. canadian bank of commerce
1202 1 Street SW
The Canadian Bank of Commerce expanded rapidly into the Prairies in the decade before the First World War. It provided prefabricated wood buildings for smaller Prairie towns, and built substantial masonry buildings in the cities. This south Calgary branch of the bank was erected in 1912. The architect is not identified, although it should be pointed out that most of the bank's branches at this time were designed by the prestigious Toronto firm of Darling and Pearson. The three-storey brick building is faced in red brick, with substantial stone trim being used for quoins, base, architrave, and elaborate window surrounds. The classicizing design can best be described as an essay in the Georgian Revival style (pundits of the day might have called it French Renaissance), and it is an excellent example in Calgary of this manner and of architectural design. The building sits on a corner site and presents a front to both streets, and is a very visible element in a good streetscape.
(Calgary Heritage Authority, Building Summary 11-109)
In 1909, the Canadian Bank of Commerce opened its south Calgary branch in the small building that still stands across the street at 1205-1st Street S.W. In 1912 the bank constructed this three-story brick building, complete with apartments for the manager and other staff members, and similar to other branches elsewhere in the country. A 1961 merger with the Imperial Bank of Canada yielded the bank’s unwieldy new name Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (eventually simplified to CIBC). The branch closed by the early 1980s, and after intermittent uses it became Formans Men’s and Women’s Fashions in 2004.
(Historic Walks of Calgary, Harry Sanders, 2005, Red Deer: Red Deer Press, pp .232-233)
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