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Vendome Hotel


Other Names:
Rolof Beny

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The two-storey Vendome Hotel has a flat roof with a corbelled cornice, a flat parapet with stepped side façades, two brick pilasters on the front façade, and red brick cladding. It is located on a commercial street in the downtown core of Lethbridge.

Heritage Value
The Vendome Hotel is significant for its association with boom-period commercial development in Lethbridge, and for its association with Roloff Beny.

This former hotel and rooming house is significant for its association with boom-period commercial development in the city of Lethbridge. The Vendome Hotel was built in 1910, and its reasonable rates and proximity to the CPR station meant it was a convenient choice for travellers on a budget. In the 1920s the building was seized and held by the City until; 1957, when it was resold. The hotel was renamed Alberta Rooms, and the building became known for its transient clientele.

In 1963, due to its proximity to their auto dealership across 8th Street, it was purchased by Beny Automotive Enterprises Ltd. for parts storage. At that time an office was established on the second floor; it later became a studio for Roloff Beny. He was the son of owner Charles F. Beny, and would call himself the Marco Polo of Medicine Hat, referring to the fact that much of his life was spent exploring the world.

Beny used this building as a repository for his work, and often spent time there with friends when in the city. The celebrated Canadian artist produced eighteen books of photographs, many of which garnered awards. Beny himself was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1972.

Character-Defining Elements
The character defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of the 1910 two-storey commercial building include:

- The flat roof
- The common bond red brick cladding
- The flat parapet, stepped on the side façades
- The brick pilasters
- The corbelled cornice
- The rowlock windowsills
- The ghost image of the painted signage on the side of the building that reads, “ALBERTA ROOMS”
- The pattern, style and construction of all original window and door openings


Street Address: 110 - 8 Street South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Lots 17 and 18, Block 8, Plan 4353S
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
17 and 18

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
54.7306381453685 -114.715510904733 Digital Maps NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/12/14

Historical Information

Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0240
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Lethbridge City Hall 910 - 4th Avenue South Lethbridge, AB T1J 0P6
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