Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Fernie & Elk Valley Cultural Guide - Winter 18-19 - Page 31

FERNIE’S HERITAGE BUILDINGS – A Downtown Walking Tour CONT’D 2   How Foon’s Laundry 491 1st Avenue | Now in use as Fernie Elks Lodge The Chinese entrepreneur How Foon established several businesses in this building constructed in 1908. He ran a café, laundry and shoemaking shop on the main floor and rented apartments upstairs. The Fernie Elks Club purchased the building and removed the dividing walls to open the interior for use as a hall. The exterior surface, though, retains its original outline and the original advertising mural for ‘Royal Crown Soap.’ Across 5th street at The 1909 Royal Hotel, note the tops of the filled-in windows along the base of the building indicating that the street was once lower than it is today. 3  THE HOME BANK 491 2nd Avenue | Now in use as The Fernie Museum 4  THE IMPERIAL BANK 1909 401 2nd Ave | Now in use as The Brickhouse Bar & Grill On August 1, 1908, on the corner of 2nd Ave and 4th St, the members of the Fernie Fire Department made their last stand in the fight of the catastrophic fire that would consume Fernie in just 90 minutes. The Imperial Bank of Canada built a new bank here in 1909, using a standard small city branch design. The company merged with the Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1961 and closed the branch in 1963.  Although some features have been altered, the brick and sandstone exterior retains many of its striking original features. Step inside for a taste of today; the Brickhouse serves up a large selection of Fernie Brewing Company Beers, BC wines and a tasty pub menu. The original bank vault is still in use as the chef’s pantry.  5  THE COURT HOUSE 401 4th Ave | Now in use as Fernie’s Government of BC Offices This highly decorative building was constructed in 1910 to house a branch of the Home Bank on the main floor and the Herchmer-Mitchel Law Office on the second floor. Except for the paint, the exterior is in its original configuration making this a significant heritage building. The failure of the Home Bank in 1923 cost Fernie depositors $800,000 and led to a re- writing of Canada’s banking laws. These new rules prevented the widespread bank failures in the 1930s. See feature, P10. Built between 1909-1911 and lauded as one of BC’s best buildings, the Court House is a spectacular chateau-style building rarely found in the area. The majestic courtroom with stained glass windows is still in use today. Enjoy the grounds and beautiful views. 31