Landmarks is a monthly feature in which columnist Alison Gillmor explores unique and iconic Winnipeg buildings and locations.

Landmarks is a monthly feature in which columnist Alison Gillmor explores unique and iconic Winnipeg buildings and locations.  

 


 

 

Circular condo building looks spacey, but shape is grounded in practicality

<p> WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES			</p>																																										
		
	
	
			
						<p>The 62M Condo is project located on MacDonald Avenue near the Disraeli Bridge.			</p>

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The 62M Condo is project located on MacDonald Avenue near the Disraeli Bridge.

Posted: 7:00 PM Dec. 1, 2021

I’m always interested in buildings that get nicknames. Usually these monikers indicate affection, occasionally the opposite, but they always mean people are paying attention.

The circular condo project near the Disraeli Bridge certainly gets notice. It’s been called the Flying Saucer, the UFO, the Spaceship. It’s been compared to a hockey puck, a chocolate layer cake, a doughnut and a Trivial Pursuit playing piece.

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Précieux-Sang church fuses together modernist design and religious renewal

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>																																										
		
	
	
			
						<p>Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. This is the 50th year of worship inside the unusual building.			</p>
MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. This is the 50th year of worship inside the unusual building.

Posted: 7:00 PM Oct. 25, 2021

On my way to visit l’ Eglise du Précieux-Sang in St. Boniface, I got lost. There was road construction, and I somehow missed my turn. I managed to find my way, though, when I glimpsed that distinctive spiralling roofline in the distance.

Etienne Gaboury is one of Manitoba’s most prominent architects, and Précieux-Sang is perhaps his most identifiable and iconic design. Firmly grounded in the earth by a low horizontal band of masonry but reaching to heaven with that wild, whirling wooden roof, the church is both expansive and intimate, bold and humble.

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WAG's angular architecture combines form, function in a building both timeless and of its time

ken gigliotti \ winnipeg free press \ dec4 2002 feature on wpg architecture- Winnipeg Art Gallery WAG ,(old beater cars parked  at base  could not get better shot as building is underconstruction )-kg
ken gigliotti \ winnipeg free press \ dec4 2002 feature on wpg architecture- Winnipeg Art Gallery WAG ,(old beater cars parked at base could not get better shot as building is underconstruction )-kg

Posted: 7:00 PM Sep. 24, 2021

Asked to talk about the Winnipeg Art Gallery building, Stephen Borys pauses for a moment.

"If I had to describe it in one word, it would be ‘timeless,’" says Borys, current director and CEO of the WAG.

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Luxuries, amenities put to many uses during life of Academy Road building

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS			</p>																																										
		
	
	
			
						<p>Winnipeg architect Max Blankstein’s design for the Uptown Theatre referenced the Moorish style, using architectural elements from the western Islamic world mixed with some Spanish forms.			</p>
MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg architect Max Blankstein’s design for the Uptown Theatre referenced the Moorish style, using architectural elements from the western Islamic world mixed with some Spanish forms.

Posted: 7:00 PM Aug. 23, 2021

The Uptown Lofts, once the Academy Uptown Lanes and before that the Uptown Theatre, remind us that buildings can have long, varied and sometimes unexpected lives. The recent mixed-use renovation, which combines commercial spaces and residential apartments, is sleek, clean and contemporary, but it rests on layers of local memory and architectural fantasy.

The original Uptown Theatre debuted in 1931 with some Hollywood-style hoopla. The 1,600-seat theatre was designed by Winnipeg architect Max Blankstein for entertainment impresario Jacob Miles and featured an elaborate, exuberant interpretation of the Moorish style.

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The Fort Garry Hotel hearkens back to a more glamorous time

The Fort Garry Hotel was one of the tallest buildings in Winnipeg when it was constructed in 1913. (City of Winnipeg archives)
The Fort Garry Hotel was one of the tallest buildings in Winnipeg when it was constructed in 1913. (City of Winnipeg archives)

Posted: 7:00 PM Jul. 19, 2021

When you’re wedged into a middle seat on a packed airplane, sustained only by bad coffee and a packet of pretzels, glamorous travel can seem like an impossible dream.

But around the turn of the 20th century, luxury train journeys across Canada involved roomy sleeping berths, white-linen dining service and observation cars with expansive windows that framed the changing views. For those who could afford it, the journey was as pleasurable as the destination.

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Curvy, confident Winnipeg Clinic appears to be reaching for a better tomorrow

The Winnipeg Clinic with Its distinctive curved lines and layered canopies make it a familiar landmark in Winnipeg’s downtown.			</p>
The Winnipeg Clinic with Its distinctive curved lines and layered canopies make it a familiar landmark in Winnipeg’s downtown.

Posted: 7:00 PM Jun. 21, 2021

Nicknames can be a sign of fondness and familiarity, so it means something that people often affectionately call the Winnipeg Clinic "the Jetsons building."

Most Winnipeggers love this modernist downtown building, with its swoopy canopies and slanted corner windows. Even folks who say they don’t usually like modernist architecture have been won over by the structure’s optimistic and accessible vibe.

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Alison Gillmor

Alison Gillmor
Writer

Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.