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The Chung Collection

Banff Springs Hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Canadian Pacific Hotels. Banff Springs Hotel 1950

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 ffmjfSprings Hote,
Illustrated   notes  on  the  history,  architecture  and  decoration  of the continent's
outstanding mountain resort—a Canadian Pacific Hotel. /
>    I     )     7~1
The baronial style of Banff Springs Hotel was no accident of design. It
was chosen after much thought and research. The townsite was named by
former Hudson Bay Factor, early Canadian Pacific director Lord Strathcona,
after Banff, Scotland. In many ways the valleys of the Bow and Spray
Rivers remind you of the uplands of Scotland. Purple shadows bring thoughts
of heather-covered moors. Tumbling trout streams sing the same song as
highland burns. Elk and caribou have the grace and proud carriage of northern
Scotland's stags.
All this influenced the designers. Mount Rundle, a longbow shot from the
site, supplied the stone. Skilled masons fashioned a castle to dominate a highland barony. Now part of the landscape., Banff Springs Hotel, world's most
famous mountain resort, represents luxury unknown to the richest highland
Although for guests comfort every useful device of furniture, plumbing, heating
and management has been adopted, interior decoration of the hotel has matched
the spirit of the builders. Architecture reflects different influences, just as the
work of succeeding sons had its effect on ancient strongholds.
Earliest plans were laid in 1887. A five story frame hotel was built on the
present site a year later. The main part of today's Banff Springs Hotel was
finished in 1913. In 1927 and 1928 addition of north and south wings completed
the massive limestone building.
In addition to the limestone quarried from Mount Rundle, extensive use was
made of Tyndall stone. Fossilized, this product of Garson, Manitoba quarries
decorates many Canadian public buildings. Here its use is mainly decorative—
for stairways, fireplaces, window frames and arches.
Neither museum nor art gallery, Banff Springs Hotel offers much of interest
and beauty. Architectural and decorative detail reproduces much of the best
of the world's culture.
The ground floor, in keeping with the feudal atmosphere, is a series of spacious
halls which could serve as settings for costume dramas of bygone days. Flagged
terraces, stone floors, refectory tables, ancient armour, carved furniture, Medici
prints, Leonardo tapestries, wall-panelling, wrought-iron work—a profusion of
these rewards the visitor who makes a tour of inspection.
Public room spaces, the formal Mount Stephen Hall, the Garden Lounge,
Oak Room, Library, Writing Room, Ball Room and the various anterooms are
decorated in the mood of famous periods. Private rooms and suites were planned,
and very successfully too, for the comfort of the guests. Every window commands
a view of the magnificent mountain terrain.
Two stories high, the Reception Hall is noted for dark wood panelling and a
heavily balustraded balcony as a complementary background to decorative pieces
of 16th century armour and noble Buffalo heads. Thanks to the rightness of the
building in its setting these decorations are congruous and serve to set off an
interesting banner on the west wall, which was made from pieces of uniforms
worn in the Crimean War, by a contemporary of Florence Nightingale. Windowed
on three sides, the balcony is known as the Sun Parlour. It houses a collection
of French prints of scenes in Banffshire. Scotland.
Representative of 15th century Gothic architecture, Mount Stephen Hall
is one of the continent's notable rooms. Grilled balcony, cloister walk, beamed
ceiling and masonry lend the dignity of age. The floor is of irregular Bedford
lime flagstones. Named for Lord Mount Stephen, first president of the Canadian
Pacific, this "great hall" bears the arms of the Dominion of Canada on one wall.
Crests of four presidents of the Canadian Pacific Railway are worked in leaded
glass windows. The carved ceiling beams are buttressed by crests of the Provinces of New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba. Prince Edward Island, Ontario,
Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Alberta and British Columbia. On one wall is the
insignia of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, official guardians of the national
parks of Canada.
Various periods are represented in the occasional furniture. Cupboards are
influenced by early English pieces and leather chests are of Italian styles. On
the wall of the cloister walk are five interesting Medici prints: Sophie Arnold
by Grouse, in the Wallace Collection; Madame Sophie de France, Nattier; Gainsborough's Dupont; Vigee Lebrun's Marie Antoinette, from Versailles National
Museum; and Velasquez' Infanta Maria Theresa. The gallery, bordered by
wrought-iron railings in keeping with the whole scheme, holds a collection of
oriental rugs. Reminiscent of Elizabethan times is a carved oak credence
panelled in red, and cupboards showing characteristics of Gothic design. Worth
more than a glance is a lacquered chest. Five reproductions, three from
British collections, grace the walls: Beauneveu's King Richard II, Bacchus and
Ariadne, by Titian and St. Catherine Crowned with Flowers, by Veneto—from
Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery and Glasgow Corporation Gallery;
Botticelli's Primavera and Portrait of a Young Woman by Veneziano.
The Oak Room adjoining Mount Stephen Hall is considered definitely Gothic.
It is noted for panelled walls with examples of linenfold carving. A Leonardo
Society reproduction of a Gobelin tapestry of the early 16th century adorns the
north wall. n
I 11
The elevator foyer on the main floor has some interesting prints. On the
east side: Erasmus and Thomas More visit children of Henry VII at Greenwich,
F. C. Cowper; Cardinal Wolsey at Trial of Catherine of Aragon, 1529, F. Salisbury;
Latimer Preaching before Edward VI, St. Paul's, 1548, E. Broad; Village with
Castle surrounded by Moat, presumed to be a Pattinir, a German Landscape,
16th century. Entry of Queen Mary I, into London, Byam Shaw; west side—
Henry VII Granting Charter to John Cabot and sons, 1496, Denis Eden; Homecoming of the Herd, Peter Broughel; Plucking Red and White Roses in Old
Temple Gardens, E. A. Paine.
To the right, or north, of the entrance hall is the Garden Lounge, a long, low,
beamed hall. Wide picture windows command the Bow River and Fairholme
Range. Scottish influence in the decoration is shown by the frequently introduced
thistle. A suit of 16th century armour decorates the north end. An Elizabethan
refectory table is reproduced in the centre as are excellent examples of early
English chair-tables.  Nine House of Lords prints, listed below, adorn the walls.
West Side—Lucrezia Borgia Reigning in the Vatican in Place of the Pope,
F. C. Cowper; King John Signing the Magna Charta, June 15th, 1215, E. Normand;
Charles I visits the Guildhall, 1642, S. J. Soloman; Founding the Bank of England,
1694, G. Harcourt; North End—Edward I (Eleanor being carried to London)
E. A. Abbey; Queen Philippa and Edward III, begging for lives of the Merchants
of Calais. East Side—Phoenicians Trading with Ancient Britons, Lord Leighton;
Alfred the Great Rebuilding the Walls of London, 886, F. Salisbury; Queen
Elizabeth visits the First Royal Exchange, E. Crofts.
At top of stairway from the Garden Lounge is the library with walls panelled
in the Tudor period. It has an early English table. Opposite is the Ladies'
Rest Room done in lavender and pale green, with a chandelier containing amber
and amethyst drops in crystal. The reproduction is Botticelli's "Giovanna
Tornabuoni and the Graces."
The single pane windows in the Riverview Lounge are of glass imported
specially for the hotel.    The fireplace at the north end, with carved ram's heads,
is of Tyndall stone. The furniture represents many periods—an Elizabethan
tabb, Gothic cupboard, Flemish cupboard, Jacobean hall seats, Gothic chairs,
courting chairs and love seats and many small Princess Mary chairs, and Queen
Anne wing chairs.
On the west wall, south to north are: "Portrait of a Young Man", Giorgione;
"Portrait of a Man", (Frick Collection, New York), Titian; Portrait of a Man,
Martin Bucer.
The Fairholme Dining Room, off the Riverview Lounge, seats 650. It has
cream-coloured walls, and pillars decorated with rose, fleur-de-lis and shamrock
in colour. The sideboards are of Tudor and Elizabethan styles.
The ballroom, in drawing room style, at the north end of the first floor, has an
area of 5,634 square feet. Indirect lighting adds to its charm. Here, again, chairs
of many periods—love seats, Queen Anne wing chairs, reproductions of the
Italian folding chair. The ceiling is done in white plaster beams, enriched with
decorative scroll.
Traditionally adjoining the Ball Room is the Conservatory. Fragrant with
blooms, this glass-enclosed indoor garden has comfortable wicker furniture.
Its glass walls command a horizon from Cascade to Hoodoos to Rundle.
Spanish influence predominates in the decor of the foyer, focussed upon the
bas relief of the "Santa Anna" over the fireplace, a leather and iron bench,
gilt-studded leather chest and a tasseled, red velvet sofa. Massive bronze doors
to the Alhambra Dining Room add to the beauty of the foyer. In the dining room
itself the influence of Spain continues. Torcheres, chairs with twisted spindles
and gilt nails add emphasis. Private dining rooms named "Strathcona" and
"Angus" after Lord Strathcona and R. B. Angus, are both mainly Norman
Gothic in style.
Summed up, the massive interiors of Banff Springs Hotel, well suited to the
solid exterior construction, house many interesting pieces of furniture and reproductions of a number of famous paintings. Wisely there has been no attempt at
an overall decor—each room, large or small, in the main is concerned with
tasteful comfort rather than the presentation of museum pieces or the exposition
of styles of architecture or decoration.
L !*
For ready reference here is a list of Crests and Mottoes together with the names
of officials of the Canadian Pacific for whom they were placed:
Mount Stephen Hall—
Contra Audentior, In Opposition More Daring, Lord Mount Stephen;
Modestia et Fidelitas, Modest and Loyal, Sir Edward Beatty;
A Mari Usque Ad Mare, From Sea to Sea, Dominion of Canada;
Manu Forti, With a Strong Hand, Lord Shaughnessy;
Nil Desperandum, Never Despairing, Sir William Van Home;
Semper Eadem, Always the Same, J. M. R. Fairbairn;
Solus Christus Mea Rupes, Christ Alone is My Rock, J. W. Orrock;
Omnia Vincit Amor, Love Conquers All Things, Miss K. Treleaven;
A Cuspide Corona, From the Spear a Crown, M. P. Delahanty;
Oak Room—
Callide Et Honeste, With Skill and Honour, W. Wainright;
Fidem Servo, f Keep Faith, E. Alexander;
Ne Vele Veles, Form No Vile Wish, C. E. E. Ussher;
Fortitudine, With Fortitude, A. Allerton;
Serviendo Guberno, I Govern by Serving, J. J. Scully;
Nee Temere, Nee Timide, Neither Rashly nor Timidly, W. M. Neal;
Private Dining Room No. 1 —
Persevere, Grant Hall;
Et, Si Ostendo, Non Jacto, And if I Show, I Do Not Boast, I. G. Ogden;
E Lahore Dulcedo, Pleasure Arises from Labor, W. R. Maclnnes;
Stat Promissa Fides, Promised Faith Abides, J. Leslie;
Haec Manus ob Patriam, This Hand for My Country, A. D. MacTier;
Ducitur Non Trahitur, He is Led, Not Drawn, D. C. Coleman.
And now, to bring this Banff memory book to a close a few short-hand
reminders of architecture and interior decorations and a directory of accommodation by periods.
Garden Lounge:
Reception Hall:
Monastery floor. 16th century Elizabethan tables. Walnut.
Table copied from one in Oxford University. Tapestry
made by nurse during the Crimean War.
Curio Foyer:
Mount Stephen Hall:
Plaque—Spanish, Philip II (Order of the Golden Fleece).
Called after  Lord   Mount   Stephen   (first   President).
15th century Gothic.    Oak Room: Late Gothic period.
Floor:  Bedford   Lime   (Indiana  limestone).    Fireplace:
Tyndall stone, carved in conventional vine.
Alhambra Dining Room: Spanish, bronze doors. Ship: Santa Anna, 1495.
Private Dining Room:   Norman Gothic-Jacobean Buffet—Woodcarving.
Gallery: Gothic desks, monastery desks.
Writing Room: Tudor.
Jacobean and Stuart
Tudor: (Elizabethan)
609-11 -13—(Jacobean
Georgian: 208-12-16
408-12-16 (Purple)
Louis XV:
Dining Room
Straight, sturdy and squat, drawtop, early gate-leg and
refectory tables, wainscot chairs, cupboards. Details:
twisted wood, pane ling, carving applied moldings and
ornaments.    Wood: oak.
Straight, massive and formal.    Details: bulbous ornaments, Tudor rose carving, linenfold panelling.    Renaissance ornaments.    Wood: oak.
Wood: walnut.
Upholstery: crimson velvet with gold fringe, tassels, and
nails, also leather.
Walnut, mahogany and satinwood.
Early Georgian: animal heads and paws, masks, swags,
shells,  scrolls,   hoofs,  lacquer, carving, claw  and   ball
foot, ladder back, etc.   Georgian: constructions—straight,
small  in  scale.    Details:  legs square and  tapered, or
round and fluted.    Oval and wheel backs, urn finials, etc.
241/3, 245/7, 341 3, 345/7, 441/3, 445/7,  275/7.  279/81,
375/7, 475/7, 641/3  645/7, 579/81, 675/7, 683.
379/81, 479/81, 541/3, 545/7, 575/7, 679/81.
687, 691, 693, 695, 684, 686, 688, 690, 692, 694.
687-93, 84, 86, 90, 92.
691, 688, 694.
i Grace, the beauty of simple lines, the carver's art as shown
in the rams' heads, characterize the great fireplace in the
Riverview Lounge of Banff Springs Hotel.


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