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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 20, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 2 1MB IE-FHBRIDG6 HtRAlD _ Tuesday, March 20, 1973- Charlie Hansen patrols darkened hallways each evening, ensuring the Castle Apartments remain THE PLACE for 40 men Charlie Hansen a lone- ly vigil every night at the Cas- tle Apartments, White 40 men sleep in their rooms he walks through the darkened halls on three floors checking for signs of fire, a whiff of smoke or natural gas. On each flow lie {nineties a clock every IXKIT through the night to show he has been llieiC. Where years ago there were sounds of an active night life, there now are only the snores of men, mostly pensioners. The 62-year-old brick buikl- hig at 219 2nd Ave. S. has seen much life, has undergone many changes, and has served many purposes and people from all walks of life. Opened in 1911 by Charlie Hansen Sr. as the Castle Hotel, it was THE place to slay in those days. A horse and buggy busily plied between the gran- diose hotel asxl the trailf sta- tion. It had 50 sleeping rooms in tho upper two storeys. Each floor had a sitting room in the southeast comer. Tiie main floor contained the lobby, a tobacco and candy out- let. The dining room was lo- cated in the north wing arid be- liind it the kitclwn and sleeping rooms for the staff. Tlie west wing housed the bar and a grand bar it was in those days. Torero was a wall of mirrors. Behind the bar were three sculptured arches sitting on top of columns, a large arch in the middle and smaller ones on each skic. Tlie arches were covered with sculptured lions' heads from whose nwulhs extruded light bulbs. bar was eventually dis- mantled and now rests under other paraphernalia in the Cas- tle Apartments' basement. Things went well for awhile. Then along came prohibition and the bar was closed. Mr. Hansen Sr. developed ot her interests and th e 1 iotel By JIM MAYBIE was leased to other tenants un- til 1935. During the leasing per- iod the liotel name was chang- ed to the Bing Hotel. In 195S tlie present owner, Louise Hansen, moved from Europe lo Lethbridge and mar- ried Mr. Hansen the following year. Tltey ran the Empress The- atre on 5th St. S. between 3rd and 4lh Ave. until'the business folded in the '30s. The couple moved into the Castle and in 1935 Mrs. Hajisen look over its operation even- tually turnuig it into a paying business. Rooms were rented as large suites, tluin two room suites. Today, after such a grand lie- ginning, (he Castle Apaitmenls are still in use as single luxisekecping rooms and two- rc-om suites. The grandeur of the old days is gone but there are still signs of that era. Where once there were stoel climbing ladders for (ire es- ;