Corner Business Block - Lacombe, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 52° 27.784 W 113° 43.791
12U E 314552 N 5816048
Quick Description: One of two flatirons on Lacombe's 50th Avenue, the one on this corner has been, at various times, both the older and the newer one.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 6/24/2020 2:12:50 PM
Waymark Code: WM12P2P
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 2

Long Description:
Along the south side of Lacombe's 50th Avenue, on either side of 50th Street, are two streets which meet 50th Avenue at 45 degree angles, resulting in a pair of triangular building lots. Each was filled with a building which best fit the dimensions of its lot, a flatiron. The flatiron on the east end, known as the Corner Business Block, was built in 1903, destroyed by the fire of 1906, rebuilt and burned again in 1911. Perhaps hesitant to try a third time, the owner didn't get around to erecting this, the current building on the site, until 1928. In fact, it took nearly another two decades for the second storey to be added. The 1906 fire, incidentally, burned the entire block, save for the other flatiron, the Merchants Bank building. It was built in 1903-05, leaving it as being the older of the flatirons.
CORNER BUSINESS BLOCK
Built in 1928
4913, 4915, 4919 Barnett Ave.

This is not the original building to occupy this site. The Daykin store was built on the premises in 1895. In 1903, a brick building owned by Harry Howell, Druggist, was built here. N.I. McDermid took over the lease of the building from H.A. Day, who purchased it from Howell in 1904. A fire started in the McDermid kitchen consumed the entire 'flatiron block' with the exception of the Merchant's Bank. The block was rebuilt in 1907 and F.L. Smith, purveyor of wines, liquors and cigars, was one of the first businesses to reoccupy the lot. The second business block burned to the ground and in 1928 this structure, closely resembling the old block, was constructed. The second floor was added in 1947, providing living accommodations on the block as well as businesses.
From the Lacombe Municipal Heritage Survey
Corner Business Block
HISTORICAL CONTEXT
With the completion of the Calgary and Edmonton (C & E) Railway in 1891, a number of stations were erected to accommodate the expanding agricultural population along the rail line. Next to several of their stations, the C & E subdivided town sites, several of which soon grew to some size. One of these was Lacombe, which was named after the venerated Oblate priest. In 1896, Lacombe was incorporated as a village, and, in 1902, it became a town with over 500 people, possessing most of the amenities required of a northern prairie farming community. As Barnett Avenue, running east and west, had emerged as the 'main street' of the village, it was obvious that the property on the corner of Barnett and Railway would play a significant role in the development of Lacombe, despite its unusual shape.

In 1901, this property was owned by a prominent local businessman named C.A. Daykin, who operated a general store there. In 1904, it was acquired by another prominent businessman named Alf Day, who constructed a two-storey brick business block on it, shaped like a flatiron. That was also the year in which the Merchant's Bank of Canada built their larger (and more famous) three-storey flatiron building at the east end of the block on Barnett Avenue. In 1906, a major fire would destroy the entire flatiron block save for the Merchant's Bank. This included Day's business block, which had served as a drug store operated by N.I. McDerimid. Undeterred, Day built another two-storey business block on this site, with a brick veneer and enough room to accommodate several businesses. Unfortunately however, another fire destroyed most of this building in 1928. By this time, however, Day had divested himself of this property, and its new owner was S.W. Paisley. Paisley soon built a new business block, a single storey frame building with brick veneer. In 1947, it would be taken over by a chiropractor named William Pederson, under whom a second storey was added to the structure in 1951. A number of businesses operated from this premises in the years that followed.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
The historical significance of the Corner Business Block in Lacombe lies in its provision of structural evidence of the functioning of the business centre of this northern prairie town during the early and middle part of the twentieth century. Due to the major fire that ravished the flatiron block of the town in 1906, newly constructed buildings had to be of brick. As a result, there were more brick business buildings in Lacombe than any other town north of Red Deer during the early part of the century.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
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Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

Address:
4913, 4915 and 4919 - 50 Avenue
Lacombe, AB
T4L 1K3


Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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