Taber Bank of Commerce
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce #983
Imperial Bank of Commerce
CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Bank of Commerce is a two-storey, early twentieth-century building situated on two lots in the Town of Taber's commercial core. The bank embodies the Neo-Classical style and features a brick and dressed stone facade, flat roof, fluted pilasters, and a metal entablature with boxed cornice. It is also embellished with traditional classical detailing, decorative brick work, and carved stone window and door surrounds.
The heritage value of the Canadian Bank of Commerce lies in its association with the expansion of banking institutions in Alberta and its representation of the Neoclassical style of architecture favoured for bank buildings across the Prairies.
The area around Taber was settled around the turn of the twentieth century. The settlement grew with the development of the coal industry in the region and the expansion of agriculture. Economic growth and population increase attracted financial institutions from central Canada to the fledgling community. The Eastern Townships Bank headquartered in Quebec established Taber's first bank when it opened a branch in the settlement in 1906. In 1912, the Eastern Townships Bank amalgamated with the larger Canadian Bank of Commerce. The early history of banking in Taber reflects the vast expansion and consolidation of financial institutions throughout the Prairies in the wake of the immigration and settlement boom that swept across western Canada between 1896 and 1914.
Built between 1912 and 1913, the Canadian Bank of Commerce building in Taber was similar in style and scale to eight other banks erected by the corporation in Alberta during the same period. The bank embodies the Neoclassical style in its generally horizontal proportions, pilasters, parapet, and classical details. The popularity of Neoclassical architecture for banking buildings was undoubtedly linked to the style's association with the qualities of solidity, strength, and permanence. The projection of these virtues represented an attempt to define a positive institutional identity in western Canada's competitive financial market.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 983)
The character-defining elements of the Canadian Bank of Commerce include such features as:
- flat roof crowned by a brick parapet;
- varied masonry, including Indiana limetone, sandstone, and glazed terra cotta block;
- brick and dressed stone facade;
- decorative elements, including fluted pilasters, window and door surrounds, projecting brick quoins, brick coursing, and masonry details;
- metal entablature with boxed cornices and modillions;
- window and door surrounds;
- fenestration pattern and style, including transomed windows;
- historic interior elements, including vault doors, hardwood staircase to upper floor apartments, doors, baseboards, trims, and cornice mouldings, skylight well with V-joint tongue and groove siding, and fireplace mantle in upper floor apartment.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
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. 983)
Cross-Reference to Collection