Bank of Montreal

Bank of Montreal c.1905 (Museum #1-802)

Bank of Montreal 2012

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

DESCRIPTION

The Bank of Montreal Building, located on the northeast corner of Columbia Avenue and Washington Street in the center of Downtown Rossland, is a large and impressive 3 storey brick building built on a granite foundation.  The building occupies all of the slightly sloping lot, measuring 30’ by 120’. The words, “Bank of Montreal”, are carved in the building’s cornerstone.

HERITAGE VALUE

The Bank of Montreal Building is a landmark  - its height and fact that it has two street facades makes it the most prominent building in Downtown Rossland. 

The construction of such a noteworthy building in Rossland as the Bank of Montreal is symbolic of the confidence in the value and longevity of the Rossland gold mines felt by the business world at the turn of the last century.  Given that 5 different banking institutions existed in Rossland at that time, the Bank of Montreal clearly wanted to create an impressive, physical presence for itself in the booming mining center.

Designed by the provincially well known architect, Francis Rattenbury, the building is of cream colored brick with steel reinforcing beams and sits on a foundation of locally quarried granite - the latter two are firsts for construction in Rossland’s Downtown.

Construction of the multi use building was completed in 1899, making it a commercial hub for the City - home of the Bank of Montreal and also numerous other offices in the above ground basement level in the front three quarters of the building, and on the second floor.    The layout of the interior of the Bank of Montreal Building remains the same as that of its original design.  The Bank Room itself with the adjoining Manager’s office is no longer in use but the vestibule, marble entrance stairs, large arched windows, wood work and plaster ceiling details are original.  The three granite stairway/well entries to basement offices/shops off Washington Street continue to be used today.  

CHARACTER DEFINING ELEMENTS

- location on a corner lot at the center of Downtown

 - height (60’) - 3 storeys and the above ground basement 

 - footprint - 30’ frontage on Columbia Avenue and 120’ frontage on Washington Street, occupying all of the lot

 - granite corner stone on southwest corner bears the words, “Bank of Montreal” and the home survey monument for Rossland

 - locally quarried granite foundation and exterior steps

 - brick exterior with belt courses and terra cotta friezes

 - arched windows and entrances 

 - surviving elements of original multipurpose design by architect Frances Rattenbury such as exterior entrances and interior layout