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Key Number: HS 17810
Site Name: Wainwright Hotel
Other Names:
Site Type: 0400 - Mercantile/Commercial: General and Mixed Use Commercial


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
44 6 4

Address: 202 - 10 Street
Street: Main
Town: Wainwright
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: L
Storeys: Storeys: 2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: None
Superstructure: Undetermined
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: None
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, Other
Number of Bays - Facade: Second Floor, Other
Number of Bays - Facade: Third Floor, Other
Wall Design and Detail: String or Belt Course
Wall Design and Detail: Crenellated Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Stepped Parapet
Plain Eaves
Roof Trim - Verges: Not Applicable
Towers, Steeples and Domes: None
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Unknown
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Unknown
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: None
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Plaster or Stucco
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Number of Sashes: One
Window - Number of Sashes: Three, Casement
Window - Opening Mechanism: Unknown
Window - Special Types: None
Window - Pane Arrangements: None
Main Entrance - Location: Corner
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Plaster or Stucco
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Side Lights
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: None
Main Porch - Type: None
Main Porch - Type: Closed Porch
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: N/A
Condition: Structure - Good Repair - Good
Alterations: Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Unknown Site: Unknown


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Completed
Construction Started

Usage: Usage Date:

Owner: Owner Date:

Architect: N/A
Builder: H.C. Link
Craftsman: N/A
History: D-2264 - WAINWRIGHT HOTEL

When the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway completed its line between Saskatoon and Edmonton in 1908, vast tracts of land in east central Alberta south of the Canadian Northern line were opened up for homesteading. At key points along the line, the GTP erected stations and subdivided townsites. One of these was near a small community called Denwood, where a post office and store had been opened in 1907. The new townsite, to where Denwood residents and businesses now moved, was called Wainwright after the second vice-president of the Grand Trunk Railway. One of the structures moved from Denwood to Wainwright was the Denwood Hotel, which soon became the Wainwright Hotel. It was owned by M.L. Forster, a strong community minded individual who served on the first village council and was mayor of Wainwright from 1927 to 1935.

With rapid early growth, Wainwright became a village in July 1908, and a town with over 400 people in July, 1910. The Wainwright Hotel was joined by another hotel, the Park, in about 1912, but the Wainwright remained the main hotel in town until it was destroyed by a fire in 1929, along with much of the business district. By this time, it had been acquired a Mr. H.C. Link. Times were good in rural Alberta in the late 1920s, prohibition had ended, and this may have inspired Mr. Link to build a new and larger hotel right away. Some of the new public buildings, like the post office, were now made of brick, but this one was made of poured concrete, no doubt to secure it against any future fires.

The Wainwright Hotel has remained standing ever since, serving the community and district as the main hotel for most of the 20th century. Its bar was also no doubt one of the favourite watering holes of local residents and district farmers over the years.

The historical significance of the Wainwright Hotel lies in its service as the most prominent hotel in Wainwright and a familiar community tavern during the mid and late 20th century.

Description of Historic Place
The Wainwright Hotel is a roughly rectangular shaped building with three storey elevations facing the streets and a one-storey section with a moderately pitched roof at the rear. The hotel has concrete walls, rows of regularly spaced windows on all floors and a pattern of storefront windows and doorways on the ground floor reflecting the original first floor plan layout of spaces. The hotel's street-facing elevations (east and south) and one of its north facing elevations are clad in painted stucco. Its rear walls show bare board-formed concrete. Its roofline has a parapet, interrupted with regularly spaced openings and broken by a series of projecting canopies with decorative brackets. Some alterations have occurred over the years. Most of the ground floor has been renovated numerous times, most recently in 2004. The ground floor plan and the east façade entry pattern have been rearranged. Most of the hotel's windows and doors have been modernized, some of the metal fixtures and the second floor millwork and flooring have been removed and a modern back-lit signage has been added to the exterior. The Wainwright hotel occupies three lots on the north corner of 2nd Avenue and 10th Street in Wainwright's downtown commercial district.

The heritage value of the Wainwright Hotel is due to the significance of its construction style and design. It is an excellent extant example of poured-in-place concrete construction. Its style of construction exhibits aspects typical of Spanish Colonial Revival design.

The Wainwright Hotel was built to replace an earlier hotel which had burnt down, along with the rest of Wainwright's commercial district, in 1929. The devastating loss caused by this fire brought about major changes in construction standards. Rather than rebuild the previous wood-frame hotel, a new and much more substantial hotel was built using poured-in-place, board-formed concrete for its exterior walls. Although valued for its durability and fire-proof qualities, concrete was rarely used in such quantities, particularly in rural communities, due to the difficulties of transporting this heavy material and the greater availability of brick. However, Wainwright residents desired to prevent the reoccurrence of such a calamitous fire, and concrete seemed like an ideal preventative strategy. At the same time, Wainwright was positioning itself as an important, up-and-coming, population centre and as a major railroad tourism destination. The presence of nearby Buffalo National Park, which closed in 1939, and the selection of the Wainwright area as the filming location for a number of Hollywood Westerns in the early 1920s fuelled these hopeful dreams and made the erection the substantial hotel with nearly sixty rooms, a restaurant, and a beer parlour possible and desirable.

The Wainwright Hotel is also significant for its design. Designed and built by R. H. Trouth, an Edmonton-based architect and contractor, it is not of any one particular style. However, it is most reminiscent of the Spanish Colonial Revival style which characterized some other buildings Trouth built during his career. This style is based on the architecture of the Spanish American colonization period. The rise of railroad tourism across North America and the influence of Hollywood movies, particularly Westerns, led to the popularity of this style in the early 20th century. Built in 1929, the Wainwright Hotel features many elements that speak to this style. Its stucco-covered concrete walls resemble mud-plaster adobe and the belt course running between the first and second storeys gives the illusion of the walls being tapered, or being thicker at the bottom than at the top. The broken parapet also gives the hotel a distinctly fortress-like appearance and the canopy roof projections, which break the parapet, are covered in red-painted metal, which is clearly intended to resemble clay tiles. The decorative wooden brackets, which support the roof projections, are also common in Spanish Colonial Revival buildings.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
Record Information: Record Information Date:
WANG 1981/03/31


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-1345
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