Logged in as user  [Login]  |
AHSP
Return to Search Results Printable Version
 





Bentley Block

Lethbridge

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Bentley Block is a part three-storey, part single-storey brick building with a flat roof, a flat parapet with an articulated stone cornice and stepped sides, three segmental arch windows on the third storey, and three large semicircular arched windows on the second storey. It is located on a prominent commercial street in the downtown core of Lethbridge overlooking Galt Gardens.

Heritage Value
The Bentley Block is significant for its association with early commercial development in Lethbridge, and for its association with Harry Bentley.

Completed in 1905 (three-storey section) and added to in 1911 (single-storey section), the Bentley Block is an important early commercial building in Lethbridge. Harry Bentley opened the first general store on 5 Street South in this location in 1885, initially operating from a tent, followed by a wooden frame building, and then a two-storey building by the fall of that year. In 1905 the Bentley Company constructed a three-storey brick addition to the original store, and the Bentley Block became the city’s first three-storey building and department store. The first floor was a grocery store, the second floor offered clothing and footwear, and the third floor housed dry goods. In 1911, the two-storey 1885 timber structure was replaced with the present one-storey brick structure, adjoined to the three-storey 1905 section providing a 50 foot frontage. The Bentley Block cost $17,000 to build, but closed its doors in 1915 as a result of the economic downturn associated with the outbreak of the First World War. In 1918, Consumer’s Hardware moved into the building and operated at this location for the next twenty years.

The Bentley Block is also significant for its association with Harry Bentley. Harry Bentley opened the first store in Lethbridge in 1885. Although he severed connections with the Bentley Company in the 1890s, his name remained associated with the company he had built. Harry Bentley was an active member of the community in early Lethbridge. He served as a member of the first town council in 1891, and was elected mayor five times between 1892 and 1899. Mr. Bentley was also a charter member of the Lethbridge Board of Trade in 1889, and became president of the organization for four years in the 1890s.


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of the Bentley Block include:

Three-storey portion:
-the running bond brick cladding on the front façade, common bond brick cladding on the side façades;
-the flat parapet with an articulated stone cornice;
-the corbelled brick stringcourse between the second and third storeys;
-the continuous, horizontal stone sill supporting the third-storey windows;
-the brick segmental arched windows with brick voussoirs;
-the three semi-circular arched windows with corbelled brick voussoirs on the second storey. Of particular note is the flattened wider central arch;
-the two short, projecting decorative brick pilasters above the third-storey windows;
-two pilasters on either end, framing the façade;
-the pattern, style and construction of all original window openings, especially the three semi-circular windows on the second storey with grided segmented arched sections; and
-the 4-inch square glass tile transoms band above the main floor storefront; and focal horizontal clear glass feature with decorative edges, within each transom panel.

Single-storey portion:
-the running bond brick cladding on the front façade;
-the 4-inch square glass tile transoms band above the main floor storefront and focal horizontal clear glass feature with decorative edges, within each transom panel; and
-the deeply recessed storefront main floor entrance.


Location



Street Address: 118 - 5 Street South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Lots 14 and 15, Block 7, Plan 4353S
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
4353S
7
14 & 15


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.697151 -112.8407 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: 2018/10/29

Historical Information

Built: 1905 to 1911
Significant Date(s) 1905 to 1911
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0426
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 50100
Website Link:
Data Source: City of Lethbridge City Hall, 910 - 4th Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0P6
Return to Search Results Printable Version



Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve.


Home    Contact Us    Login   Library Search

© 1995 - 2019 Government of Alberta    Copyright and Disclaimer    Privacy    Accessibility