The Red Deer Museum and Archives are collecting memories of the Buffalo Hotel and Club Cafe before the historic buildings are demolished later this spring or summer.
The Red Deer Archives, with the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery are aiming to collect as many personal memories about these sites as possible.
They are among Red Deer’s oldest structures, dating from the first two decades of the 1900s.
But City officials have said these properties are in poor state of repair and evaluations found it cost-prohibitive to restore the buildings or repurpose the space.
The City of Red Deer plans to wreck the properties to address derelict properties and support future revitalization.
“The Buffalo Hotel and Club Cafe 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 and Art Gallery staff are currently collecting artifacts from the buildings.
Now, residents, past and present, are being asked 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 and Art Gallery’s director of operations, Chandra Kastern.
“Did you stay at the hotel? Do you have memories of meals from the Club Cafe? 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 on how to share these in order to ensure their preservation.
In late 2022, the City of Red Deer purchased the sites of 5021 and 5023 Ross Street downtown with the intent to demolish these buildings that go back to the first and clear space for future redevelopment.
Although this could take years, the City will seek input from residents on how the space can be used once demolition is complete.