Did You Know? Fairmont Palliser
Before the Canadian Pacific Railway steamed into town around 1883, there was little in Calgary other than a mounted police post and a trading center. But with the train came tourists, many on their way to visit to a stay at Pacific's Banff Springs hotel, which is now the Fairmont Banff Springs. Looking to lure these tourists to stop over for a few days, the Fairmont Palliser was built.
The luxury hotel opened as The Palliser on June 1, 1914. It was built in the Edwardian Commercial style. Architect Lawrence Gotch adopted a Chicago look, with straight geometric lines resembling the prairie grain elevators found in Alberta and other prairie provinces. The E-shape of the service floors was designed to provide all rooms with outside lighting and created the appearance of three adjacent towers. The public areas were fitted with oak paneling, candelabras, marble columns and floors, handmade rugs and public art. Ice water, along with hot and cold running water, was available in the 350 guest rooms, which featured mahogany doors, brass beds and windows. Named after Captain John Palliser, who explored the area in the 1850s, the eight-floor building was enlarged in 1929, with another $30 million in renovations and restoration recently made.
Pictured is the the Canadian Pacific Railway Pavilion, built to preserve and showcase Canadian Pacific's history, which is a partnership between the hotel and the railway company. The glass rotunda was inspired by late 19th century railway station design and provides a home for Canadian Pacific's vintage train cars. Catered by the hotel's restaurant, the Pavilion and heritage cars can be rented for private functions and events.
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