City tracking potential heritage properties
Management plan has eyes on dozens of sites
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 06:00 am
The city has recently been working on ramping up its stature as a place of many significant heritage buildings. The results are starting to materialize, but the city still needs public input and it could benefit some lucky homeowners in the long run.
As a community for more than 150 years, St. Albert contains numerous buildings and structures of historic significance. A new heritage management plan is underway to provide citizens with a framework that will help further promote the preservation of more unique heritage resources.
“A couple of years ago, we started a heritage inventory and we did an inventory of properties of heritage significance in St. Albert,” began Kelly Jerrott, the city’s director of cultural services.
“That was the first step: To see what we have there, and the first step in trying to protect those properties or at least acknowledging that they are there.”
The list of St. Albert heritage properties of interest features 62 sites, including several of the city’s already designated municipal historic resources (like the Little White School and Juneau House) and the provincial historic resources (like the two grain elevators and the Father Lacombe Chapel).
But the list also has numerous residential sites around the city. Jerrott says that heritage consultants toured around several neighbourhoods to identify potential houses to focus on for either municipal or provincial historic resource designation. Since the work is still in progress, people are still being encouraged to get in touch with her if they think their house should be on the list.
Michael Thome, municipal heritage services officer with the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, is on the heritage management plan committee. He said that there is much value in tracking a city’s heritage properties, including opening up potential funding to help homeowners of such locations.
“As a community evolves, the use of a building or a place can change and that can sometimes have a detrimental impact. You want to understand the heritage value of the building in order to make some good plans about how the building should be conserved.”
The project also seeks to improve the city’s policies and programs regarding heritage. The next step involves a heritage management plan. To acquire public input, a survey has been developed and can be found on the city’s website.
“It outlines how, as a community, we’re going to look at conserving and preserving some of those resources.”
Jerrott asked that all interested parties fill out the survey within the next month in order for the process to move along and be finished by October.
Copies of the 2010 St. Albert heritage inventory are available through the city’s cultural services department or the Musée Héritage Museum, both in St. Albert Place.
Members of the public can also obtain PDF versions of the 129-page inventory, along with a preliminary list of more than 50 heritage properties of interest in St. Albert, on the city’s website at www.stalbert.ca.
Additional heritage properties can still be added to the inventory. If anyone believes that their property or house should be considered for inclusion on the list, they can obtain further information by contacting either the cultural services department at 780-459-1600 or the Musée Heritage Museum at 780-459-1528.