Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Selkirk Avenue loses another tooth

Above: Google Street View ca 2009
Selkirk Avenue

The city has demolished
the former Manitoba Upholstering building at 281 Selkirk Avenue. One of the first, and certainly the largest, demolition under the 2004 Derelict Buildings Bylaw.

Here's a look back at 281 Selkirk...

Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

January 24, 1927, Manitoba Free Press

Number 281 Selkirk Avenue first appears for sale in the fall of 1926. The initial construction was the eastern section of the building, the warehouse to the west was a post WW II addition.

It took almost two years to find a buyer but in 1928 the Manitoba Upholstering Company moved in. MU
was a wholesale manufacturer of chesterfields, chairs, cushions and some small furniture items.

The company first appears in newspapers in 1921 at 903 Main Street and by 1923 were at 372 Selkirk Avenue. The earliest mention of an owner that I can find is Benjamin Cohen, who later owned the Rothesay Apartments off what is now Vimy Ridge Park.

The company stayed under the radar. There are no newspaper ads or big stories, just a couple of small items to note.

In 1944 they were singled out in a Free Press article about the War Bonds drive. Every employee signed up donating 16.6% of their income to the cause making them one of the leaders in the drive.

Sometime after WWII the Bakal family was involved in running the company,
Meyer Bakal until his death in 1965 after which wife Bella Bakal kept a management position until her death in 1971.

September 6, 1986, Winnipeg Free Press

In 1983 the company was reorganized as Manitoba Upholstering (1983) Limited. In 1986, after nearly 60 years in business, Manitoba Upholstering went under. The building and contents were sold off.

The following year it was home to Christie Rogers Bargain Warehouse & Surplus Centre. They sold stock overruns and used furniture and appliances. Christie’s lasted just one year.

From September 1988 to mid 1991 it was home to Hi Tech Frame Factory and gallery. Then for a couple of years was a Sooters Photo Finishing Studio outlet.

To give an idea of the fall in fortunes of Selkirk Avenue in the 1990s, the 1992 listed sale price for the 14,000 sq ft building was $180,000. When it went up for sale again in 1999 the listed price was $60,000.

April 16, 2008, City of Winnipeg

The building became derelict and in 2006 the city ordered the property fixed up under the under the 2004 Derelict Buildings Bylaw and eventually seized it. In 2008 no offers of interest were received for the property so in 2009 the city decided to tear it down and sell the vacant land.

Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

The demolition of the 85 year old structure took place in June 2011 leaving another missing tooth along Selkirk Avenue.

Also on that block ....

Above: Google Street View
Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg
2010: Burned out
Selkirk Avenue

Directly across the street, the burned out house that surrounded L & P grocery at the corner of Charles Street has also been demolished. That, I've been told, will become a new housing project.

Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg
Above: 2007. Below 2010
Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

A few lots east, though, here's a recent housing win.

For more
Selkirk Avenue check out my walk from late last year with a number of links to Selkirk Avenue media. Also, there's this listing from Winnipeg Brick by Brick.


Winnipeg Girl said...

Thanks for the great post - it's nice to see these changes documented. Hopefully this type of information stays accessible for a long time - you know, hopefully they don't invent something that replaces the internet or something. Once upon a time, people probably thought that paper archives were the shizzle and that people would be storming in droves to look at them over the years!

One Man Committee said...

Winnipeg has really bounced back from its 1990s malaise. Virtually every neighbourhood has enjoyed significant improvement since the 1990s. The most prominent exception, it would seem, is Selkirk Avenue.

On Selkirk, there is no trace of the heady economic growth that the rest of the city has enjoyed over the past dozen years. This is just another sad footnote to that story.

ROBCAN said...

Does anyone know the history of the building that stood at the north west corner of Selkirk and Keewatin and when it was built & demolished?

In the Henderson directory of 1931 and 1935 it may have been listed as city well #5 but I'm not sure if that is the building either.

Stories or pictures would be great!

Thanks - ROB.

Christian Cassidy said...

It doesn't ring a bell. You might want to try posting at the MHS' Q and A page as well. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/questions/