Bank of Montreal - Nelson, BC - 1903
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 29.446 W 117° 17.807
11U E 478506 N 5482057
Quick Description: This Bank of Montreal ad is from the Saturday Morning, January 10, 1903 edition of The Nelson Tribune.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/26/2013 2:31:45 PM
Waymark Code: WMHN90
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 3

Long Description:
Now, 110 years later, the bank is still there, still operating and still raking in the cash. At 298 Baker Street, the Bank of Montreal building is on the south west corner of the intersection of Baker and Kootenay Streets.

Though not the most physically imposing, the B of M building is certainly aesthetically the most impressive building on this corner. With its intricate brickwork, friezes on the upper cornice, railing surrounding the roof, arched lower windows and terra cotta B of M insignia on the upper walls, it is truly a work of art. Too, the heavy bronze plaques stating "Bank of Montreal" on either side of the intimidating doorway instill a sense of confidence and stability in all who enter.

Completed in 1899, it was designed by influential architect Francis Rattenbury.

From the Nelson Heritage Register, 2011, number 56, page 89:

The Bank of Montreal building is a substantial two-storey brick and terra cotta building on the corner of Baker and Kootenay streets in Nelson, B.C.

The Bank of Montreal is important for its historical and aesthetic values, particularly for its landmark status and imposing design. The building is significant for its history as the oldest operating branch of the Bank of Montreal in the province, constructed at a time when the gold rush spurred the construction and arrival of banks in towns across the province. The Bank of Montreal opened for business in Nelson in 1892, originally operating out of a local barber shop.

The use of local building materials and the acknowledgement of Nelson’s geological history is significant, as the eight-foot long steps of the bank were created from a granite boulder uncovered during work on the recreational grounds on Hall Street. Its construction is considered important as it was one of the first buildings to employ steel I beams in its construction rather than the conventional timber joists. The building is also important for its residential component on the top floor.

The building is significant for its architect, Francis Rattenbury, who was a dominant designer in the architectural profession in British Columbia partly because of his skilled deployment of a broad range of historical styles.

The building is important for its aesthetics, including its imposing sense of permanence and singularity, heightened by the main entrance facing the corner of Kootenay and Baker streets. At the time of its construction, the building was considered to be the handsomest block so far erected in the Kootenay region. A sympathetic addition on Kootenay Street was added after World War II.

The building’s importance is expressed through its scale, high parapet, varied use of arches, intricate brickwork, and terra cotta inlays with bank’s insignia.

Character Defining Elements

Site configuration
¶ Location facing the corner of Baker and Kootenay streets
¶Zero setback from front and side property lines

¶ Solid rectangular massing
¶ Arched windows on the ground floor with rectangular windows above
¶ Large corner columns with decorative tops
¶ High, decorative balustrade
¶ Arched entry door
¶ Original suite on top floor

Materials and Details
¶ Pressed brick and terra cotta exterior

Name of publication (required):
Nelson Tribune

Date of Publication (required):
Saturday Morning, January 10, 1903

Does the ad identify the location of the company?: yes

Web URL to additional proof of location or additional information.: [Web Link]

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