|Lacombe Main Street
Flat Iron Building (Designated a Provincial Historic Resource on January 16, 1990)
Lacombe Flat Iron Building was constructed in 1903-1904 by the Merchants Bank.
The Merchants Bank originally opened for business in Lacombe on February
28, 1901. The arrival of the
Merchants Bank was recognition of Lacombe’s development following the
construction of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1891.
The passage of the railway through the town not only created the
triangular shaped block on which the “flatiron” building is the most
prominent feature, it also gave vitality to its business sector.
In addition to being on the main north-south transportation
corridor through the province, Lacombe also was the terminum of the
Canadian Pacific Railway line running east from Central Alberta to
Lacombe’s central location provided convenient passenger and freight
connections to the major centres in the province and to eastern Canada.
building opened in 1904 and served as the only financial institution in
the area until the construction of the adjacent Union Bank in 1907.
The decision to build with fire-resistant materials proved wise as
a fire in 1906 razed the remainder of the business block.
As a result, all new construction in the block followed the
The Merchant Bank (Flat Iron Building) was certainly Lacombe's most sophisticated and commanding structure. Designed in the Beaux Arts tradition of classically-inspired architecture, it cost $30,000 to build in 1904. The design, however, set this structure apart; specific classical features includes the giant order pilasters or simulated columns which run through the second and third stories, a cornice along the top of the structure and scallop-shaped hood over the main entrance. The three-storey “flatiron” building is unique in the Town of Lacombe and the oldest of three such structures built in western Canada.