Landmarks and Legends Series - June 2008
Barbara and Peter Steiner's Banff Book and Art Den has been a Banff icon since 1965.
The Book and Art Den was originally located downstairs in the Mount Royal Hotel on Banff Avenue. However, when a fire completely destroyed the hotel in 1967, the Steiners moved their book shop quickly to a property owned by Pearl Brewster Moore at 110 Banff Avenue.
In 1974 that building was demolished to make room for the existing Clock Tower Mall on Banff Avenue. After a short stay in the George Block at 123 Banff Avenue, the book store returned to the Clock Tower Mall in 1976.
After 23 years at the Clock Tower Mall location, the Book and Art Den made its final move to 94 Banff Avenue.
The business regularly supported the Mountain Book Festival and Banff / Calgary Wordfest.
After 43 years of family operation, the Banff Book and Art Den was closed.
When asked about business highlights, Barbara Steiner reflected on authors' tours, book signings and the Canadian Book Sellers' Convention, held in Banff in the early 1970s. Visitors to the store have included writers such as Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findlay, Mordecai Richler, Vikram Seth and Robert Bateman - to name just a few.
In partnership with the Archives at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Banff Heritage Corporation is proud to profile this significant community resource as part of our Landmarks and Legends Series.
In recognition of the knowledge of Banff's history within the community, we welcome public input that may provide further insight into this or other profiles in the Landmarks and Legends series.
1 - The old Banff Book and Art Den at its Banff Avenue location, circa 1973, Neil Wedin
2 - The Banff Book and Art Den, circa 2008, Claire Wilkinson