Villa Louise, 707 Louise Avenue, Brandon, MB
After 1840 architects began reinventing older romantic architectural styles in what became known as the Picturesque Movement. The results all had a romantic notion and gave us Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Romanesque, Second Empire, Stick and Italianate, my favourite. In a city with a disproportionate number of incredible examples of styles, Brandon’s Villa Louise stands alone. Built in 1888, the low-pitched roof, wide eaves, substantial decorative brackets, generous verandah, ornate brickwork over the openings and bay windows all allude to Italianate Villa style. Exceedingly rare in Manitoba, Italianate Villa houses were common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Recently renovated with great care taken to maintain its original stylish integrity, Villa Louise is a family home once again. Apparently it is the earliest known Brandon commission of Walter H. Shillinglaw (1864–1957) who was an architect and the City Engineer, designed for pioneer physician Alexander Fleming (1841–97). Villa Louise is designated as a federal and provincial heritage site.