Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

Electric Railway Chambers Building

Address:213 Notre Dame Avenue
Constructed:1913
Architects:Ralph Pratt & Donald Ross

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The showpiece for a private utility company, the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company, this eleven storey Chicago School building is an example of excellent design, composition and craftsmanship. It is arguably the most elegant of Winnipeg’s early skyscrapers. Above a granite base, a pale stone–like terra cotta soars on columns that run the full height of the building, terminating in large arches just below the deep filigreed cornice. At regular intervals, slightly darker terra cotta was used to accentuate the columns. The building is adorned with Italian Renaissance motifs, including twisted columns, embossed shields and stars. Just below the cornice, fifteen lions perch on their haunches. Six thousand built–in lights line the columns, a signature of the electric company. The lobby continues these motifs in marble and brass, and another lion guards the lobby stairs. It is well worth a visit.