Sunday, January 3, 2010

Downtown Places - 66 The Promenade

Odd Fellows Temple Facade

Place: Former Odd Fellows Temple (facade)
Original: 293 Kennedy. Facade: 66 The Promenade  Map
Opened: Original: April 21, 1910. Facade: Sept 1987
Original: James Chisholm. Facade: Barry Silversides


This Independent Order of Odd Fellows Temple was their second in Winnipeg. The first, c1884, still stands on Princess Street. Built at a cost of $43,000 the Kennedy Street Temple opened on April 21, 1910 to a celebration that brought 15,000 visitors to the city - a record at the time.

As ornate inside as it was outside, fire gutted the building in January 1946. The interior was completely rebuilt and, up until 1984, the Temple was a social hub in Winnipeg hosting thousands of lectures, dances, recitals and socials on top of housing the works of the I.O.O.F..

IOOF TEMPLEOdd Fellows Temple Facade

When demolition began for the Portage Place / Place Promenade development, it was decided that the facade should remain as a frame for a rear entrance. It was dismantled in 20,000 pieces in August 1985 and in 1987 re-applied to the mall at a cost of over $250,000.

Much of the cost was spent finding replacement brick for the badly deteriorated originals. They were an odd size by today's standards and an exact match could not be found. Eventually, a supplier in Lockport created a suitable replica, though they were still about 6 mm wider than they should have been. As a result, the elevation of the facade is about half a meter taller than the original.

The Temple's facade framed the entrance to Birks, the double B door pulls are still in place, then McNally Robinson's.

The building sits near what would have been 293 Kennedy but you can see in the above photos using the red, rear wall of the old Free Press building that the direction the building faced was changed.

293 Kennedy Street - Historic Buildings Committee
Odd Fellows Temple Facade - Historic
Odd Fellows Temple Facade Costly to Restore - Wpg Free Press May 16, '87

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