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Queen's Hotel

Fort Macleod

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Queen’s Hotel was built in 1903. It is a three-storey, flat-roofed building with a horseshoe-shaped footprint. The centrally-located entrance is flanked by two slightly projecting wings. The hotel’s primary (south-facing), east and west elevations are constructed of rough-faced sandstone blocks and are crowned by a prominent cornice. The rear (north-facing) elevation is constructed of rubble stone. The first floor contains a lobby, office space and an eating area while the upper floors contain individual rooms. A T-shaped addition that wraps around the east and north sides of the building was added in the early 1970s. The hotel is situated on one and a half lots on the northeast corner of 24th Street and Second Avenue in Fort Macleod’s main commercial district. It is also within the boundaries of the Fort Macleod Provincial Historic Area.

Heritage Value
The Queen’s Hotel is a fine example of the kind of substantial hotels built in Alberta’s urban centres during their boom periods. Its heritage value lies in its contribution to the heritage character of the Fort Macleod Provincial Historic Area.

In early Alberta, certain communities developed as centralized service points. These communities attracted a number of essential businesses and services, including hotels. Hotels provided short-term lodging for farmers and ranchers in town to do business, for tourists looking for comfortable accommodations, for newcomers evaluating a community as a place to settle, and for commercial travellers looking for sales and investment opportunities. Through their associated restaurants, taverns and pool rooms, hotels also served as recreational centres for a region’s established population. In many communities, hotels were often the most substantial buildings and would be constantly improved with the latest technological and architectural improvements to attract business from competing establishments or to market themselves to particular classes of clients.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Macleod was an important administrative, distribution and service centre for southern Alberta. Unlike many Alberta communities, where the town layout was determined by the railway right-of-ways, Macleod pre-existed the railways and its main street and hotels are located some distance north of the tracks. Despite this distance between the railway and Macleod’s established commercial district, the town flourished during the years between 1897 and 1914 with many substantial sandstone buildings being constructed, including the Queen’s Hotel.

The Queen’s Hotel was established in 1886 and consisted of two frame buildings on Macleod’s main street. In 1896, Harry Stedman purchased the Queen’s Hotel and, in 1903, began construction on a much more substantial hotel, which is the current building. The new hotel was an impressive three-storey, frame building on a slightly U-shaped plan with primary exterior walls clad in rough-faced, locally quarried sandstone. It boasted a large lobby, bar and restaurant on the ground floor and 40 rooms arranged around central hallways on the upper two floors. Adding to its air of sophistication were design elements that included sandstone windows sills and belt courses and, notably, a classically-inspired pressed metal, bracketed cornice running along the parapet of the primary facades. Upon completion, the new Queen’s Hotel was touted as Macleod’s finest lodgings and was the most expensive hotel in town. The Queen’s Hotel soon became the lodging of choice for business people, government officials and well-heeled visitors to the area.

Although there were older brick buildings in Macleod, the Queen’s Hotel was the first substantial sandstone building in town. The hotel’s robust construction allowed it to survive the 1906 fire that devastated Macleod’s main street. The hotel’s stately appearance, the local availability of sandstone, and restrictive building codes in the wake of the fire resulted in the establishment of sandstone as the preferred construction material in pre-First World War Macleod. Like many small town hotels throughout Alberta, the fortunes of the Queen’s Hotel declined in the later decades of the twentieth century. The hotel became primarily a downtown tavern with low-cost apartments on the upper floors. Nonetheless, with its impressive scale and form, sandstone construction and classically-inspired details, the Queen’s Hotel continues to serve as a defining anchor in Fort Macleod’s historic commercial district.

Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2292)


Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage value of the Queen’s Hotel include such elements as its:

Exterior
- slightly u-shaped footprint;
- sandstone clad walls on the primary (south, east and west) elevations;
- rubble stone construction of the north exterior wall;
- parapet with a pressed metal cornice with brackets at the roofline of the primary
elevations;
- date stone on the west side of the front elevation reading “AD 1903” and a corresponding name stone of the east side of the front elevation reading “STEDMAN BLOCK”;
- sandstone and brick chimney with a sandstone cap, centrally-located at the rear of the
building;
- brick enclosure covering the roof access;
- pattern of window openings;
- sandstone window sills throughout the building;
- sandstone beltcourse between the second and third storey and between the third storey
and the cornice;
- extant historic window frames, sashes and storm windows.

Interior
- basic layout of the second and third floors with rooms opening off central hallways;
- extant historic millwork;
- extant historic lath and plaster walls;
- openings for transom windows over the room doors;
- skylight;
- dumbwaiter.


Location



Street Address: 207 - 24th Street, Fort Macleod
Community: Fort Macleod
Boundaries: Portion of Lots 26 and 27, Block 436, Plan 92B
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
92B
436
27


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.725686 -113.408399 Secondary Source NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2012/05/22

Historical Information

Built: 1903 to 1903
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-1366
Designation File: DES 2292
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Des. 2292)
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