Royal Bank Tower, Montreal, Canada

York & Sawyer
Date Built
360 Saint-Jacques Street
When the 22-storey Royal Bank Tower was completed in 1926, it was the first building in Montreal to be taller than the city’s Notre Dame Basilica.  Apparently, it was also the tallest building in the British Empire.  It was designed by the New York architectural practice of York and Sawyer that was responsible for a number of prominent bank and educational buildings across the USA. 

The “” website says that the building, “ ... stands on an entire city block, almost square in shape, in the heart of the former Canadian business centre. ... (it has) ... a steel structure and is clad in grey limestone – the lower part in Queenston, Ontario limestone acquired a buff colour over time.  ... Viewed from the street, the building has three main divisions, the powerful pedestal, the median section of the tower and the pilasters at its top – the summit block is set back too far to be visible.  These divisions and the details of the architectural treatment give very little emphasis to the building’s height.  The cladding even creates a false impression of massive bearing walls, masking the presence of a steel frame. This American-style skyscraper, with its modern structure and equipment, is clad in a stone envelope, the composition of which recalls various distant pasts.”

In 1962, the Royal Bank moved its main office to Place Ville-Marie.

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