Links and documents
1929/01/01 to 1929/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Wainwright Hotel is a roughly rectangular, three-storey building with a one-storey rear addition. The hotel has concrete walls, rows of regularly spaced windows on all floors and a pattern of storefront windows and doorways on the ground floor that reflect the original layout of spaces. The hotel's street-facing elevations (east and south) and one of its north facing elevations are clad in painted stucco. Its roofline has a parapet and interrupted projecting canopies supported by decorative brackets. The Wainwright Hotel occupies three lots on the north corner of 2nd Avenue and 10th Street in Wainwright's downtown commercial district.
The heritage value of the Wainwright Hotel lies in its excellent representation of poured-in-place concrete construction. It is also significant for its Spanish Colonial Revival design.
The Wainwright Hotel was built in 1929 to replace an earlier hotel which had burnt down, along with the rest of Wainwright's commercial district, in the same year. The devastating loss caused by this fire brought about major changes in construction standards. Rather than rebuild the previous wood-frame hotel, a new and much more substantial hotel was built using poured-in-place, board-formed concrete for its exterior walls. Although valued for its durability and fire-proof qualities, concrete was rarely used in such quantities, particularly in rural communities, due to the difficulties of transporting this heavy material and the greater availability of brick. However, Wainwright residents wanted to prevent the reoccurrence of such a calamitous fire, and concrete seemed like an ideal preventative strategy. At the same time, Wainwright was positioning itself as an important, up-and-coming, population centre and a major railroad tourism destination. The presence of nearby Buffalo National Park, which closed in 1939, and the selection of the Wainwright area as the filming location for a number of Hollywood Westerns in the early 1920s fuelled these hopes and inspired the erection of this substantial hotel with nearly sixty rooms, a restaurant, and a beer parlour.
The Wainwright Hotel is also significant for its architecture. Designed and built by R. H. Trouth, an Edmonton-based architect and contractor, it is not of any one particular style. However, it is most reminiscent of the Spanish Colonial Revival style which characterized some other buildings Trouth built during his career. This style is based on the architecture of the Spanish American colonial period. The rise of railroad tourism across North America and the influence of Hollywood movies, particularly Westerns, led to the popularity of this style in the early 20th century. Built in 1929, the Wainwright Hotel features many elements that speak to this style. Its stucco-covered concrete walls resemble mud-plaster adobe and the belt course running between the first and second storeys gives the illusion of the walls being tapered. The broken parapet also gives the hotel a distinctly fortress-like appearance and the canopy roof projections are covered in red-painted metal intended to resemble clay tiles. The decorative wooden brackets, which support the roof projections, are also common in Spanish Colonial Revival buildings.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2264)
Key exterior elements that define the heritage value of the Wainwright Hotel include its:
- street-facing exterior walls constructed of poured-in-place concrete covered in stucco;
- rear-facing walls showing bare, board-formed concrete;
- broken parapet with vertically projecting pilasters running along all street-facing elevations;
- canopy roof projections clad in red-painted metal, resembling clay tiles;
- decorative wooden brackets and wooden soffits supporting the canopy roof projections;
- fenestration and doorway pattern, the pattern of the second and third storeys being the same;
- wood-frame window openings with wooden sills;
- stucco-covered belt course running between the first and second storey;
- main entry and paired second and third storey windows located on an angled south facing corner;
- metal fire escape on the north elevation;
- the building's location on one corner of an important intersection and its visual relationship with the Wainwright Clock Tower and other historic buildings in the commercial district.
Key interior elements that define the heritage value of the Wainwright Hotel include its:
- floor plan layout of the second and third floors with central corridors and small, evenly spaced rooms;
- lath and plaster interior walls;
- original wooden trim, doors, banisters, newel posts and staircases;
- presence of original, non-operational, furnace in the basement;
- wood frame and steel supporting structure.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Eating or Drinking Establishment
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
R. H. Trouth
Location of Supporting Documentation
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8
Cross-Reference to Collection