Address: 637 - 639 Portage Avenue (Map)
Size: 3 storey, 12,150 sq ft
Monte Cassino Court was built in 1907 for Benedicto Persichini who owned a fruit store and lunch counter at 421 Main Street.
Originally it was just a single storey retail block, though the Persichinis (Benedicto, wife Virginia and at least one son, John) also lived on the premises. In 1910 two floors of residential units were added.
The largest original tenant was retailer and wholesaler The City Tea and Coffee Company, who moved there from Garry Street. They lasted until 1911.
Over the decades Monte Cassino housed a number of short or medium term tenants in one or both retail spaces. They included: Karn-Moss Piano store (1910s); a photo finishing store (1920s); Singer Sewing Machines (1920s); Neal's Grocery Store (in 1920s); Artes Tailors and Cleaners (1930s); Surprise Shoe Shop (1940s); Sandra's Dress Shop and Furs (1940s); Toronto Ladies Apparel (1950s).
May 27, 1948. Winnipeg Free Press.In 1931 Monte Cassino found its first long term tenant: Chesterfield House, an upholstery shop. James Patterson's Capri Restaurant, another long term tenant, arrived in 1957.
In 1966 the building was sold.
January 18, 1974. Winnipeg Free Press.
In 1967 the new owner, National Typewriter, moved in. They took up the entire main floor retail area and the residential suites became office and warehouse space.
The company's name changed a couple of times to reflect the times. It became National Office Equipment then Nat/Com. They went out of business in 1991 and the building has sat empty since 1992.
In 2011 the building's owner applied for a demolition permit to replace the Monte Cassino with a nine-storey mixed use development. The application was withdrawn September 2011.
Sales Brochure Shindico Realty
639 Portage Avenue (Overview) Historic Buildings Committee