Tag Archives: dentil

Heritage Houses – Three Bricks in Portage la Prairie

Reid Dickie

These three fine brick houses sit on the 600 block of Saskatchewan Avenue, the main drag of Portage la Prairie, MB. Although modest and similar in many ways, each has its own distinctive qualities.

First I’ll mention the qualities all three houses share. Each has steeply pitched roofs on flaring gables and a rectangular dormer with steep roof. The fenestration (window positions) is the same on all three houses with brick sunbursts above the two front windows. All are built of the same buff brick, which on two of the houses, including this one, is laid in American bond, that is, every sixth row shows the header (end) of the brick rather than the stretcher (side of the brick). All have fish scale shingles on the large front facade gable, limestone lintels under the front windows and attractive, appropriate shutters. The floor plans are extremely similar. All front entrances are protected by roof.

What distinguishes this house is the additions, mostly sympathetic, that have been made at the rear. The same colour of brick and trim was used and detracts little from the original house. The building is now occupied by an insurance company.

This is the most distinctive of the three houses and has many design features that set it apart from its neighbours. It has a substantial foundation which the other two lack. This results in the attractive stairs onto the porch, which is rounded with a fine contrasting dentil just under the eave. Contrasting columns support the porch roof and the corners sport quoins similar to the foundation material. This house is the exception to American bond. This building features standard running bond, that is, all bricks were laid end to end. It is currently a hair salon.

This is the only house of the three that is still used as a residence. The most obvious difference is the reversed design inside and out but the materials remain the same. American bond brickwork was used here as in the first house. The dormer roof is different from the other two. Because the building is a home, it has a warmer feel to it.


Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History

12 Manitoba Heritage Houses

           These are the same 12 Manitoba Heritage Houses on the 12 Houses page at the top. I’m making them into a post with a link to their page so as I can allow their many tags to be available online and make them easier to find. Right now WordPress doesn’t provide tags for pages, just posts. This will get around that.

           If you haven’t checked out 12 Manitoba Heritage Houses or even if you have, now is a good time. I’ve added some interesting links that weren’t there previously. This series originally appeared as a 12 Days of Christmas project Linda and I sent out in 2007 which accounts for the format. Each house merits a grand picture and short description.

           Take a drive with me around Manitoba, stopping in some delightful places and catching glimpses of twelve precious and well-maintained houses that passionately preserve our heritage.



Janz House, Third St. & Fifth Ave. W, Souris, MB

              To accommodate the superintendent and his family, the Canadian Pacific Railway built this elegant wood frame more…


Beechmount, 134 West Gate, Winnipeg, MB

            Built by barrister Lendrum McMeans in 1895, it was bank manager John Benning Monk who named it more…


Brick Bungalow, 1604 College Ave, Brandon, MB

              This brick bungalow’s distinctive low-slung porch roof offers a deep sheltering space to enter the home. The more…


J. D. McLean House, South Chestnut  Street, Shoal Lake, MB

            J.D. McLean, a tinsmith and hardware merchant, built this delightful two-storey Queen Anne style house more…


Brick two-storey house, Third & Cliff, Wawanesa, MB

           This eloquent two-storey Queen Anne style house demonstrates the early prosperity of Wawanesa. Executed more…


Mansard roof house, 415 Kerby St., Miami, MB.

           Well-kept and charming, this fine example of a mansard-roofed house was built around 1900. The house more…


Classic Two-Storey, Garwood Ave, Winnipeg, MB

         Built in 1914 when its west Fort Rouge neighbourhood was being developed, this standard off-centre more…


McBurney House, Third St & Fifth Ave W, Souris, MB.

        This house is a beauty! Built in 1909, architect Charles Hawkins Brindle loaded the house with Classical more…


One & a Half Storey, Blight St, Miami, MB.

         Another lovely pridefully maintained home in little Miami. This classic example of a one and half storey more…


Former Paterson/Matheson House, 1039 Louise Ave. Brandon, MB

           This splendid 1895 house exudes extreme Queen Anne style dripping with Eastlake decoration. The great more…


Brick Gingerbread House, 510 Fourth at Simcoe, Carberry, MB

              Take a moment to drink in the detail and the overall Seussian effect. The picturesque roofline features more…


Brick Gingerbread House, 228 Fifteenth St, Brandon, MB

           A coin toss decided which gingerbread became Christmas Day house. Appropriately, this unusual place more… 

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Christ Church Anglican,  Roblin, MB

              This small wood frame church was built in 1928-29 and exemplifies basic Gothic design. There are the standard pointed lancet windows with simple tracery, a moderately steep gable roof and a tower with heavy dentil and battlement. The battlement gives the little church a well-fortified medieval appearance.

          The tower is somewhat unusual in that it is placed at the corner of the nave and serves as a belfry rather than part of the entrance. The louvered openings on the tower are arched rather than pointed but the light tracery restores the points.

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