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Key Number: HS 32228
Site Name: Firehall # 1
Other Names:
Site Type: 0406 - Mercantile/Commercial: Restaurant
0407 - Mercantile/Commercial: Tavern, Bar or Saloon
0408 - Mercantile/Commercial: Specialty or Service Store with Work Area
1312 - Governmental: Fire Station or Hall

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
9 21 4


Address: 402 - 2 Avenue S
Number: 2
Street: 4 S
Avenue: 2 S
Other:
Town: Lethbridge
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape: Rectangular Short Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 3
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Stone
Superstructure: Brick
Superstructure Cover: Brick - Bond: Common
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover: Wood
Exterior Codes: Bell Tower
Wall Design and Detail: Pier or Pilaster
Wall Design and Detail: Decorative Tile or Terra Cotta
Towers, Steeples and Domes: Other
Towers, Steeples and Domes Location-Side to Side: Centre
Towers, Steeples and Domes Location-Front to Rear: Offset Rear
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Rear
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: 2 or More, Attached at Top
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Semi-Circular
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Shaped
Window - Sill Type: Plain Lug Sill
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Shaped Transom, Single Light
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Special Types: Round
Window - Pane Arrangements: 6 over 6
Main Entrance - Location: 2 or More (Facade)
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Keystone
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Stone
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Shaped Panel
Main Porch - Special Features: Arcade
Exterior: Bell tower, arched window surrounds 3 bay, doors.
Foundation:  reinforced concrete.
Structure:  Brick load bearing walls and steel beams.
Covering: brick common bond, lower 1/3 painted.
Roof Type:  flat
Roof Covering:  wood, tar covering.
Number of Storeys:  Three and basement
Arcaded main entrance over recessed triple doors, small doors to one side under oval window light with voussoirs and opposing keystones.  Belt course between first and second floors, except E elevation.  Second storey windows plain double-hung sash, upper floor window openings semi-circular arch with radiating voussoirs and keystone NW and S elevations.  W and S elevation lower windows arched semi-circle with radiating voussoirs and keystone.  Immediately above upper windows corbelled brick horizontal line broken by vertical elements (pillar like).  Corbelled brick entablature.  Cupola on roof housing fire bell, with silver painted roof (dome).  Corbelled chimney S elevation.  E elevation plain brick face, no openings or distinctive decorative features. 

Main floor: painted red brick with grey keystones at structural openings natural brick and stone above; brick entablature; retained firetruck doors.
Interior: Apartments in firehall formerly used to house firemen and their families. Second and third floors divided into rooms and apartments. Main floor high ceiling to accommodate fire equipment and area for drying hoses. Renovated with as much preservation as possible; main part 2 storey with balconied seating (fire pole).
Environment: Downtown redevelopment area phase 2. Located on south side of 2nd Avenue across from Higinbotham Block. West one block from Galt Gardens Park on east side is Hungarian Canadian Club. Located in warehouse area. C.P.R. spur track west side. Threatened - This entire area of the Lethbridge downtown is slated for demolition and redevelopment. Old business section of Lethbridge. Building is key focal aspect of a unique area of Lethbridge, what was prior to WWI. The central business district, this area today contains probably 80% of Lethbridge's oldest, most historic buildings extant.
Condition:
Alterations: Main fire hall converted to restaurant, with business above and owner’s apartment.

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Purchased land
Constructed
1891/12/15
1908/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Apartments Restaurant
Police Department; City Offices - to 1917
No.1 Fire Hall Municipal Public Building
City Offices, Police Station, Fire Hall


1908/01/01
1909/01/01
Owner: Owner Date:
City of Lethbridge
1891/12/15
Architect: J. A. McDonald
Builder: Smith Bros. and Wilson
Craftsman: N/A
History: 1890 - first fire hall constructed on site, wood and brick structure.
1908 - original structure demolished for current structure.
1910-1920 - building simultaneously used as fire hall, city offices, and police station with jail.
Building abandoned 1975, future is debatable. City considers building is expendable.
1914 - Chief William Hardy, Captain Thomas Hardy, corner of Ford and Smith Street.
In 1886 a volunteer brigade was organized, using handdrawn equipment. In 1903 horse drawn equipment was used, and in 1906 a steamer was acquired. In 1909 the department had reached status of a fully paid department, plus a few volunteers. Police department was also housed in the fire hall. The firehall has not changed in appearance since it was constructed with the exception of expansion/addition and painting. Impressive Fire Hall architecture is a Provincial Historic Site; a prominent and well known landmark in Lethbridge, oldest brick fire hall is still standing (1980) in Alberta.
* * *
The heritage significance lies in its impressive fire hall architecture. It is also a prominent and well-known landmark in the Lethbridge city centre. The Fire Hall is probably the oldest brick fire hall still standing in the province of Alberta. The relatively large size of this structure exemplifies the hopes and the ambitions of the founders of Lethbridge. The fire hall was designed by architect J.A. MacDonald and built by Smith Bros. and Wilson. The fire hall is typical of buildings built during the first decade of the twentieth century and is relatively large for fire halls of the period. Built in 1908-09, this fire hall appears to be the oldest standing brick fire hall in Alberta.
* * * *
Tax Roll indicates structure was built in 1890. This date is incorrect, and refers to the first hall that was torn down and used for building materials for the current structure. The building originally housed the police department and City offices as well, until 1917.
Structure indentified as "City Hall & Fire Station" on 1910 Fire Insurance Plan.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active
Occasional Use
Active
1972/01/01
1980/01/01
2004/02/17
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
1979/07/05
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/06/21

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0186
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