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Spudnuts

Lethbridge

Other Names:
Lethbridge Conservatory of Music

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Spudnut Shop is a two-storey building with a flat roof and a smooth stucco finish. It is located on the corner of two residential streets and occupies two city lots.

Heritage Value
The Spudnut Shop is significant due to its association with the institution of Babe’s Spudnut & Ice Cream Bar and that of the Lethbridge Conservatory of Music. It is also valuable for its status as a local landmark. It is well known to Lethbridge residents as a long-time purveyor of baked treats, coffee and homemade ice cream. Many locals use the Spudnut Building as a way-finding reference point in the community.

The Spudnut Shop is significant because of its association with the institution of the same name. The “Spudnut” and the “Spudnut Shop” was a franchise established in 1939 out of Salt Lake City, Utah. The stores specialized in donutlike treats called Spudnuts, so named because they were made using potato flour. From 1950 to 1956, Babe Harris, a local sports broadcaster, owned and operated the franchise as Babe’s Spudnut & Ice Cream Bar in the former Lethbridge Conservatory of Music Building. Babe Harris sold the business to Byron Shurtz who sold it after 2 years to Gunther Lebro. Wolfgang & Angie Otto worked for Mr. Lebro and then bought the business in 1966. In the 1980’s the Spudnut parent company ceased to exist, but the Lethbridge business continued to operate under the guidance of Wolfgang & Angie Otto until 2000. The main floor business remained empty until 2006 when the owners of Crazy Cakes purchased the building. Mr. Otto is still making Spudnuts twice a week for Crazy Cakes.

The Spudnut Building is also significant due to its association with the institution of the Lethbridge Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory began operations in 1906 in various locations until its permanent home was built in this building. Joseph Morgan and James George Harper built the Harper’s Music Store with Gourley Winter & Leaming operating as Lethbridge Conservatory of Music occupying the main floor.

Max Stern owned the building from 1940 to 1955. During World War II, the Red Cross utilized the upper floor for sewing and working for the war effort. When they moved to their own building in August, 1943, Max Stern converted the upper floor into two apartments. These two apartments and exterior were finished in the Art Deco style. From 1955 to 1985 Ernest J. and Virgie M. Schaffer owned the building until Wolfgang and Angie Otto purchased it in 1985. They sold it to the current owner in 2006.


Character-Defining Elements
The character defining elements of the 1940s style, 1909 two and one-half storey building are defined as:

Exterior Elements:
- The pediment along the front and side facades
- The flat roof
- The smooth stucco finish
- The pilasters along the first and second storey facades
- The gated portal on the side façade
- The exterior sign for the Spudnut Shop
- The sweeping curved forms of the outside stair rail and portal

Upstairs Interior Elements:
- The hardwood and linoleum floors with inlay(s)
- The kitchen cupboards
- The radiused arris walls
- The wildlife mat in the room over the garage
- The horizontal art deco internal wooden windows
- The apartment light fixtures
- The sweeping curved forms of fireplaces, walls, and stair features


Location



Street Address: 1102 - 5th Avenue South 501 - 11th Street South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Plan 4353S, Block 60, Lots 1 and 2
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
21
8
31


PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
4353S
60
1-2


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.6931461600951 -112.830498180674 Digital Maps NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2008/11/10

Historical Information

Built:
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Learning and the Arts
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0241
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: City of Lethbridge City Hall 910 - 4th Avenue South Lethbridge AB T1J 0P6
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