/ The Exchange
District / Princess
Fairchild/Sterling Cloak Building
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One of the first warehouses to utilize steel construction,
the Fairchild Building, located in the western boundary
of the district, serves as a magnificent example of this
new approach to warehouse design that occurred across North
America after the turn-of-the century.
By 1877 the province’s wheat had begun to be shipped
directly overseas to Europe. Winnipeg businessmen, Henry
S. Wesbrook and Frank A. Fairchild, established a farm implement
retail firm on the Market Square in the same year. By
1881 they expanded their enterprise into a wholesale business
representing such firms as the John Deere Plow Company, J.I.
Case Company, and the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. By
the late 1880s, F.A. Fairchild had become the sole owner
of the business and established a showroom in the Grain Exchange
Building on Princess Street. Continued prosperity enabled
the company to buy a vacant lot on Princess Street in 1904,
and local architect Herbert B. Rugh was hired to design a
fitting warehouse in 1906.