Innisfail Town Hall - Innisfail, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 52° 01.655 W 113° 57.025
12U E 297598 N 5768215
Quick Description: First a bank, then another bank, then town hall, this building is now home to Money Mart.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 6/26/2020 12:34:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM12PFY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 1

Long Description:
Originally named Poplar Grove, the town's name was changed to Innisfail on April Fool's Day of 1892, the year after Innisfail's first post office opened. We have to wonder how seriously the residents took the name change, given the day on which it occurred. That post office opened about nine years after the first settlers homesteaded in the area, giving rise to the little hamlet of Poplar Grove.

Though there were doubtless earlier wood framed bank buildings in the town, the Union Bank first landing in the town in 1904, this more substantial brick bank building didn't appear until 1914. With the Union Bank of Canada merging with the Royal Bank in 1925, this became a Royal Bank, in which capacity this building served for several more decades. It was in 1963 that the building was turned over to the town to become the Town Hall. The status quo was maintained until February of 1977, when the building was sold into private hands, thereafter to be occupied by various businesses. To our knowledge, the only bank in Innisfail today is a Scotiabank branch, the Royal bank having moved on.

Note that, when the building achieved Alberta Registered Historic Resource status on August 25, 1982, this was still the town hall, hence the reference to it as such in the following.
Innisfail Town Hall
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
The Union Bank of Canada was founded in 1866 in Quebec and survived until its merger with the Royal Bank in 1925. It quickly established itself as Canada's 'pioneer bank' and moved across the country opening branches on the edge of settlement. By 1899, it had seven branches in the northwest and Alberta's first branch opened in Lethbridge in 1887. The first Innisfail branch was opened in 1904 and in 1914. It built the structure that is now known as the Innisfail Town Hall.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
The Innisfail Town Hall, 1914, originally a Union Bank, is typical of small branch banks throughout Alberta. The simple, two-storey red brick building features an off-centre front entrance on the main floor. The upper floor is divided into two bays at the front and three at the side by decorative raised brick piers that give the effect of capitals, as in classical columns. Each bay on the front facade contains double windows while those on the side are single. The windows have stone lintels and stone sills. A corbelled brick cornice runs along all four sides of the building. There is a secondary wooden cornice demarcating the first and second floors. The secondary cornice features dentils along its full length and the first story features courses of raised and recessed brick that echo similar courses on the piers, contributing to the impression of horizontality that the building conveys.

The bank was constructed at a time when large urban banks were elaborate structures with many classical details that were intended to give the building an aura of stability and permanence. The Town Hall in Innisfail represents an attempt by the bank to impart this same aura but on a much smaller scale. Thus the secondary cornice, the brick piers and capitals can be seen as roughly classical details.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

Address:
5004 - 50 Street
Innisfail, AB
T4G 1M1


Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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T0SHEA visited Innisfail Town Hall - Innisfail, AB 9/27/2020 T0SHEA visited it