SIR ALEXANDER GALT HOSPITAL
Sir Alexander Galt Museum
Links and documents
1908/01/01 to 1910/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Sir Alexander Galt Hospital is a two-storey, brick and sandstone building occupying one city block that overlooks the Oldman River valley on the far western end of downtown Lethbridge.
The heritage value of the Sir Alexander Galt Hospital building derives from its representation of the development of the coal industry in southern Alberta and the growth of the city of Lethbridge, both of which are directly related to a prominent figure in Canadian history, Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt. It is also an impressive example of Edwardian classicism and early hospital architecture in Alberta.
The Sir Alexander Galt Hospital was built essentially as a company hospital for coal miners and other employees of the Alberta Railway and Coal Company, though it served residents in the young community of Lethbridge. The Galt family, founders and owners of the Company, had also financed an earlier hospital on the site in 1891. The building thus represents a social dimension of the development of a provincially significant industry, coal mining. It functioned as a hospital until 1955.
This structure was built between 1908 and 1910 and upon completion was opened by the Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier. Laurier's involvement not only demonstrates the importance of the hospital to Southern Alberta, but also that of the hospital's benefactor, Sir Alexander Galt, who had achieved national distinction as Canada's first Finance Minister and High Commissioner to London. Galt can be considered a founder of Lethbridge for his involvement in coal mining, railway expansion and early irrigation projects that served to develop the area. This is the only remaining building in Lethbridge relating to the Galt family.
The Sir Alexander Galt Hospital is also an excellent example of the Edwardian Classical style that characterizes many of Alberta's early public buildings, and a rare early example of hospital architecture in Alberta.
Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 117)
The character-defining elements of the Sir Alexander Galt Hospital include:
- the rectangular form and two-storey scale;
- the Edwardian Classical style features, such as the proportions and symmetry of the front facade, classical pilasters, parapet and balusters, cornice and ornamentation;
- fenestration pattern;
- limestone sills, keystones, and pilasters;
- the use of local construction materials including bricks, sandstone foundation and wood timbers;
- example of local craftsmanship in carving of the sandstone, installation of bricks and formed metal details.
- an unimpeded view of the front facade looking west down 5th Street;
- stabilized remains of a portion of the former hospital on this site.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Health and Research
- Hospital or Other Health Care Institution
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 117)
Cross-Reference to Collection