Tag Archives: brickwork

News Express Building, 34 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Fine red brick on Main Street

Reid Dickie

Next along the street a fine red brick!

In 1896, a huge fire swept away ten businesses and residences along Carberry’s Main Street, necessitating rebuilding the street. In the late 1890s, around the time as the adjoining buildings, the News Express building was constructed.

Composed of a one-storey and a two-storey structure, the place has long been known as the home of the Carberry News Express. However, in an early incarnation, the two-storey section was a Merchant’s Bank which was later absorbed by the Bank of Montreal. The one-storey structure was a pool hall and barber shop for a number of years.

Its standard red brick design with some detailing adds to the heritageSecond floor brick detailing flavour along this densely-packed side of Main Street. On the two-storey section, the bricks, set in American bond where every fifth row is a header, provide the place’s decorative flair. The indented design on the cornice pediment, the corbelling just under the cornice, the raised drip mounding and the segmental arches over the pairs of windows account for the detailing. The wooden cornice along the first floor suggests the original look of the facade. The corbelling links the two Brick detail on one-storeystructures aesthetically.

The one-storey detail and brickwork is somewhat cruder which could be from the original workmanship or subsequent maintenance. The corbelling is present but not very accomplished. The diagonal two-brick corner brackets in uplift brick is a rare touch.

An integral part of the social life of young Carberry, the pool hall attracted Pa Tuckett a time or two. He says, “I got to be pretty good at the billiards table. Never good enough to hustle anyone but I won my share of games and bets on games.”

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Moon Apartments, 30 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Moon Apartments

Reid Dickie

In the exposed brickwork lives visible heritage.

Continuous rows of original 1890s brick buildings are exceedingly rare in Manitoba making the existing ones precious. Carberry boasts one of the best! Seven buildings with second-storey brickwork largely intact and completely visible comprise most of the block and Moon Apartments certainly adds to the heritage value.

This two-storey brick building, built in late 1890s, has served the community well with mixed uses and functions, both commercial and residential. Currently the ground floor features two storefronts with large display windows and access to the apartments above.

As visible on the second floor, the street facade offers a symmetrical three-bay structure divided by shallow brick pilasters. Employing Classical design elements, the facade dances with expressive Detail of second floor brickworkornamentation, achieved using masonry techniques. This picture of the middle window shows the various details. Starting with the simple flat brick cornice and the two-stepped corbels beneath it. The indented row and the dog toothed course run below. The tall second floor windows are accentuated with a continuous stringcourse of drip moulding (raised brick) and capped with radiating headers and smooth stone sills. Spread across the three bays, the moderate brickwork enlivens the whole building.

The building has been known by several names – Robertson Block, Natural Wellness Centre, Moon Block – and housed a multitude of commercial tenants and residents over the decades.

After Amelia, his wife of less than a year, died of the Spanish flu in 1918, Pa Tuckett sold their bungalow on Dufferin Street and moved into the Robertson Block, as it was then known. Rent was $7 a month for a furnished room. In apartment #3, Pa mourned his lost love.

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Calvary Pentecostal Church, 141 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

Manitoba’s only designated heritage district encompasses two blocks of Carberry’s Main Street. This is our last stop in the district on the west side of the street.

Other than its modesty, the most striking feature of the former Pentecostal Church is the marvelous mottling effect of its tricoloured bricks. The three shades – a light tan, darker tan and darker reddish-brown – create a woozy visual dance that is most noticeable on the street facade and tower. Expertly laid, staggered vertical rows along with the squat square entry tower create the sensation of ascension in a modern but reserved way.

The tricolouration of the bricks is used with especially delightful results around the openings. The surrounds of the pointed former window, side window on tower and the front entrance combine headers and stretchers in a simple but visually stimulating fashion. The rounded side windows are topped with a similar but more subtle spray. Though intentionally plain in mass and detailing, the brickmanship makes the place jump.

Built largely by congregation volunteers in 1942, the resulting church demonstrates their determination to remain stalwart. Set back from the public sidewalk and impressively positioned on its lot, the former church adds yet more eclecticism to Carberry’s heritage district. Its design arose from several sources. Notice the combination of Romanesque Revival and Gothic Revival styles, the latter above the modified front window and the former over every other opening.

Pa Tuckett told me, “My second boy Zeke got hitched in that church in the late 40s. She was a sweet innocent girl named Shyla. Zeke was 19 and she was 17 and they had six kids that lived before Zeke turned 30.”

Today the building serves as a law office. Its former occupants include a cafe and clothing store.

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Filed under Carberry, Churches, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Local History, Manitoba Heritage

St. Hyacinthe Catholic Parish Church, La Salle, MB

Reid Dickie

Towering above all else, including the cottonwood trees in the little French community of La Salle, MB, south of Winnipeg, stands St. Hyacinthe Catholic Parish Church. Representing the strong faith of the local population for over 100 years, this masterfully achieved edifice of buff brick possesses an inspiring plethora of design details on every facade.

The form of the large church is transept – shape of the cross – with an elaborate front facade that evokes order and ascension climbing to a slim bell tower surmounted by a shimmery steeple.

Let’s take a close look at the front facade. The most striking feature is its comfortable symmetry, not a line out of place, not a wasted brick, just upward sweeping motion. 

The brickwork is marvellous. There are three arcades (rows of arches), each with five arches, formed by the brick design, two are sloping downward under the roof eaves and the centre spans the front of the entrance pavilion just below its cornice. The smooth corbelling (layering of bricks) that forms the arcades is superb, creating interesting shadow and light combinations.

As with the arcades, all openings in the building are arched. The front entry, the window above with its trio of slender windows under a circular focus and the openings in the bell tower are all arched. All openings have a limestone keystone at the apex. The keystones on the front have small tablatures.

On the ends of the transepts there is another series of corbelled arcades, thirteen arches under the eaves and above large round windows with spoke tracery. All around the place under the eaves is a sweet bit of corbelling that adds to the ornate sensibility of the church.

In true heritage geek parlance, the bell tower/steeple is a honey! Eight arched openings, each keystoned with a scroll and separated by square columns and capitals, create the still-inhabited bell tower. Above the bell tower a short eight-sided dome supports the steeply pitched octagonal steeple that ends with a round pinnacle and a metal cross spire.

La Salle, MB is located south of Winnipeg on Provincial Road 247 a few kms west of Hwy #75.

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Filed under Churches, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Sacred Places

Bricks, Stones and So On Along Reid’s Road

Reid Dickie

“Speed River, take me away, Speed River, take me away.” – Gord Downie

“Life is a journey and where you are going is HERE and when you arrive is NOW.” – Ram Dass

The Arcades of Hartney

In downtown Hartney, MB, prominent on a corner, stands this lovely old two-storey brick building. The series of arches formed by the brickwork under the cornice is called an arcade and Hartney has several arcades that attracted my heritage geekeye. You know the one.

Anyway, this is a particularly precise arcade, mixed and measured into the corbelled brickwork which continues along the exposed side of the place. The craftsmanship of the masonry overall on the building is exceptional, the crown on the end pilasters an excellent example.

Today its broad showroom windows light the Hart (ney) – Cam (eron RM) Museum. Incidentally, this building served as the bank location in an entertaining little movie called The Lookout Try to watch it.

Just down the block from the museum is another arcade. Cruelly painted and indulging itself in mid-peel mode, the brickwork still shines through. If you click and zoom the pic you can see that the original intent of the artisan who laid this arcade cannot be diminished by mere paint and hue.

Right next to the museum is another fine brick structure prompting awe with its deft and detailed design and execution. The three arches over the rounded windows form a sweeping, open arcade that gives the facade breath and life, “articulating and disambiguating the fenestration of the ground floor.” The main floor is a whole other study in arches, dominant and submissive, abetted by alluring brickwork. That’s another post for another late night.

Corbelling, dentils and aviated keystones enhance the arcade, the quality of the craftsmanship still evident and whole, a century after construction.

Wooden trestle bridge from abandoned rail line next to Hwy #23 just east of Elgin, MB with sunflowers as far as you can see. August 2012

No, it’s the family name.

Miniota Main Street Brickwork 

I am always attracted to exceptional brickwork, especially when it contrasts with the metal cladding favoured in many towns. The skyline of Miniota has a few shapes that resonate back to its birth and subsequent enterprise, its boomtown moment, a worthy endeavour and one to be encouraged elsewhere. 

One side of Miniota’s main drag has a series of facade rooflines that are replicated in brick. As in this picture, there are pointed and rounded shapes using header dentils and cornice, soft corbelling and interesting finishes and colour choices.

Just down the block two more one-storey  brick commercial buildings constructed around the same time with the rounded brickwork and again interesting finishes.

Down the street is this official looking building with the pointed facade and the infrequent double dentil, the corner stepped-brick brackets, again infrequent and the American bond of the bricks inside the surmounting pediment, contrasting with the running bond of the rest of the pile. It has a story or two to tell, I would say.

Yup, usta be Uno. Just one house and this sign now.

Out there, lonesome, Mansard roof tumbledown, howling wind, rotting, swallows, lightning-ready, the rods, gulps, stones, falling away, sunken, sunk. Find it along MB Hwy 21 south of Hartney. Expect more visually inspired stuff from this place…all hush, hush for now!

No clue! You?

More restoration work happening in Spruce Woods Park after last summer’s devastating flood. These are straw mats held down with webbing meant to restore some green growth along the road to stabilize the ditches. The thick grey floodcake that covered large areas of the park left by last year’s floodwaters has been hauled away and these mats secured in place.

 Some growth is already occurring. I’ll report later in summer on the progress of this method.

I’m always on the road, passing back and forth through the vanishing point, getting out of the mighty Avenger, smelling the fresh prairie breezes, feeling the hot sun on my flesh, always curious about what’s around the next corner, ever seeking the ‘what was that?!’ moment and often finding it. Every mile a safe mile.

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