|FTLComm - Melfort - May 20, 2000|
first world war was behind the people of Saskatchewan as the "roaring twenties"
drew to a close. This building based on the same design by Maurice W. Sharon as
those built in Shaunavon, Wynyard and Gravelburg was erected in 1928 and went into
use in November of that year.
When you contrast this with the Swift Current structure built during the great war there is a definite difference. Also covered with Estevan brick this building has the curious buttresses we see in the Moose Jaw building but the interior is positively opulent.
The floor is terrazo (marble chips in cement) that can just be made out in the picture through the front door and the front entrance has marble wall lining as seen in the picture below that. The rich oak wood finishing is remarkable. From accounts
the time of construction
this building was intended to be fire proofed with its concrete basement and reinforced concrete floor on the first level and its upper floor wood based.
This building was made with central hot air heating. The unusual little vent structure on the roof is part of the cooling network and is actually a functional part of the building intended to draw hot summer air out thus ventilating the structure.
The off set "court House" lettering is 50s addition to the building as the original drawing that appeared in the 1928 Melfort Journal does not bear any such title.
The design of this building makes one wonder what was intended and what function
had in mind
with such things as the railed review stand balcony above the main entrance. (Tomorrow you will see this same feature in the much larger but contemporary Prince Albert building). Did the design imagine speeches made from this vantage point?
This building is thirty-eight by sixty-seven feet so it is not a large building though it is situated on a corner lot on Melfort's main street. Unlike the Moose Jaw and Swift Current structures this one faces East.
The image below is a composite image made from three wide angle shoots to get a view of the building without the fine trees that surround the site.