Lorne Terrace, 1133-37 Lorne Avenue, Brandon, MB
Before apartment blocks became the norm for dense urban housing, row houses or terraces served a similar purpose. Originating in Europe in the 16th century, a row of identical or mirror-image houses that shared side walls made more efficient use of city land than detached houses. Row houses spread around the world and an excellent example can be found in downtown Brandon, MB. Located at the corner of Lorne Avenue and 11th Street, Lorne Terrace was built in 1892 and originally divided into four separate and quite luxurious, for the time, units. Today the terrace has 14 apartments.
Lorne Terrace was built by Bell Brothers Construction Company which had a reputation for top-quality materials and workmanship and attention to detail. Over four decades, Bell Brothers constructed many notable buildings in Brandon, some of which are now precious heritage sites. The Terrace is one of them.
The first thing that strikes you about Lorne Terrace is its substantial rectangular massing in fine buff brick laid in standard running bond with a medium-pitch hipped roof, cross gables on the front and rear and hipped dormers on all sides. Now drink in the symmetry of the front facade.
The pair of entrances feature identical gabled porches and arched hood moulds that replicate the ones under the third floor gable peaks. The fenestration offers a variety of openings: singles, pairs and trios of windows abound including the two lovely Palladian-style openings on the main floor between the entrances, both with raised brick hood moulds.
The craftsmanship of the brick detailing on the terrace is exceptional. Study the brickwork below each gable and you will discover an array of stylings from dog-toothing where the corners of the bricks protrude, to soldier, sailor and rowlock courses to a basket weave pattern right above the paired windows with blind arches and hood moulds highlighting the opening. In this picture you can also see the painted wooden bracket with a bit of scrollwork on the inside corner of the front gable. Several raised brick stringcourses, including the sills, wrap around the building.