“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared December 28, 1997. (note, not full text indexed in Canadian Newsstand. Citation only)
Imperial Bank of Canada
• 102 8th Avenue S.E.
• Built: 1886, 1909
• Architect: 1886 - E. McCoskrie. 1909 - Frank Darling and John Pearson of Toronto. 1911 - Hodgson, Bates and Beatty of Calgary. Many other architects were responsible for interior renovations over the years.
• Construction materials: Sandstone.
• Architectural style: The 1886 structure was a square plan. The main entrance faced Stephen Avenue with a display window on the Southwest corner. The ground storey featured inset entranceways, one on the Baker side and two on the Dunn and Lineham side. Ceiling high windows allowed the display of merchandise. Second storey had six windows, three on the Baker side and three on the Lineham side, each with arched surrounds and keystones. 1909 structure - Neo Classical Revival.
• Lots 37-40 on the corner of Stephen Avenue and McTavish Street were originally owned by Canadian Pacific Railway and sold in November 1885 for $4,000 to Charles E. Conrad of the I.G. Baker Company. The property included the future site of the Lineham Block (later the Parisian Department store) and the I.G.Baker store (later the Imperial Bank of Canada Building).
• In February 1886 Conrad sold parts of lots 38 and 39 to Matthew Dunn and John Lineham.
• Between March 1884 and February 1886 the I.G. Baker Company hired architect E. McCoskrie to develop plans for a new store.
• By January 1887 the I.G.Baker Company moved into the two storey stone building which had been jointly constructed by the Baker Company, John Lineham and his partner Matthew Dunn from Great Falls, Montana.
• Photographs from the 1888 period reveal that identical two-storey stone buildings were constructed on a portion of the four lots. The Bank of Montreal leased the Lineham Block and the I.G.Baker store (later the Imperial Bank building) occupied the adjacent corner building.
• By January 1891 the Calgary branch of the Baker Company had been turned over to the Hudson's Bay Company.
• In April 1892 the Hudson's Bay Company sold the Baker property to the Imperial Bank of Canada.
• The Toronto based Imperial Bank of Canada first acquired its charter in 1874. When it opened its third Western Canadian branch in Calgary in 1886, it was one of only twenty one in Canada.
• The Imperial Bank hired architects Darling, Curry, Sproat and Pearson of Toronto to redesign the interior to accommodate the business of banking.
• In May and June of 1909 building permits were issued for renovations of the building worth $13,000 based on plans drawn up by Toronto architects Frank Darling and John Pearson.
• In August 1911 a permit was issued for alterations worth $9,000 following the plans of Hodgson, Bates and Beatty.
• Between 1909 and 1911 the original stone structure was completely rebuilt by the contracting company of McNeil Burns. The frontier style building was transformed to a Neo-Classical style structure befitting a financial institution like the Imperial Bank of Canada.
• Additional features included decorative armorial shield designs, a classical roofline, a portico-covered entranceway and a sandstone extension to the rear.
• Between 1902 and 1945 the law offices of Arthur Sifton, James Short and Charles Stuart occupied the bank's second storey.
• Alterations to the building occurred in 1912, 1920, the mid 1940s (at that time the sandstone portico, pillars and central doorway were removed and replaced with a south elevation entrance) A later addition in the 1960s included the installation of a night deposit box (since enclosed) and some modifications to the west wall.
• The building was subsequently occupied by the Alberta Treasury Branch, Calgary Housing Authority and finally in the 1980s the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation until the office was closed and moved to Edmonton in 1990.
• Designated a Provincial Historic Resource on March 15, 1977.
• The building is currently vacant.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared September 16, 2003.
Then: Imperial Bank of Canada
• This structure was originally built in 1887 as two separate two- storey stone buildings accommodating the I.G. Baker Company store on the corner and the Bank of Montreal to the east. The Hudson's Bay Company acquired the Calgary branch of the Baker Company in 1891 and promptly sold the westerly building to the Imperial Bank of Canada. Extensive renovations took place between 1909 and 1911, when the frontier-style building was transformed to a neo-classical structure befitting a financial institution. Between 1902 and 1945, the law offices of Arthur Sifton, James Short and Charles Stuart occupied the second floor of the
Now: Catch Restaurant
• After the Imperial Bank moved out, the building was home to a number of tenants in succession, including Alberta Treasury Branches, the Calgary Housing Authority and, until 1990, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. For more than a decade, the building that had been designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1977 sat empty. During the last two years, the structure underwent extensive renovations and was incorporated into the 8th Avenue walk streetscape shared by the new Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Telus Convention Centre. In 2002, Catch Restaurant, specializing in seafood, opened in the historic sandstone block.