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Former Canadian Bank of Commerce

Olds

Other Names:
Pandora's Boox & Tea

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The former Canadian Bank of Commerce is a two-storey brick commercial building with a flat roof, a large cornice above the second storey windows, and corbelled brick quoins on the corners. The entrance has a sandstone door surround with a rounded pediment, sandstone pilasters, and an arched transom. It is located on the back half of a lot on a commercial street in the downtown core of Olds.

Heritage Value
This commercial building is significant for its association with the institution of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, for its association with the theme of early commercial development in Olds, and for its turn of the century bank design.

The association with the Canadian Bank of Commerce contributes to the historic value of the former Canadian Bank of Commerce building. The early 1900s boom period in Olds prompted the Canadian Bank of Commerce to construct this brick building in 1910, and the Olds branch served the community until the Great Depression. During the Depression, small communities with two competing bank branches, such as Olds, often endured the closure of one branch. The banks’ respective head offices would agree to close one branch to ensure both companies’ survival during difficult financial times. The Canadian Bank of Commerce closed twenty-five branches nationwide in 1934, including this branch in Olds.

The former Canadian Bank of Commerce building is important to the community for its association with the theme of early commercial development. The Canadian Bank of Commerce constructed this building in 1910 during the post-1900s economic boom in Olds. The onset of the Great Depression led to the closure of the Olds branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1934, but the building continued to house important community services. The building was used as the Olds Post Office from 1934 until 1958, when the Post Office moved out and was replaced with the Olds Public Library. When the library moved from the old bank building, the space was subsequently used for a variety of commercial enterprises including a photo shop, a bookstore, a drugstore and a quilters’ guild.

The turn-of-the-century bank design makes the former Canadian Bank of Commerce building an important contribution to the built heritage of Olds. The two-storey brick building is typical of commercial bank buildings of the period, and has classically influenced design elements. Canadian Bank of Commerce buildings constructed prior to the 1950s often included elements of classical architecture, and the sandstone Palladian style door surround with Tuscan pilasters, the sandstone plinth on the front façade, and the moulded fascia with dentils below the cornice on the Olds branch building exemplify this preference. These classical design elements gave a sense of dignity and permanence to the building, and the former Canadian Bank of Commerce building is a significant resource contributing to the heritage character of uptown Olds.

Source: Town of Olds Heritage Inventory, Heritage Collaborative Inc., November 2009 (5009 51st Street, Former Canadian Bank of Commerce)


Character-Defining Elements
The character defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of the 1910 two-storey former Canadian Bank of Commerce include:

• The flat roof and cornice

• The common bond brick cladding, including the darker brick on the two street-facing façades, and the lighter brick on the other façades

• The corbelled brick quoins on the corners

• The sandstone window and entrance surrounds

• The moulded sandstone stringcourse below the windows on the second storey

• The brick voussoirs over the windows on the side and rear façades

• The continuous and shared sandstone lintel below the windows on the main floor

• The pressed metal cornice with dentils and moulding

• The moulded fascia with dentils below the cornice

• The sandstone Palladian style door surround with Tuscan pilasters and a semi-circular transom

• The pattern, style and construction of all original window openings


Location



Street Address: 5009 - 51 Street
Community: Olds
Boundaries: Portion of Lots 9 and 10, Block 5, Plan 868E
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD






PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
868E
5
9,10


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.79112000 -114.106270 GPS NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2010/10/12

Historical Information

Built:
Significant Date(s) 1910 to 1934
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Bank or Stock Exchange
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Residence : Single Dwelling
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0309
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Town of Olds, Community Services, 4512 - 46 Street, Olds, AB T4H 1R5 (File: COM - 00 - 6 - 06)
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