Number six in our exploration of Carberry’s historic Main Street finds us standing in awe before a gorgeous red brick behemoth.
Its grandeur, though somewhat faded, its status as local landmark and its architectural presence make the Bank of Montreal Carberry’s most important building, as deemed by government heritage researchers. Completed in 1902, originally a Union Bank, the structure combines enormous size, ambitious architecture and a variety of uses to become a unique exception to typical small town bank buildings in Manitoba.
The main floor housed the bank proper, the basement had offices, the second floor was home for the bank manager and his family and the third floor was a dance hall. The extravagant scheme for the place came from architect George Browne who pillaged Classical Revival style to express the pride and ambitions of Carberry and surrounds. Other buildings Browne designed that still stand in Winnipeg include the Masonic Temple on Donald, Wesley Hall at the U. of W., YMCA on Portage and the Gault Building on Arthur.
Sitting next to a narrow alley and towering above other buildings, the bank dominates the streetscape. Its colour treatment of grey limestone, red brick and white trim is striking and alluring as is the combination of materials. The delicate symmetry of the facade is expressed in a wealth of handsome detail from the large elaborate chimneys to the elegant and steadfast limestone surround of the main entrance surmounted with a limestone balustrade and a bay window. The limestone is local, the bricks on the front facade are imported and the rest of the bricks were from nearby Sidney. Study the place to absorb all its intricacies and enjoy the exceptional intent of the architect and his client. Bank of Montreal still has a large branch in a modern building at the south end of Carberry’s Main Street
A month after Pa Tuckett asked Amelia Lusk to marry him (and she agreed), she got a job with Union Bank and worked the rest of her career in this fine pile.