May 25, 2012

Medicine Hat Courthouse

Arguably one of the most beautiful buildings, not just in Medicine Hat, but in the province of Alberta, the local courthouse is a rare example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the area. Constructed in 1919 the building exemplifies many classical elements including an overall symmetry, twinned columns, arched windows, an elaborate stone carved entrance, and contrasting embellishments created by mixing brick and stone.

What was also noteworthy of the original courthouse design was that the building was 'L' shaped. This was unusual for courthouses at the time, but the layout was mimicked in other parts of the province. In 1986 an addition was constructed onto the back of the building that filled in the empty space, giving the building a rectangular shape. 

Designated a provincial historic resource in 1978, the building has been in use for over 90 years now and has been refurbished several times. It remains a focal point of the city to this day and shines as an example of Medicine Hat's early regional prominence.  

Convention delegates at the Courthouse sometime between 1923-1925. 

Courthouse ca. 1935

The courthouse in the early 1950s.

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