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Key Number: HS 26079
Site Name: Sir Alexander Galt Museum
Other Names:
Site Type: 0310 - Educational: Museum or Gallery
1503 - Medical: Hospital or Infirmary

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
9 21 4


Address: 502 - 1 Street S
Number: 2
Street: 1 S
Avenue: 5 S
Other:
Town: Lethbridge
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape: Rectangular Long Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Brick
Superstructure Cover: Brick - Bond: Stretcher Concrete: Block
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: Rear and Either Side
Wings: Irregular
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 9 Bays or more
Wall Design and Detail: Column or Engaged Column
Wall Design and Detail: Spandrel
Wall Design and Detail: Plinth
Wall Design and Detail: Entablature
Wall Design and Detail: Plain Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Decorated Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Decorative Brick
Plain Eaves
Roof Trim - Eaves: Decorated Frieze
Roof Trim - Verges: Not Applicable
Roof Trim - Verges: Corbelled Cornice
Dormer Type: None
Roof Trim - Special Features: Balustrade
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Voussoirs
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Keystone
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Brick
Window - Sill Type: Decorated Lug Sill
Window - Sill Material: Concrete
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Hinged
Window - Special Types: None
Window - Pane Arrangements: Other
Main Entrance - Location: Centre (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Curved Pediment
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Shaped hood, with or without brackets
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Concrete
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 2
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Without Railing
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Open Railing
Main Stairs - Direction: Straight
Main Porch - Type: Platform
Main Porch - Special Features: None
Exterior: Two-and-a-half storey, rectangular building (1909) with brick exterior and sandstone strim. Apparently structurally sound and in good condition. A rectangular, brick addition is reportedly unsound and slated for demolition.

Unique main entrance and nine panel windows.
Interior: N/A
Environment: Location: 5 Avenue S & 2 Street S Property Features: Garden Feature In park-like area on well-maintained lawns overlooking river valley. Fifth avenue south on east boundary of property. Local cairn commemorating Dr. Mewburn on front lawn. Marble plaque honoring Sir A. Galt on building. Located on the edge of the south side of the coulee.
Condition:
Alterations: 1930 - addition was built. Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Window Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Door Site: Original Remodeled / renovated in 1985 - glass area on northwest corner added.

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Construction started
Constructed ended
1908/01/01
1910/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Hospital
Rehabilitation Centre
Galt Museum
Museum and Provincial Health Unit
1910/01/01
1956/01/01
1965/01/01
1978/01/01
Owner: Owner Date:
Galt Hospital
City of Lethbridge
1891/01/01
1966/07/06
Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: 1910 September 1 - opened by Sir Wilfred Laurier. It became a museum, early 1966 or late 1965.

* * *
-1891 - Sir Alexander Galt had the hospital built for employees of his business concerns - mine railroad.' (Was a small wooden building, first hospital built in 1885.)
-1891 - erected a larger frame building on the site to serve needs of growing Alberta Railway and Coal Company.
-1908 - hospital no loger adequate.
-September 1910 - present building opened by Sir Wilfred Laurier.
-1913 - Elliott and John Galt transfered the property to the municipality of Lethbridge along with a $50,000 endowment fund.'
-1930 - addition built west side of building and 1891 structures were demolished.
-1955 - hospital relocated to new municipal one; building became Galt Rehabilitation Centre.
-1964 - Rehabilition Centre closed.
-1964 - Provincial Historic Site.

Galt Building became first Provincial Historic Site in Lethbridge. It is a link with the Galt family owned and operated by City of Lethbridge as a non-profit community service. Museum telephone: 328-6455. Museum was originally a project of Whoop-up country. Chapter of Alberta Historical Society. They located in the Galt building which is near the reconstruction of Fort Whoop-up in Indian Battle Park, Riverbottom.'

* * *
Building Description:
Two-and-a-half storey, rectangular building (1908) with brick exterior and sandstone trim. Apparently structurally sound and in good condition. A Rectangular, brick addition is reportedly unsound and slated for demolition.

Site History:
Replacing 2 earlier hospitals, this building was erected in 1908 and officially opened by Sir Wilfred Laurier, 1910. An addition was built, 1930. A hospital until 1955 and a rehabilitation Centre, 1956-64, it currently houses the museum and a Provincial Health Unit.

Heritage Significance:
The hertage significance of this building lies mainly in its association with Sir Alexander Galt, a Father of Confederation, founder of Lethbridge, and developer of Southern Alberta. It is also significnat for its link with the coal-mining industry, the city's raison d'etre. This is the only remaining structure in Lethbridge relating to the Galt family. Architecturally impoortant as an impressive, extant eecample of an early Alberta hospital, this building has been a physical and historical landmark to the people of Lethbridge for many years.
Historical Importance:
Bequeathed by Sir A. Galt as a hospital for coal miners, this local landmark is one of the city's oldest buildings. It is of provincial importance for its connection with coal-mining, the original economic base of Lethbridge, Alberta's third largest city. The building's associations with the Galt family, particularly Sir Alexander, lend it further provincial and some national importance. A pioneer in irrigation and railways in Southern Alberta, he contributed much to that area. Through his role in the Confederation finance ministry, Galt is sometimes called The Father of Confederation.

Architectural Importance:
The 1908 building is of late Victorian neo-classical revival style, typical of public buildings of that time. Local brick and sandstone were used in tis construction. The exterior has essentially maintained its original appearance. This is among a few remaining buildings in Lethbridge exhibiting this style and use and combination of materials. These factors are of importance to the visible architectural heritage of that city. This one of the most impressive extant examples of early Alberta hospitals.  

Draft News Release November 28, 1977
Sir Alexander Galt Museum
A building bequeathed by a Fater of Confederation and assocated with an industry which gave birth to 'Coal Banks', now Lethbridge, has been declared a Classified Historic Site, the Hon. Horst A. Schmid announced today.
The building, among the oldest remaining in Lethbridge, was once known as the Sir Alexander Galt Hospital. It was constructed in 1907 and opened in 1910 by Sir Wilfred Laurier, then Prime Minister of Canada. Although originally intended for coalminers, the hospital came to serve the general public. Together with a 1930's addition, it functioned as a hospital until 1955 and as a Rehabilitation Centre from 1956 to 1964. It replaced two earlier hospitals built by the Galt family. The hospital's benefactor, Sir Alexander Galt, was a develper of Lethbridge's coal industry and the city's founder. He was a pioneer in irrigation and railways in Southern Alberta. As creator of the Pre-Confederation finance ministry, Alexander Galt became the first finance minister in the Confederation Cabinet, and is sometimes rederred to as 'the real Father of Confederation.' He later became Canada's High-Commissioner to London. His son, Elliott, continued to direct the family's enterprises, developing Southern Alberta and eventually led to Lethbridge becoming the third city in the Province. The 1908 building is of late Victorian, neo-classical revival style, typical of public buildings of its time. It is constructed of local brick and sandstone and the near-original exterior has been maintained. This is one of the most impressive, existing examples of an early Alberta hospital. This latest Historic Site now functions as the Sir Alexander Galt Museum and also holds a Provincial Health Unit. Future plans for the site include removal of the 1930's wing, relocation of the Health Unit, and expansion of the museum.
* * *
Opened as the Galt Hospital in September 1910 by Sir Wilfred Laurier.
Became a museum ca. 1965.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active
Active
1980/06/01
2004/01/18
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
1978/04/04
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/08/04

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0187
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