped by a slightly pitched gable roof. Concrete pilasters define eight bays on the side elevations and a cornice encircles the four facades. Metal multi-pane windows pierce each bay on the ground floor, and on the second storey of each long elevation. The building is found in an industrial zone of Montreal, to the south and at the eastern most extremity of the Lachine Canal National Historic Site of Canada. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Warehouse and Office is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Warehouse and Office is associated with the important role played by the Lachine Canal in the development of Canada, both industrially and commercially. The Warehouse and Office is also associated with the rapidly expanding city of Montreal and the urbanization of the banks of the canal during the second half of the 19th century, when the Lachine Canal served as the principle industrial artery.
The Warehouse and Office is valued for its very good, highly utilitarian industrial aesthetic design. Of note is the building’s volume, the rhythm of the façades and their window openings. To break-up an otherwise monolithic appearance, pilasters define the bays on each of the elevations, and add to the overall appearance of the building. Its very good, simple functional design is based on peripheral horizontal and vertical circulation through an overhead hoist, and large multi-pane windows, which together provide a great deal of light and air circulation through the large open interior space. Good craftsmanship and materials are evident in the concrete shell with reinforced steel framework.
The Warehouse and Office reinforces the utilitarian character of this industrial zone of the Lachine Canal, and is familiar to the local neighbourhood.
Sources: Gilles Proulx, Jean Belisle in collaboration with Christine Chartre, The Workshops of the Lachine Canal, Federal Heritage Buildings Report 90-018 to 90-023; Warehouse and Office #1, Lachine Canal N.H.S., Montreal, QC, Heritage Character Statement 90-021.
The character-defining elements of the Warehouse and Office should be respected.
Its utilitarian, industrial aesthetic, functional plan, and the good quality materials and competent craftsmanship, for example:
- its utilitarian massing and regular rhythm of the façades, defined by eight bays on the side elevations and three bays on the gable walls;
- its bays on the long sides that are pierced by a window on the ground and second floors;
- simple attributes, which enhance the exterior appearance including pilasters with plinth and unadorned capital, the cornice and the parging covering the concrete;
- its sturdy concrete shell and reinforced steel framework;
- its concrete purlin form supported on “I” beams for roof structure;
- its concrete columns that support the floor of the second storey as well as the roof;
- its peripheral horizontal and vertical circulation through an overhead hoist;
- its metal multi-pane windows equipped with a central pivoting section;
- its open, well-lit interior.
The manner in which the building reinforces the utilitarian character of this industrial setting and is a local landmark, for example:
- its materials and scale, which are in keeping with the other workshop buildings from the same era;
- its location in an industrial zone of the Lachine Canal.