Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Buildings

The Downtowner Motel

Formerly:HI Hostel
HI Downtowner Hostel
LO Pub
Address:330 Kennedy Street
Constructed:1958-59
Architects:Pratt and Lindgren
Contractors:Bird Construction

More Information

The Downtowner Motel at 330 Kennedy Street was designed by architects Pratt and Lindgren in 1958 - 59. The owners of the hotel were Mr. and Mrs. Alex Dugalle. The hotel is built around the perimeter of its open courtyard, with driveway access cut into the east side main entrance. The second and third floors cantilever out over the forty-eight parking stalls. It was an early and highly innovative approach to the new reality of motorists looking for accommodation in the downtown area. To compete with existing hotels it offered a nicely furnished reading lounge, a restaurant / coffee shop and air-conditioned comfort.

Raymond Moriyama, a Canadian Architect mentioned the Downtowner in an RAIC Journal article entitled “Trends in Motel Design” in regards to clients preferring motels in which “the design must catch up on the latest trends, that is, good service, a range of facilities, a good location and an informal contemporary atmosphere.” Other examples of these motel design trends being implemented in Winnipeg at this time are the Quest Inn, The Carlton Inn, and The Balmoral Hotel.

The original building design was been significantly altered with the renovation of the building, in 2007, for use as a Hostelling International Youth Hostel as well as pub and restaurant. The main floor was redeveloped, including filling in the parking stalls located underneath the second floor, to make way for a common space and kitchen area. The building is now in private ownership.

Design Characteristics

  • The Downtowner is constructed with reinforced concrete blocks with masonry overlay.

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