Description of Historic Place
The Furloft/Saleshop, part of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada, is located inside the walls of the fort in the southeast corner, directly across the grounds from the identical Warehouse building. The Furloft/Saleshop is a two-and-a-half storey, rectangular structure constructed of limestone with a medium pitched hip roof, topped by two stone chimneys, and three gable dormers on each side. Designed in the British classical tradition, the building has a central entrance and symmetrically arranged, multi-paned windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Furloft/Saleshop is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Furloft/Saleshop is associated with the historical and architectural significance of Lower Fort Garry and contributes to the character of the Lower Fort site, established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1830. The Furloft/Saleshop represents one of Canada's largest remaining concentrations of fur trade structures. It is also strongly associated with the development of the fort as a transhipment depot and agricultural centre for the Rupert's Land fur trade. The Furloft/Saleshop had an impact locally as a retail outlet, and regionally as supplier to the interior network of trading posts.
The Furloft/Saleshop is a very good example of a warehouse building designed in the British Classical tradition. The buildings of Lower Fort Garry reflect elements of a common fur trade building tradition that was based on both French and British techniques, modified to reflect specific functional requirements and available resources. The very good functional quality of the building is reflected on the interior, which expresses the Georgian tradition while its adaptable interior floor plan reflects a standard feature of the Hudson Bay Company’s warehouse design.
The Furloft/Salesshop confirms the character of other buildings at the site, all of which are constructed of stone or of timber frame with stone infill. All but one of the buildings dates from the 1830 to 1855 period and all but two are contained within the perimeter walls of the fort.
Sources: Kate Macfarlane, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Big House, Selkirk, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-004; Furloft/Saleshop, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Selkirk, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement, 89-004.
The following character-defining elements of the Furloft/Saleshop should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic and functional design and good quality craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the contextual relationship between the building and its setting;
- its symmetry of design, which recalls the British classical tradition;
- the rubble masonry and the use of a massive central bearing wall of masonry in the basement;
- the plain stone lintels and sills of the windows;
- the corners of the building, accentuated by quoins;
- the elements of its interior which express the Georgian tradition and exhibit the standard features of the Hudson's Bay Company's warehouse design;
- the interior space, which is essentially open and suited to bulk storage;
- the oak interior with pit-sawn, spruce board floors.
The manner in which the Furloft/Saleshop is compatible with the historic character of its fort setting and is a familiar building at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, as evidenced by:
- its identical size, materials and design to the Warehouse closely located to the building;
- its scale, form and classical design, which make it compatible with the other structures at Lower Fort Garry.