Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2016

“Do You Know Your Winnipeg?” Whither the City Archives?

“Do You Know Your Winnipeg?” is a popular feature of local morning CBC radio. Listeners are asked to identify places and buildings pictured at the CBC website. But if the building pictured below was featured, I expect the mystery would go unsolved. 

This is where your City of Winnipeg Archives is now located -- in an obscure building in an industrial park on Myrtle Street. Why, you might well ask? Wasn’t it in the Carnegie Library building on William Avenue? Well, yes it was until June 2013 when a freakish set of circumstances forced it lock, stock, and white gloves from the Carnegie building to the industrial park.
This is a tale of great hope, misfortune, and now I fear neglect that could do great harm to a vital community and city government Archives service and place a superb heritage building in jeopardy.Unless, of course, enough Winnipeggers care enough to prevent it.

The City of Winnipeg is to be commended for establishing a professionally staffed archival service in the late 199…

Modernism and Brutalism in Winnipeg: The Public Safety Building

Most people think of Victorian era buildings as “historic,” but it is easy to forget that modernist buildings are a part of history, too. They are a more recent part, but they are still important when it comes to the elements that have shaped our city.
Modernism was a movement of artistic and cultural changes that emerged in the 19th century.
There are different styles of modernist architecture, and the Public Safety Building is a great example of modernism in Winnipeg.

Local architect Les Stechesen designed the Public Safety Building in 1965, and it opened in 1966. At the time, Stechesen was working with an architectural firm called Libeling Michener & Associates.
Stechesen has worked on over 100 buildings. Two notable ones in Winnipeg he’s worked on are Pantages Playhouse and The Home of The Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
The Public Safety Building was designed with the brutalist style of architecture. Brutalism is a style within the modernist movement. Brutalism was popular from the 1950s …