Merchants Bank of Canada - Lacombe, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 52° 27.782 W 113° 43.864
12U E 314469 N 5816047
Quick Description: One of two flatirons in Lacombe, the old Merchants Bank building is also the most visible and best known building in the town.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 6/24/2020 3:30:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM12P3E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
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, the current building on that site not being built until 1928. The 1906 fire, incidentally, burned the entire block, save for this, the Merchants Bank building, which was designed by Hogle & Davis, prolific designers of bank buildings throughout the country between 1904 and 1919. Begun in 1903, it opened in 1905, the year prior to the fire.
Description of Historic Place
The Flat Iron Building is an early twentieth century Edwardian Classical Revival style, three-storey triangular-shaped brick and sandstone building situated at a prominent corner location on a triangular block in downtown Lacombe.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Flat Iron Building lies in its distinctive architectural style and design and its association with two financial institutions, the Merchant's Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal that played an important role in the development of Lacombe and many other communities throughout Alberta in the early part of the twentieth century.

The Flat Iron Building is a rare example of a commercial building following the style of the 1902 Fuller Building in New York. While buildings of this shape were constructed in North America in the late nineteenth century, the Fuller, more commonly referred to as the Flatiron Building, is considered by many as the prototype of buildings of this type, so named for their distinctive triangular shape that resembled a flat iron. Flat Iron Buildings were fashionable throughout North American at the turn of the twentieth century, however few remain. Constructed in 1903-4 by the Merchant's Bank of Canada, Lacombe's Flat Iron Building is one of two remaining in Alberta and is the oldest known building of this type in Western Canada. The basic design of the building is typical of the dominant architecture preferred by financial institutions of the time, to convey a sense of power, security and reliability to customer's and competitors alike.

The building was occupied by the Merchant's Bank of Canada from 1904 until its purchase by the Bank of Montreal in 1922. The Bank of Montreal continued to occupy the building until 1967. Through the provision of financial services, both the Merchant's Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal played a significant role in the early development of not only the Town of Lacombe, but many other communities throughout the province. The Flat Iron Building is the most prominent building in Lacombe and is a well-known landmark throughout central Alberta.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
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Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

5005 - 50 Avenue
Lacombe, AB
T4L 2L1

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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T0SHEA visited Merchants Bank of Canada - Lacombe, AB 9/21/2020 T0SHEA visited it