Apr 4, 2013

Imperial Bank of Canada Interior

The old Imperial Bank building was constructed a hundred years ago in 1913, but today it's really only a shell of its former self. This downtown Medicine Hat building hasn't been a bank for decades, and the entire interior has been modified numerous times, leaving only scraps of what I presume was actually a really beautiful place at one time.

The main floor of the building features two vacant commercial spaces divided by a staircase that leads to an office space and several apartments. The abandoned real estate office upstairs was like an eighties time warp, as it has been left as is.

Downstairs is where the last scraps of history seem to be hiding. The basement is pretty much derelict, but the wooden doors, frames, and two toned walls suggest that these would've been some nice bankers offices. The vault is now just a large concrete opening, and unless you knew this was a bank you probably wouldn't look twice at it. However, I did stumble onto a rather impressive surprise that I passed by several times before recognizing it.

Sitting under the basement stairs, covered in dirt and dust, there was the original vault door. This location hasn't been a bank for over 50 years, so to stumble onto the original door after everything else had been stripped away was pretty amazing. You could even see a painted border detail around it, and all of the hinges and handles were still intact.

It was a cool space, perhaps most because it quenched my curiosity about what had become of it. I fear parts of the interior are no longer worth salvaging though, and despite the beautiful exterior, I'm not shocked that it's remained vacant in its current state. The future of this location remains in question.


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Unknown said...

Really cool! I'm using this location for a project for my CADD class, and was trying to find some info on the location. I'm not a photographer by any means, but to me these pictures were of professional quality. I really like the story you told here.