Saying goodbye is never easy, but as the time nears to say farewell to the Buffalo Hotel and Club Café in Red Deer’s downtown, Red Deer Archives, with the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery would like to collect as many memories from these sites as we can.
“The Buffalo Hotel and Club Café both played a significant role in our community’s history, and we will ensure to preserve that history so future generations know about their role in our community,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “I hope residents take the opportunity to say goodbye to these iconic spaces and preserve their memories.”
Red Deer Archives staff have pulled together the photographs and records already in collections and the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery staff are currently collecting artefacts from the buildings. Now, we want residents, past and present, to share personal stories, experiences, photos and video.
“We invite everyone to share their individual stories and creative works inspired by both sites,” said Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery Director of Operations, Chandra Kastern. “Did you stay at the hotel? Do you have memories of meals from the Club Café? Help us capture these memorable experiences and become part of Central Alberta’s enduring story.”
Residents with stories, photos, or videos to share can visit reddeer.ca/buffalohotel for step-by-step instructions of how to share these in order to ensure their preservation.
In late 2022, The City purchased the sites of 5021 and 5023 Ross (50) Street downtown with the intent to redevelop the area. Included among the two parcels of land are the Buffalo Hotel and Club Café. Unfortunately, these properties were in poor state of disrepair and evaluations found it would be cost-prohibitive to restore the buildings or repurpose the space. To maximize use of these and neighbouring properties, the buildings will be demolished, and properties primed for redevelopment.
The City will demolish these properties as part of plans to address derelict properties and support revitalization in the downtown. Recognizing the time it will take for the lands to be fully redeveloped, The City will seek input from residents on how it can activate the space once demolition is complete.