218 - 6 Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Cypress Club is a two-storey building of red brick with sandstone base and trims constructed in the Edwardian neo-classical style. It was built in 1907 and is located on one city lot in downtown Medicine Hat.
The historical significance of the Cypress Club building in Medicine Hat lies in its role as the main social club for men in the district and thus its representation of a typical element of social life in Alberta's pre-First World War urban communities. It is also an excellent example of the classical revival style that characterized Alberta's public buildings before the First World War.
The Cypress Club, founded in 1903, was one of a number of social clubs created in Alberta's urban communities during the boom years prior to the First World War. Almost all of the region's civic leaders and prominent businessmen were members of the Cypress Club, making it a bastion for the business and social elites.
Architecturally, the Cypress Club building exemplifies prevailing architectural tastes influenced by regional factors in a manner typical of Alberta communities of the period. Locally manufactured brick used in the building's construction was a product of Medicine Hat's nascent ceramics industry, which was itself made possible by abundant local reserves of natural gas. The restrained dignity of the Cypress Club's exterior combined with the richness of its interior fittings was typical of men's clubs. The rustic elements within the building, including the stone fireplace and hunting trophies, combine with the lavish interior to define a sort of "frontier gentility." The structure retains a very high degree of its original historic integrity and contributes to the historical continuity of the streetscape.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2090)
The character-defining elements of the classical revival style of the Cypress Club building include:
- central location within the downtown business district (including direct association with prominent neighbouring Bank of Commerce building).
- form, scale and massing;
- corbelled concrete and sandstone foundation with block and pressed brick masonry upper walls and brick quoins;
- massive rectangular sandstone pilasters and architrave framing the main entrance;
- fenestration pattern including wood frame windows, arched three-part, double-hung windows capped with semi-circular multi-pane transoms on either side of the entry, semi-circular transom with leaded glass and a sandstone arch with a scroll detailed keystone and hood mouldings above the entry doors, stained glass windows;
- sandstone voussoirs, mouldings, stringcourses, lintels, keystones, parapet coping and cornice;
- corbelled brick on the north and south elevations;
- oak entry doors with a series of small triangular glazing units in oak muntins;
- detailed pairs of engaged fluted columns and free standing round fluted columns with Ionic capitals supporting large beams framing the entry.
- interior floor plan;
- interior entry doors glazed with ribbed glass with sidelights and transoms of leaded stained glass;
- painted concrete floor in entrance vestibule;
- common room (now used as a dining room) detailed with a beamed ceiling, and rusticated sandstone fireplace with oak mantel (all the oak is fumed);
- front common room incorporating former ladies waiting room with vestige of fireplace hearth in the floor;
- squat octagonal newel posts, turned balusters, and a broad handrail on the grand stair to the second floor;
- doors to the games room detailed with textured glass and decorative muntins and framed by fluted pilasters, Ionic capitals, and entablature;
- interior woodwork and wood finishing (oak, fir);
- bakelite intercom phone system and call buttons found in most rooms;
- door leading from dining room to walled garden and patio;
- restored hardwood flooring (games room, poker room, office, boardroom, cloak room, basement stairs);
- original artifacts, including very large historic pool table and oak score-keeping display in common room and historic octagonal felt-surfaced poker table.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Architect / Designer
William T. Williams
Oakes and Everand
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 (Files: Des. 1108 and Des. 2090)
Cross-Reference to Collection