Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Curry Building

Address:233 Portage Avenue
Constructed:1915
Other Work:1974 exterior alterations
1997 interior alterations
Architects:John D. Atchison

More Information

The two-storey Curry Building appears to be a granite structure but is really clad with an exceptional quality of terracotta that closely mimics granite. Texture and colour (beige accented with splashes of black and grey) contribute to the illusion, as does the apparent ‘stone carving’ that abounds on the building. At the top there is a lacy parapet. The spandrels (horizontal panels between the first- and second-storey windows) have a similar delicate look. Columns are dressed with winding “double twisted” ribbons which, alternately, show a plain then floral pattern. Above each pair of columns, nestled in the leafy decoration, are the heads and shoulders of what appear to be scribes. The result of these details is a cathedral-like Gothic-inspired design. Interestingly, this handsome structure was meant to be the base for a further seven stories. Plans for the addition, announced in 1928, were delayed a year only to have the Depression cancel the plans altogether.

The building was named for Duncan Steele Curry, the developer of the property, and was initially suppose to be constructed to eight storeys. This was due to the poor economic conditions of the first world war. The building went through an exterior alteration in 1974 when all inset entrances were altered to bronze tinted glass set in aluminium frames. The entrances on all three facades were altered as well.

Design Characteristics

Style:Gothic Architecture
Developer:Duncan Steele Curry
  • Terra cotta exterior that closely mimics granite
  • Twisted Ribbion columns
  • Wide bays which held large glass windows and entrances
  • Terra cotta flowers and vines decorate the parapet along with finials and dotted trefoil openings made to resemble flowers
  • Above the main entrance is the name of the building and a date stone

Sources

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