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Key Number: HS 34509
Site Name: Union Bank
Other Names:
Site Type: 0402 - Mercantile/Commercial: Bank

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
9 26 4


Address: 2303 - 2 Avenue
Number: 3
Street: 23
Avenue: 2
Other:
Town: Fort Macleod
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape: Rectangular Short Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 2 1/2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Brick
Superstructure Cover: Stone - Shape and Coursing: Cut Stone, Even Course
Roof Structure: Mansard 4 Sides
Roof Cover: Metal
Exterior Codes: Wall Design and Detail: Entablature
Roof Trim - Eaves: Decorated Frieze
Roof Trim - Verges: Pediment
Dormer Type: Gable, Pediment
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Rear
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: Cresting
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Label
Window - Sill Type: Plain Slip Sill
Window - Sill Material: Stone
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Main Entrance - Location: Corner
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Label
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Decorated
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Multiple Lights
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 6
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Exterior: Decorated pediment dormers, wrought iron widows walk, sandstone sills, below 1 and 2 storey windows, projecting entablature and decorative brick frieze above 2nd storey windows, east and south elevation.

The brick masonry and pressed metal roof materials.
The exterior retains good integrity of materials. Although the windows and doors are not historic, the brick masonry and sheet metal mansard roof, including the decorative window elements, are all original.
Interior: The interior features exposed brick walls and structural elements such as beams and columns, wood floors.
Environment:
Condition: Structure: Good. Repair: Fair. 8 MAY 1978. Good (2003) Roof - the building's mansard roof has a history of problems relating to ice dam formation and drainage. The exterior brick masonry is extensively stained. Efflorescence is particularly pronounced at the northwest corner, but appears across the façade beneath the cornice. There is also some staining along the base of the south façade. The windows appear to be in generally good condition. The interior finishes and fixtures are all in good condition.
Alterations: Corner (southeast) and south elevation door removed (n.d.).

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Constructed
1902/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Offices
Bank

1902/01/01
Owner: Owner Date:
N/A

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: 1904 - Union Bank building: W.J. Milligan, Barrister-Advocate office.
1906 - senior bank in Macleod, managed by George timming.
1908 - Union Bank, manager, A.P. Van Someren.
1911 - Union Bank, manager, G.M. Proud.
A very early brick commercial structure with interesting architectural details, particularly the roof structure.

=============
D-2278 - UNION BANK, FORT MACLEOD

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Shortly after the arrival of the North West Mounted Police at Fort Macleod in 1874, a community began to develop on the river flats outside the fort. The community proceeded to grow with the growth of the cattle industry in the southern foothills, and, with the extension of the Calgary & Edmonton Railway to the community in 1892, Fort Macleod was large enough to be incorporated as the Town of Macleod with over 200 people. Into the 20th century, it remained the largest community between Calgary and Lethbridge, with its population hovering around 500 during the early part of the century.

Being at the center of a large ranching and farming hinterland, Macleod always saw much activity in its downtown core. One of the necessities of any commercial center was banking. Early residents were first served by various itinerant bankers who traveled the southern prairies on behalf of larger banks located in larger centers, in this case Calgary. In 1882, however, a small local bank was opened by John Cowdry and his brother called Cowdry Brothers Bank. John became the Town's first mayor in 1893, and also served in 1898 and 1899. In the meantime, Duncan J. Campbell, the district's first Sherriff, advertised in the Macleod Gazette that he "had money to loan."

The first major bank in Macleod was opened in 1897. This was a Union Bank of Canada managed by Duncan Anderson. In April 1900, the Union Bank moved into a new building on 23rd Street and 2nd Avenue built the year before by David J. Grier. This was a two story brick structure, with the upper floor reserved for office space and a dwelling for the manager. In 1902, a third floor mansard roof was added. Grier himself was a former Northwest Mounted Police officer who did well at cattle and ranching as well as business ventures in Macleod. He built the Grier Block and Empire Hotel, which he ran, as well as the Union Bank building. He became mayor of Macleod in 1901 and would serve 11 terms in this capacity.

Ownership of the Union Bank in Fort Macleod was assumed by the Bank itself in 1906. It saw several managers over the years until its merger with the Royal Bank of Canada in 1925, when its name changed to the Royal Bank. The Canadian Bank of Commerce had also been operating in Macleod at least since 1911. They remained the only two banks until 1936, when the Royal Bank was shut down and the bank building became another commercial property in Macleod, housing various businesses over the years.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The historical significance of the Union Bank of Canada lies in its service as the town's main bank from 1900 until about 1911, when the Bank of Commerce opened its doors. It is important too in its association with its builder, David J. Grier, who was a prominent local businessman and mayor of Macleod for 11 terms between 1901 and 1918.
* * *
Description
The Union Bank Building is a three storey commercial building situated in the downtown core of Fort Macleod. David Johnson Grier, a local business man and civic leader, had the structure constructed as a two storey brick building at the turn of the twentieth century. The Union Bank opened its doors for business in 1900 and, purchasing the building two years later, added a third storey with a mansard roof. The building served as a bank until the early 1930s and is now a private residence.

The exterior: the brick masonry and pressed metal roof materials.
The exterior retains good integrity of materials. Although the windows and doors are not historic, the brick masonry and sheet metal mansard roof, including the decorative window elements, are all original.

The interior features exposed brick walls and structural elements such as beams and columns, wood floors.

There are no physical features remaining that associate the building with its previous owners or functions as a bank.

CONDITION ASSESSMENT: Good

Roof - the building's mansard roof has a history of problems relating to ice dam formation and drainage.
Exterior walls and related elements
-The exterior brick masonry is extensively stained. Efflorescence is particularly pronounced at the northwest corner, but appears across the façade beneath the cornice. There is also some staining along the base of the south façade.
-The windows appear to be in generally good condition.
-The interior finishes and fixtures are all in good condition.

Environment - commercial district.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active
Active
1978/05/08
2003/06/17
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
2011/01/17
Register:
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1990/06/26

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-1360
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