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OLD COURT HOUSE

4836 Ross Street, Red Deer, Alberta, T4N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/04/10

Exterior south view of the Old Court House (September 2003); City of Red Deer, 2003
South view of main entry, from Ross Street
Exterior southwest view of the Old Court House (circa 1935); Red Deer and District Archives, PA-90-81-1
Southwest view
South view of the Old Court House, from City Hall Park (1955); Red Deer and District Archives, gf-86-25-nov-90-1
View from City Hall Park

Other Name(s)

Old Red Deer Court House
OLD COURT HOUSE
Red Deer Court House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1930/01/01 to 1931/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Old Court House is located on a large urban lot at the northeast corner of Ross Street and 49th Avenue adjacent to Red Deer’s downtown civic square. It is a two-storey classic revival masonry building constructed in 1931. A 1958 rear addition gives the building an L–shaped footprint.

Heritage Value

Historical Value: The historical significance of the Old Court House lies in its link to a new provincial judicial system replacing the Supreme Court of the North West Territories. Originally planned in 1907, the Old Court House was finally constructed in 1931. It is a symbol of renewed optimism in the local economy and in Red Deer’s development as a city. The Old Court House is closely associated with the United Farmers of Alberta’s government policy to decentralize public buildings outside the major centres of Calgary and Edmonton. The building is associated with Premier Brownlee who opened it in 1931. The Old Court House served as the centre of justice for Red Deer and area, housing both the Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench until 1983. The Old Court House has a memorial association at the location of the 1959 murder conviction of Robert Raymond Cooke, the last person sentenced to be hanged in Alberta.

Architectural Value: The Old Court House is an architectural landmark exemplifying classical revival architecture. It was the last courthouse to be built in this style from a standard Alberta Public Works plan and retains full integrity of design and historic fabric. Its formal, conservative monumentalism was designed to engender public respect for the young province and its judicial system.

Source: (1) Red Deer and District Archives, Archivist, City of Red Deer, PO Box 5008, 4914 - 48 Avenue, Red Deer, AB T4N 3T4 (Files: Research File MG-250-5(1); Red Deer Historical Walking Tour, 1983; Red Deer Historical Walking Tours, 1990; Photo Collections); (2) Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen’s College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Files: Des. 838; Provincial Heritage Inventory Data Base)

Character-Defining Elements

- Form and massing that defines the courthouse as a landmark building
– Classical revival style elements such as the two Palladian style entries, especially the main entry with two storey Ionic portico surmounted by pediment and balustrade featuring the provincial crest carved in stone
– All exterior architectural elements including the pattern of fenestration, terra cotta tiled roof, Flemish bond red brick walls, and Tyndall limestone
– All original interior features, finishes, and associated furnishings of the second floor court room (including the vaulted ceiling, judges’ chambers and jury room) as well as all of the building corridors, stairways, rotunda, and foyers, including birch windows, doors, casings, and base boards

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (AB)

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Condition or Covenant on Land

Recognition Date

2001/04/10

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1931/01/01 to 1983/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Historic

Government
Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

J.P. Desrochers

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

(1) Red Deer and District Archives, Archivist, City of Red Deer, PO Box 5008, 4914 - 48 Avenue, Red Deer, AB T4N 3T4 (Files: Research File MG-250-5(1); Red Deer Historical Walking Tour, 1983; Red Deer Historical Walking Tours, 1990; Photo Collections); (2) Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen’s College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Files: Des. 838; Provincial Heritage Inventory Data Base)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4664-0044

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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