Manitoba Telephone System Building, 121 Main St. Carberry, MB
MTS built dozens of these little buildings all over Manitoba in the late 1930s and during the war years to house the telephone switchboard, operators and offices. Carberry’s was likely built about 1941. Few remain. This eye-catching pile served its purpose: to remind people to use the telephone. The Spanish Colonial Revival detail of the red adobe tile false roofs (they are tin) on three sides accentuates the compactness of the massing and the sweet roofline, all plain as plain can be. Yet it catches the eye, makes you want to call someone up, tell a few lies and see how quickly they get around town. Contrasting with the stucco cladding is the red soldier course of standing brick around the windows and door. The chunky wide brackets under each fake roof give the roofs principle.
Excellent Carberry trivia: one of the British airmen who attended the flying school in Carberry was actor Richard Burton. It’s not clear if he was an instructor or a trainee. Burton was nominated for an Oscar seven times and never won but he did marry Elizabeth Taylor – twice.