Living downtown provides you the luxury of walking most everywhere you go. What I’ve noticed is the number of historical buildings in our city centre, once neglected or near derelict are now living a second life. A one time hub of commerce now welcomes travelers as an upscale hotel while another historical bank building is still welcoming clients through the same doors as they did in 1929.
I love the unique facades of these aged beauties and wonder about all the changes they have seen since their cornerstones were laid so many years ago. The ornate cornices you just don’t see on modern buildings are like the icing on a fine cake.
Here are a few I’ve wandered by today, join me on this little walk through history won’t you?
Constructed in 1910 and built in the Modern Renaissance style, the ornate facade is a combination of limestone from Indiana and red pressed brick which came from local brickyards. After many owners over the 20th century it was finally purchased by Diane Kyle-Buchanan and entirely refurbished and reopened as the beautiful “Union Bank Inn” housing the wonderful Madison Grill.
Let’s walk along to the imposing Bank Of Commerce.
In a news story in a 1920 Edmonton Bulletin the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was described as “….one of the most highly furnished and finished banking rooms in Western Canada”. Designed in the Late Renaissance Revival style, it has stood as a handsome witness to almost a century of commerce history and banking.
Further down the street we’ll find the Birks Building.
Built at a cost of over $350,000 it opened in November 1929. Over 5,000 people attended the grande opening. The main floor had over 200 feet of counter space. I particularly like the rounded entrance. Look, they are still maintaining the Vintage 3D signage outside. Even the brand new building across the street was built to echo the same architecture.
Yes, the past is certainly present in downtown Edmonton and I’m really glad it’s being preserved. Are you hooked on historical architecture? Me too, please join me on future walks and Follow Boomdeeadda.