Friday, October 25, 2013

44 Hargrave Street - Kenilworth Court

Hargrave Apartment
Place: Kenilworth Court
Address: 44 Hargrave Street (map)
Opened: 1910
Architect: George Teeter
Contractor: Claydon Company
Cost: $45,000

April 25, 1910, Winnipeg Tribune

Kenilworth Court was constructed in the summer of 1910 and ran its first "for rent" ads in November of that year. it was likely named after Kenilworth Castle in the U.K..

The permit taker was Elizabeth Prudence Rutherford (nee Henderson). She was involved in a number of charitable organizations and on the executive of Knox Church, and was well respected for her business acumen and financial skills. Her husband William was  an executive with CPR’s telegraph division.

The Rutherfords lived at the Kenilworth with their two grown daughters, Alice and Ethel.

September 19, 1925, Winnipeg Tribune

The Kenilworth's first roster of tenants were typical of a middle class, downtown block.

John Fisher in suite 6 was bookkeeper at the Clarendon Hotel. Donald McKenzie of suite 1, the building's caretaker, lived with Minnie Flynn, a stenographer at National Fire Insurance Co.. J. J. McGuire, the chief clerk of the Royal Alexandra Hotel, also had a suite. Elsie Moore, teacher at Laverandrye School, lived in suite 15 with, presumably, her sister Rosalie Moore, a clerk at the Carnegie Library. The three Youell Brothers lived together in suite 3 - Charles worked as a hardware clerk by day and a stage actor at night.

May 25, 1929, Winnipeg Tribune

Mrs. Rutherford died in 1918 and was buried in Brookisde Cemetery. William and Ethel continued to keep a suite here, as well as a home on Ethelbert Street, until he retired in 1925. They then sold the building for $50,000 and moved to B.C. to join Alice and her family.

The new owner of the block was H. J. Lindal of Jessie Street, president of North West Grain Company. He also owned a similar sized apartment block on Langside Street.

August 30, 1926, Winnipeg Free Press

The Kenilworth had a quiet early existence according to newspaper reports. No residents were killed in the war and no fires or major crimes took place there. Two residents, though, fell victim to traffic accidents involving the Winnipeg Electric Company.

One night in August 1926, Charles Seymour, 70, was crossing Broadway at Hargrave on his way home when he was struck by a streetcar. By the time the motorman hit the brake and stopped the car, Seymour had been dragged 25 feet and crushed to death. Witnesses said that the car did sound its gong but Seymour, who was partially deaf, did not hear it.

A native of England, Seymour came to Winnipeg at least a dozen years earlier from Ontario. He first worked as a bookkeeper at the Royal Alexandra Hotel then, at age 60, was hired on by the accounting department of the Royal Trust Company. His general manager told the Free Press, “There was not a man in the company’s service more highly respected. He was a thorough English gentleman.”

Seymour lived at suite 2 with two of his grown children, Florence and Gertrude. Though the coroner's jury found the death to be accidental, the daughters won a $5,000 settlement from the Winnipeg Electric Company, which ran the streetcar system.

July 3, 1933, Winnipeg Free Press

In July 1933, three-year-old Mary Sue Burns of suite 7 was out front of the building with her mother, grandfather and two siblings when a family friend stopped by in their car. The adults and one of the children went across the street to talk to them while Mary played.

Suddenly, Mary decided to join them and darted out from between parked cars to cross the street. Her grandfather called out for her to stop, but it was too late. A Winnipeg Electric Company truck struck her, its rear wheel passing over her body and killing her instantly. The driver was found not to blame.

The girl's father had gone to Grand Rapids, Michigan earlier in the Depression to get work was unable to come back in time for the funeral. 

Mary was the city's eighth pedestrian fatality of the year to that point.

The only major crime to take place in the building happened in 1973. Lorraine Joan Bachynski was a 19-year-old Eaton's employee who lived in suite 24 with her common-law boyfriend. They and two acquaintances had drinks at the apartment before heading to the Westminster Hotel until closing time. When they returned, one of the men became agitated and stabbed her.   

John Brothers was sentenced to eight years in jail for manslaughter, the fact that he was drunk and probably high at the time of the incident saved him from the maximum sentence.

Hargrave Street

The last "for rent" ad appears in the Free Press in June 2005, the final ad for the building is for a "caretaker couple wanted" in December 2006. The following year, Kenilworth Court was closed down, there is no newspaper mention or items in city hall meeting minutes to indicate why.

There is no mention of the building in any city council or committee meetings since that time. In 2011 – 2012 this financial company states that it provided a loan to renovate the building but, as of October 2013, no activity appears to have taken place.

44 Hargrave May 2014 291

44 Hargrave St May 2014

UPDATE 2014: May 2014 the building is in the process of being dismantled. 

UPDATE 2015: The building, which does not seem to have progressed in its demolition / dismantling at all since 2014, was razed by fire on April 6, 2015. See here and here. 

My Flickr album of 44 Hargrave

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