Last weekend I participated in the annual Jane’s Walk. The first walk I attended toured part of the Warehouse district between 6th and 7th Avenues and Broad and Osler Streets. Many of the buildings in the area featured Chicago-style architecture. This style includes steel-framed walls, interior pillars, and large windows.
We began in what is now the Broadstone Plaza home to several businesses on the first floor and condominiums above. It was originally home to the John Deere Plow Company from 1913 to 1974. The architect was O.A. Eckerman and it was the largest warehouse in the city at the time. The two date stones refer to the founding of the John Deere Company and the construction of the building. The building still has a freight elevator in use.
Heading north on Broad Street we turned our attention to Koko. This building was constructed in 1920 for the Goodyear and Tire Company, which they used until 1954. The Army and Navy Store used the building until 1978.
We stopped at the corner of Broad Street and 6th Avenue to view the building at 1170 Broad Street. It was built in 1912 for a wholesale grocer called H.G. Smith Ltd. It was designed by Storey and Van Egmond. From 1939 to 1954 it was a Robert Simpson Western store. The entrance way is Tudor style arch and Tyndall stone.
Turning east on 6th Avenue we stopped at 1162 Osler Street. The south building was built in 1919 for the Northern Electric Company. The north addition was build in 1930 as a warehouse for the Army and Navy Department Store. It was built by Bird, Woodall, and Simpson, and featured a sprinkler system.
The building across 6th Avenue at 1202 Osler Street was built in 1920. It was home to the Canadian Fairbanks Morse Company, a manufacturing business. The company remained in the building until 1961. Other tenants included the Chrysler Corporation of Canada and a couple furniture stores. Storey and Van Egmond were the architects of the building. It features brick diapering and inset motifs.
I thoroughly enjoy the idea of Jane’s walks. It allows me to get out, exercise, and learn about local history.