Monday, September 7, 2020

229 Pritchard Avenue - Former Salvation Army Citadel

© 2020, Christian Cassidy

Former Salvation Army Citadel / Hebrew Friends Temple
Address: 229 Pritchard Avenue (Map)
Opened: March 1911
Architect: Gideon Miller (Salvation Army)

In April 1910, a group of Salvation Army executives met in Winnipeg to plan the organization's expansion plans for the prairies and Northwestern Ontario. They included Commissioner Thomas Bales Coombs of Toronto, Colonel Henry Mapp, the chief secretary for Canada, and its in-house architect, Major Gideon Miller.

Local projects discussed included an expansion to the main citadel on Rupert Avenue, improvements to the Grace Hospital on Arlington Street, a new men's hostel, and the addition of new citadels.

The North Winnipeg Citadel, established in early 1910 under the leadership of Captain Grace Veears, was just the second citadel in Winnipeg after the headquarters on Rupert Avenue. It operated from rented premises on Main Street until their new home at 229 Pritchard Avenue was completed.

Construction got underway in the late summer of 1910 on three citadels: Pritchard Avenue (No. 2), Elgin Avenue (No. 3) and Queen Street in St. James (No. 4). The December 3, 1910 edition of the War Cry notes that citadels No. 2 and No. 3 were nearing completion. (In the end, Pritchard Avenue was the last of the three to open.)

December 3, 1910, The War Cry

The North Winnipeg Citadel was most likely designed by the Salvation Army's Major Gideon Miller.

Miller was the son of a Paris, Ontario businessmen and joined the Salvation Army in the  early 1880s as a teenager. He was soon on the organization's property committee and from 1906 to 1931 was its in-house architect. 

During his tenure, Miller was responsible for the design and expansion of dozens of buildings from coast to coast.  The Pritchard Avenue citadel was small in comparison to some of his projects, such as the organization's Vancouver headquarters (1907), Winnipeg's Kildonan Industrial Home, (1912), Toronto Training School (unknown), and Peterborough's Simcoe Street citadel (1924).

For more on Miller, see my West End Dumplings post.

March 11, 1912, Winnipeg Free Press

The North Winnipeg Citadel was just 25 feet wide but its main floor hall could hold between 200 and 250 people. The full basement was home to classrooms for Sunday school and a band room. The exterior was of red brick with Tyndall stone trim.

The building was officially opened on March 12, 1911 by Brigadier George Burditt. The Winnipeg Citadel Band wasn't available, it was touring in British Columbia, so the Salvation Army's Silver Band of Portage la Prairie entertained.

The goings on and personnel movement at the main citadel were covered in local newspapers and the Salvation Army's newspaper, The War Cry, but this wasn't so much the case at the neighbourhood citadels. Ads and brief mentions show that aside from Sunday services and Sunday school, the citadel regularly hosted charitable events and band practices.

As time went by, the population of the North End spread further north and in 1924 the citadel moved to new premises at 1375 Main Street and eventually to Atlantic Avenue.

November 3, 1949, The Jewish Post

The next group to call 229 Pritchard home was the Hebrew Friends. Until the late 1940s it was most often referred to as the Hebrew Friends Temple. Through the 1950s and 1960s, it was usually referred to as the Hebrew Friends Society Hall.

The Hebrew Friends Society was part of a large number of Jewish fraternal societies, such as the Hebrew Free Loan Society and Hebrew Sick Benefits Association. Unlike these organizations, however, there was no coverage of its annual meetings and other happenings in mainstream newspapers or the Jewish Post.

A number of weddings took place here in the 1930s and 40s, but for the most part it hosted teas, wedding and funeral receptions, and was a venue for speeches. It had a bowling club in the 1930s and 40s that used the hall for its meetings and year-end banquets. The 25th anniversary celebration of the Jewish Chess Club took place there in 1944.

The Hebrew Friends were at this address until at least 1965. Soon after, it faded away and vacated the hall.

By 1972, the building was owned by  E and P Wachtler.

Endre, (anglicized to Andrew), was a former foreman at Standard Glove Works on Flora Avenue. In August 1972, he applied to the city for a variance to convert the old hall into a glove factory. In 1977, another application was made for the addition of a storage area and garage.

The Andy Glove Company Ltd. was a small manufacturer, presumably doing contracts for larger firms. It did not sell its products retail, so it did not advertise. Its name does not appear in any newspaper articles, nor do the Wachtlers. Even classified ads looking for workers can't be found.

Andy Glove quietly went about its business until around 2010 when the building was put up for sale.

Paula Wachtler died
in 2013.

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