Apr 11, 2013

Tramps Corner Block

This historic building on the prominent downtown corner of 2nd street and 6th avenue is a bit of a mystery to me. Opposite the Canadian Bank of Commerce, across from the location of the now demolished post office, and kitty corner to where the old City Hall used to stand, this building is arguably the least important building on that intersection. That said, it's still standing (albeit abandoned) after the demolition of the more notable buildings that used to surround it.


I remember this location as Tramps, a comic book and video game store (hence the name of this post). I believe they were the last major vendor to inhabit the building, and that was years ago already. The building was constructed between 1903-1904 and originally housed the Medicine Hat News. The dates are foggy as to how long some of the businesses stayed at this location as there were a lot of them over the years. I'd have to explore the archives to find more exact information. The neighbouring Monarch Theatre was built in 1911. 


The News moved to a new building (now demolished) at the site of the current city hall only several years after being in this corner block, and I can't even begin to account for how many different stores used the main floor space over the years. From various furniture stores, drug stores, and clothing stores, part of what makes the building so difficult to identify is that there was so much change over. The upper floor was eventually converted to apartments, and today the main floor features two separated commercial spaces. At the moment the building is vacant. 

Interestingly, if you explore archival images you can see how the building has been modified (rather confusingly) with changes to the roof shape, store fronts, and facade over the years. Today the building, with exception to the commercial spaces, appears to look more like the original building than it did in the 1960s.  

Furniture store fire ca. 1924












Boylans Drugs (Corner Block) ca. 1960s









2nd Street in the early 1910s.

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