Morgan's new store, Montreal, 1890

Montreal Daily Star

11 January 1890, page 6

Messrs Henry Morgan & Co.’s New Store

The above represents the new block now in the course of construction for Messrs Henry Morgan & Co, at the corner of St Catherine street and Union avenue which will be a noble structure when completed.  Sixteen designs were sent in the one accepted being that of Mr JP Hill, 185 St James street.  The style is composition of Renaissance and Romanesque.  It is estimated that the building will cost $350 000, but it is more likely to take the even $400 000.  The contractors are St Louis Bros., for mason work; W Hood & Son, wood work; Dominion Bridge Co, Iron work; W Clendenning & son, cast iron columns; Hughes and Stevenson, heating; and GW Reed, the roofing.  The building will be eighty feet in height, and will have a frontage of one hundred and sixty feet on St Catherine’s street, and a depth of one hundred and thirty feet on Union Avenue and Aylmer street.  The basement will be of Montreal limestone, and the upper structure of red sandstone from the Heyton quarries, Northumberland, England.  The columns are to be of polished Gananoque granite.  The two principal entrances will be twenty-three feet wide, and the archways, forty feet high.  The seven show windows will be twenty-two feet wide, and eighteen feet high; each window will contain two panes of glass eleven by fifteen feet.  All the windows in the building are to be of the finest plate glass.  The goods entrance will be from the lane in the rear; there will also be a shipping door on Aylmer street, and a separate entrance


The basement is eleven feet high; the ground floor will be used for general dry goods; the first story for mantles, upholstery and carpets; the floor above is intended for offices and the wholesale department; and the upper story for work-rooms.  The floor space in the new building will be three and a half times greated than that of the premises at present occupied by the firm.  There will be a well-hole, twenty-four feet by thirty-three, in the centre of the building for lighting purposes.  At night the electric light will be employed; the firm using their own plant.  There will be two elevators, and the building is to be heated by steam.  Every prevention will be taken against fire; automatic fire alarms and sprinklers; a water main on the top story, and large water tank on the roof.  There will be a fire escape to the upper story, being a brick shaft built outside the main building, with a zig-zag flight of stairs.  The roof will drain to the centre, and every care will be taken against the formation of ice on the eaves.  A special feature is to be the ladies’ parlor on the ground floor, and a large waiting and reading room on the first story over the main entrance.  On St Catherine street the building is five feet back from the street line, giving a width of seventeen feet to the pavement; and on Union avenue it is four feet back, giving a pavement fifteen feet in width.  Messrs Morgan & Co do not expect to move into their new premises for about a year.  They will require from six to seven hundred employees there.  The firm has such faith in the future of St Catherine street, that Mr James Morgan, junr., has purchased the Elliot block there, and intends erecting six fine stores at an early date.

A fine drawing of the new building is now on view in the carpet department of the firm at the premises on St James Street.