Full Article

January 1899, No. 11 The Railway and Shipping World (Toronto) Page 9, col. 3

Grand Trunk improvements, &c.

The illustration on this page shows the handsome structure which the G.T.R. will erect in Montréal. It will occupy the entire square bounded by McGill, St. Paul, William and Wainwright streets, covering an area exceeding 30,000 sq. ft. Its principal frontage—200 ft.—will be on McGill street, & will be very imposing in appearance. The splendid adaptability of McGill street for attractive buildings designed for financial & commercial purposes is well illustrated in the new G.T. offices. The width of the street will enable the structure to be seen to great advantage, & the florid nature of the sculpture work & the outside ornamentation will not be lost, as is the case with many of Montréal's stately structures.

The building will be one of the finest architectural productions in the Dominion, a remarkable union of richness & breadth as well as dignified simplicity. The style of architecture is Neo-Grec., that is, a modern adaptation of Greek & Roman architecture—not a servile copy, but from the spring, from which marvellously simple & logical inspirations of the art of the Greeks is obtained. Architecture is required to modify its forms in accordance with the conditions of light, of temperature, of needs & purposes. The plans are calculated to give good light in a maximum of apartments combined with striking adaptations of the complex needs & purposes, as well as an effective appearance. There is an easily accessible basement, & 5 storeys above, with strongly accentuated corner treatment—one symbolic of the G.T.'s alliance with one-half of the globe, another, of strength, & a third of swiftness. Strength is represented by mythological griffins, & swiftness by the winged dragon.

The basement will be utilized for express storage & mail purposes. On the ground floor the Auditor's, Treasurer's & Paymaster's departments will accommodate the General Purchasing Agent, Divisional Freight Agent, & Freight Claims Agent. The executive departments will be situated on the 2nd floor. These will include the private & general offices of the General Manager, General Assistant, General Traffic Manager, General Passenger Agent & the Company's Solicitor.

The offices of the General Superintendent & the Chief Engineer & the car service, telegraph & telephone departments will be located on the 3rd floor. The upper or 4th floor will contain a large assembly room, where deputations many be received, & the superannuated, medical & stationery departments, as well as the offices of the Express Auditor & his staff. Waiting rooms & lavatories will be fitted up on each floor. There are towers to the building, on of which will be surmounted by a dome & flag pole. The other will be flat & railway officials the Victoria Bridge & the Point St. Charles property of the company. From this vantage point an excellent view of the city may also be obtained.

The material for the exterior walls has not yet been selected, but it is probable that a mixture of sandstone & granite will be decided upon. The interior furnishings will be of oak & marble.

The corridors will be wainscotted with marble, & above that the panels will be fitted in with ornamental plaster work. The wainscotting in the different offices will be of oak, richly panelled & carved. The offices will open out on gallery corridors, & the whole building will be well lighted & ventilated. The structure will be heated by steam & lighted by electricity. Its cost will amount to $500,000. It is expected that it will be ready for occupancy in Jan., 1900.

Railways: G.T.Ry.