Home / Accueil

Marshall-Wells Building

123 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/11/14

Primary elevation, from the south, of the Marshall-Wells Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevation
Contextual view, from the southeast, of the Marshall-Wells Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Contextual View
Wall detail of the Marshall-Wells Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Wall Detail

Other Name(s)

Marshall-Wells Building
Marshall-Wells Warehouse
Entrepôt Marshall-Wells

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1900/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/08/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Marshall-Wells Building, a four-storey brick warehouse erected in 1900, is set on a streetscape occupied by similar structures near the eastern boundary of Winnipeg's Exchange District, a national historic site of Canada. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

The Marshall-Wells Building, a fine Romanesque Revival-style warehouse, marks the entry into Canada of one of the largest early twentieth-century hardware dealers in North America. It was here that the Minnesota-based Marshall-Wells Co. first stored and distributed the hardware, saddlery, paints, domestic wares and mining and railway supplies in demand throughout the rapidly developing West. The warehouse was well equipped for these tasks, situated next to a railway spur line, solidly constructed of brick, wood posts and beams and wood plank floors that could carry heavy loads and based on a spacious well-lit plan. On the outside, architect James J. McDiarmid applied materials and details, including rusticated stone trim, prominent Romanesque arches and brick motifs, that were aesthetically compatible with two previous warehouses he designed to the immediate east. The integrity of these features reinforce its importance within a significant row of early Exchange District warehouses.

Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on the Environment Minutes, November 14, 1983

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Marshall-Wells Building site include:
- its mid-block location on north Bannatyne Avenue between Waterfront Drive and Rorie Street
- the structure's visual relationship to the second Marshall-Wells Building at 136 Market Avenue, and its proximity to warehouses of similar age, construction and design to the east and west

Key elements that define the building's exterior heritage character and Romanesque Revival design include:
- the four-storey rectangular shape, employing solid brick construction on a stone foundation over a frame of heavy timbers
- the symmetrically massed front (south) elevation with a base of rusticated limestone, upper levels defined in three bays by brick pilasters and thick walls emphasized by recessed openings and articulated brick motifs in the spandrels
- the generous and ordered fenestration on three sides, including large front windows, flat-headed on the first three storeys and round-arched on the fourth, and narrower segmental-arched openings on the east and north sides
- the central entrance bay projecting above the ornamented brick parapet on the flat roof and framing a round-arched main doorway and, at the roofline, a stone panel outlined in brick and engraved with the name 'MARSHALL.WELLS CO.'
- details such as the buff brick finish, the rusticated stone sills, lintels, pilaster capitals, keystones and imposts, the brick corbelling, moulding and arched window heads, etc.
- the loading docks on the east and north sides and the plain west wall without openings

Key elements that define the building's interior heritage character include:
- the mill construction throughout featuring heavy square wooden posts, beams and joists and heavy wood plank flooring tied into the brick walls




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services

Architect / Designer

James J. McDiarmid



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Aerial view

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada is located in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The site consists of a densely built, turn-of -the-century warehousing and business…


Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places