Home / Accueil

Maltese Cross Building

66 King Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/09/30

Primary elevations, from the northeast, of the Maltese Cross Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevations
Primary elevation, from the north, of the Maltese Cross Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevation
Detail view of the Maltese Cross Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1909/01/01 to 1909/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Rising seven storeys above its prominent corner location, the Maltese Cross Building combines height, classical detailing and rich, dark colouring to create a distinctive Chicago-style structure in Winnipeg's Exchange District, a national historic site of Canada. Completed in 1909, the building is surrounded by other significant warehouses from the same era. The City of Winnipeg's designation applies to the building on its footprint and the following interior elements: oak and glass vestibule on the main floor and original interior stairwell.

Heritage Value

The Maltese Cross Building is an excellent example of Chicago-style architecture, a virtual text-book version of the type in Winnipeg designed by John D. Atchison, an important Winnipeg architect of the day. The construction of the building using fireproof materials (reinforced concrete and brick rather than heavy timber framing) made it amongst the most up-to-date warehouses in Manitoba at the time. As the local headquarters and wholesale arm of the Gutta Percha and Rubber Ltd., an international manufacturing firm, the structure was named for the company's trademark, a modified cross pattee, a symbol incorporated into both interior and exterior elements of the building. The Maltese Cross Building is part of an important block in the Exchange District, sharing the south side of McDermot Avenue with three other early twentieth-century warehouses whose facades - all about the same height - together form an uninterrupted and impressive wall of brick and stone.

Source: City of Winnipeg Council Meeting Minute, September 30, 1997

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Maltese Cross Building site include:
- its southwest corner location at McDermot Avenue and King Street and historical connections and visual relationship with three other warehouses that lie to its west on McDermot
- the historical and visual connections to other nearby warehouses, including the Stobart Building (north), Whitla Building and Annex (east) and Stovel Block (northeast)

Key elements of the building's excellent Chicago style and connections to the Gutta Percha and Rubber Ltd., include:
- the seven-storey height, box-like shape, flat roof and tripartite division of the exterior to mimic a classical column, including an embellished ground floor (base), an austere middle section (column) and a heavily treated attic level (capital)
- the use of red brick on the upper floors and smooth-cut Manitoba limestone on the ground floor and in various details throughout (window sills, pilaster capitals, entablature, cornice band)
- the organization of the two primary facades (north and east) into bays defined by pilasters extending from the second to the sixth floors; the use of large rectangular display windows within the bays on the ground floor, smaller paired rectangular windows in the middle floors and small triplet windows at the attic level and a complete entablature including a highly decorated heavy modillioned cornice
- the simple metal framing used on all upper-storey sash windows and the slightly more complex profiles of the frames used on the ground-floor display windows (which are designed with an upper tripartite section and a large lower section, vertically bisected)
- the use throughout the facades of the company symbol, a modified cross pattee, in the lower entablature, in the pilaster capitals and in the keystone in the arched main doors at McDermot
- the two formal entrances, the primary one on the north face, centrally located, segmentally arched, with an impressive metal grille and dramatic metal frame featuring a broken pediment inset with a shield whose floral motif contains a cross patte; the other at the south end of the east facade, segmentally arched, with a curved, ornate metal canopy extending over the sidewalk
- the utilitarian south wall with a loading door on the ground floor and informal arrangement of windows on all storeys

Key interior elements that define the original warehouse/office function of the building include:
- the simple post-and-beam structural system, carried out in reinforced concrete, visible on all floors
- the 4.27-metre height of the main-floor ceilings
- the ornate wood, marble and glass entrance vestibule off McDermot and the complex wood and glass half-walls (with dainty pilasters and broad cornices) denoting main-floor office spaces
- the staircase in the southeast corner with its metal balustrade embellished with modified cross pattees
- the freight elevator in the southwest corner of all floors




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

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services

Architect / Designer

John D. Atchison



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