Fieldstone Mansard Roof House, 66 Third Avenue SE, Minnedosa, MB
Among the collection of wonderful fieldstone buildings in Minnedosa stands this fine example of Second Empire architecture adapted to prairie needs. Commonly used for public buildings in Canada, especially those built by the Federal Department of Public Works in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Second Empire architecture was adopted by the Roman Catholic church and used for its schools and convents well into the 20th century. Built about 1896 from local fieldstone and first owned by Charles Currie, the house sports many well-defined details of the style. The red mansard roof dominates the house with the chimney poking up out of the top and tall dormers on all four sides. The dormers have pediment roofs with delightful sunburst detailing. The little house has two full bay windows with the street side bay featuring tall windows on all three sides. The scrolled brackets under the eaves are painted in two colours, a characteristic which complements the mottled colours of the fieldstones. Situated on a corner, the house gives the impression of stability and conveys a sense of its own history.
Arts and Crafts Bungalow, Earl Grey area, Winnipeg, MB
This luscious example of an Arts and Craft bungalow, just down the street from me, has nearly every characteristic that defines the purely residential style which took root in Winnipeg about 1910. The word bungalow is an anglosizing of the Indian word bangala, meaning a typical one-storey native dwelling in British Bengal. The Craftsman magazine took the Indian style and adapted it into a new movement in North American home building. Mail-order companies sold designs for these modest homes and they sprang up like mushrooms in the night all over North American until about 1940.
Built in 1914, this house eagerly expresses the organic feel of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which emphasized honest materials, simple designs and open floor plans. The low pitched gable roof combines with the gabled dormers to form a picturesque roofline that spreads into broad eaves. The rafter tails, the ridge beams noticable above the front entrance and the elegant heavy brackets that support the roof are all exposed, displaying the simple structural elements of the house. Typically, as you see here, these details and the trim are painted a lighter colour in sharp contrast to the walls.
The Arts & Crafts style mixed inside and outside spaces. On this house, the porch is enclosed within the body of the house under the roof while several bay windows project outward. Wood shingles, stucco or brick were typical finishes. This house is covered with durable asbestos siding. It retains the typically double hung windows with multiple lights in the upper window and a single pane below.
I adore this place. The rubblestone planters in the front suggest the raw materials that would have formed the foundation of the porch on a traditional Craftsman house. The high contrasting purple and custard colours carry the tradition off perfectly, their hues changing with the seasonal light. A beautifully maintained and well loved home.
Italianate House, 135 Hamilton Street, Neepawa, MB
Local contractors Jones and Fusee constructed this fine Italianate house in Neepawa in 1900. It was built for J. H. Davidson, the manager of the flour mill, and his wife Dr. Mary Davidson, Neepawa’s first female physician. Although the main floor porch has been altered, the balance of the pile retains many original features. Notice the delicate iron cresting on the roofs. There are matching Palladian windows on the east and west dormers of the house, which is built of locally made buff brick. The colour scheme of the house is similar to the original popular colours of the time.
The second floor central bay sports a flamboyant gable with a sweeping curve, bull’s-eye window with floral motif in blue and white glass, oversized brackets and fish scale shingling. Neepawa has at least three other houses whose architecture has Italianate influence but this house is the style’s finest example in town.
One-and-a-Half Storey, Empress Avenue, Altamont, MB
This little one and a half storey gem, next to the United Church, is in glowing condition with its eye-catching red shingles, double clipped gable roof and matching entrance roof. The arch and brackets below the entrance and the mix of stucco and roof textures add unknown pleasures. Its fenestration and blind position suggest the house is winking at you. Wink back.
Mansard roof, next to St. Felix Church, Dunrea, MB
This classic example of a square Mansard-roofed house with added wraparound rooms has tasteful dormers and colour combination. Mansard style afford use of garrets as living space and the tall dormered windows ensure plenty of light at all times of day. The subtle combination of colours sets off the house among mature trees and the yawning prairie just beyond.
Italianate House, 103-2nd St NE, Portage La Prairie, MB
Italianate is one of my favourite styles for houses and public buildings. This fine example, built around 1889, richly demonstrates the style with its low pitched roof, bay window with shallow roof, brackets in two sizes and intermittently paired, running bond brickwork and effective quoins. The dropdead awesome feature is the unique brickwork used to make the shaped details of the window heads. The hood mouldings over the windows are excellent with the single brick pendant on either side. The pendant is repeated at the end of the heavy paired wooden brackets under the eaves. The place has a stalwart aura, solid and dependable despite its dreadful purple colour.