File 134 - Alterations to Birks Building

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alterations to Birks Building

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Reference code

CA CAC 1-3-134

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Dates of creation area


  • October 1913-May 1914 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

63 drawings: 3 ink on linen; 10 ink on paper; 20 pencil on paper; 1 watercolour on paper; 1 watercolour on card; 26 blueprints; 1 sepia; 1 print
11 photographs
textual records (1 file folder)

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Archival description area

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Custodial history

Scope and content

Retail store (alteration: remodelled exterior); terracotta and stucco.
7 survey drawings; elevations
3 presentation drawings: exterior perspective, facade, Queen of Sheba frieze
2 working drawings: elevations
29 detail drawings: window, frieze, medallions, terracotta (including elevations, tower windows, niches, piers, panels), ornament, door, tower, parapet, wooden cornice
21 shop drawings: sections, piers, sill course, chimney, wall niche, parapet, trims, panels, tower, sill, string course, medallions
1 consultant drawing: elevations
11 photographs: 1 perspective; 4 finished exteriors; 6 others
1 file folder

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General note

Remodelling of existing 4-storey retail store. Exterior frieze and medallions of terracotta designed by Nobbs with assistance from Ramsay Traquair.

General note

“The old yellow building has been remodeled above the lower story in terra cotta and stucco, the wall surfaces being in the later material, while the angle piers and trimmings are in the former. It should be noted that there has been no changes in the wall openings except at the center, where the tower has been replaced by regular window units. The wall is surmounted by a projecting cornice in oak. Below the cornice there is a frieze in terra cotta inlay and medallions in the same material occur on the wall below. The colors used in the terra cotta inlays are red, white, buff and black, and the heavy dark joint between the pieces is used as far as may be to help out the drawing, as is the lead in stained glass. --The designs for the frieze were made to half full size by Mr. Nobbs, with advice on the subject matter from Prof. Ramsay Traquair of McGill University. The frieze on Portage Avenue tells the story of the meeting of king Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.” --“The Remodeled Birks Building, Winnipeg,” Construction 9 (September 1916) : 295. --

Alternative identifier(s)

Nobbs database project ID


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