CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE
577 - 2 Street SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A, Canada
CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE
Medicine Hat Bank of Commerce
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is a two-and-a-half storey gable-roofed brick structure, in the Classical Revival style of the Edwardian era, located on three city lots in downtown Medicine Hat.
The heritage value of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Medicine Hat lies in its representation of the evolution of southern Alberta's urban centres amid the economic expansion of the pre-First World War period. It is also significant as an excellent example of the classical architectural style favoured by public and commercial buildings at this time.
At the turn of the twentieth century, central Canadian banks expanded their interests in the Maritimes and the booming Prairie west. In 1902, the manager of the Winnipeg branch of what was then the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Sir John Aird, toured the North-West Territories and recommended the establishment of new branches. Medicine Hat was growing rapidly as a divisional point on the railway, a supply depot for ranchers, and a nascent industrial centre thanks to its supplies of natural gas and coal. The construction of the stately bank building in Medicine Hat illustrated the Canadian Bank of Commerce's confidence in the buoyant economy of south eastern Alberta during the great wave of immigration after 1896. It also represented an attempt to compete for local business and the Western Canadian grain trade against its rival, the Bank of Montreal.
The Classical Revival style of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Medicine Hat is typical of many bank buildings of the time. The robust massing and elegant detailing were intended to project stability, sophistication, and permanence - desirable qualities for any financial institution. The bank is one of a few pre-1914 structures that remain in downtown Medicine Hat.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 258)
The heritage value of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce resides in such character-defining elements as:
- original brick and stone detailing on symmetrical facades, including red brown brick set in common bond trimmed with ashlar and corner quoins;
- pedimented central front gable above slightly projecting central bay;
- pedimented gables on each end of the building;
- oculus window in the front pediment and blind oculi in the other gables;
- paired, glazed terra cotta fluted pilasters, topped with Corinthian capitals, flanking the entrance and defining the central bay;
- full classical entablature of a two part moulded-stone architrave, a frieze on which is carved the bank's name, and pressed metal cornice with modillions;
- front and side entrances, capped by a flat hood supported on consoles;
-fenestration pattern, square-hooded windows on the first floor with moulded surrounds and keystones, smaller rectangular windows on the second storey including a tripartite rectangular window with stone mullions in the centre of the front facade;
- two-storey rear gable-roofed addition (built 1913);
- cedar shingle roofs.
- original skylights on the main floor ceiling;
- original wall, ceiling and floor finishes as well as door and window trim, hardware, and light fixtures on the upper two floors.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
Architect / Designer
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 (File: Des. 258)
Cross-Reference to Collection