Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Richardson Building

Address:1 Lombard Avenue
375 Main Street
Use:Office building/Retail/Service Complex
Original Use:Office building/Retail/Service Complex
Constructed:1967-69
Other Work:Interior renovations: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
Architects:Smith Carter Searle
Firms:Smith Carter Searle, in association with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (New York City)
Engineers:Ripley, Klohn & Leonoff Limited
G. Granek & Associates (Mechanical)
J. Chisvan & Associates (Electrical)
Contractors:Poole Construction Limited

More Information

Designed by local architectural firm Smith Carter Searle, in association with New York City firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the Richardson Building at 1 Lombard Place was constructed between 1967 and 1969. Designated as the first phase of a larger development project at the corner or Portage and Main in Winnipeg, the surrounding building, and underground concourse, were constructed later.

The Richardson Building was Winnipeg’s first high-rise to reach above thirty storeys. It required structural and design innovation from both the architects and the engineers. The structure was erected quickly; its rapid progress as a result of new construction innovations which had been used in major North American cities, but were new to Winnipeg.

The structure was designed to allow natural light into most interior spaces, with wide sweeping views for many of the occupants. The exterior of the building has exposed columns of Manitoba granite, which provide the building with a graceful and vertical expression. The exterior also featured a meticulously landscaped courtyard.

At the time of construction, the primary function of the structure was to serve as the head office of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and some of their affiliated companies. Other prominent business that occupied space in the building included Air Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and the Federal Grain Limited. When completed the tower assumed the place which had previously been slotted to hold an earlier Richardson skyscraper project designed in the late 1920s by Arthur A. Stoughton ,the head of the University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture, a scheme scuttled by the stock collapse of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression.

Design Characteristics

  • Site: 0.922 acre (0.373 ha)
  • Plan area: 18,321 square feet (1,702.02 square metres)

Sources

  • Bowles, Sheldon. "Airline may take 5 out of 30 floors." Winnipeg Free Press. 6 December 1967.
  • Bowles, Sheldon. "Richardson Building - It's gone about as far as it can go." Winnipeg Free Press. 2 November 1968. 12.
  • Bowles, Sheldon. "Up one storey every 5 days." Winnipeg Free Press. 10 January 1968.
  • Burdeyny, Bill. "Lombard Place pilings in." Winnipeg Tribune. 2 November 1967.
  • "Ceremony tops off city's tallest tower." Winnipeg Tribune. 5 November 1968.
  • "Construction on Winnipeg's Lombard Place continues ahead of schedule." Western Construction and Building 20 8 (August 1968): 3.
  • "First two Lombard stores open." Manitoba Business Journal 6 9 (October 1970): 30.
  • "Innovation speeds Richardson construction." Manitoba Business Journal 4 5 (June/July 1968): 15-18.
  • Mardon, Harry. "Richardsons open city landmark." Winnipeg Tribune. 15 November 1969: 1-2.
  • "New look for Portage-Main." Winnipeg Tribune. 19 November 1965.
  • Newman, Peter C. "Richardsons' primacy assured." Winnipeg Free Press. 23 December 1998. A11.
  • "Richardson Building spurs construction boom." Western Construction and Building 21 3 (March 1969): 30.
  • "The Richardson Building ready for business." Manitoba Business Journal 5 9 (October 1969): 86-87.

Locations of Supporting Information

  • City of Winnipeg Archives
  • Provincial Archives of Manitoba
  • University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections

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