13427 - 20 Avenue, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, T0K, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Blairmore Courthouse is a two-storey stucco/masonry, clay tile and wood frame structure, in a Spanish-Colonial Revival style. It occupies four and one-half lots at the eastern end of the main thoroughfare in Blairmore in the Crowsnest Pass.
The Blairmore Courthouse's heritage value lies in its representation of Blairmore's status as a regional administrative centre in the Crowsnest Pass, and as the first courthouse in Alberta to include both police and court facilities. It is also a good example of a style (Spanish-Colonial Revival) of public building constructed by the province in the first third of the twentieth century.
With problems ranging from train robberies to labour confrontations, and especially bootlegging and smuggling after the introduction of Prohibition in 1917, there was an acute need for policing in the Crownest Pass. The Blairmore Courthouse was commissioned in 1922 as part of the effort to maintain law and order in the region's mining communities. When it opened in 1923, it was the first courthouse in Alberta to include both courthouse and police facilities (including offices and barracks for the Alberta Provincial Police and male/female holding cells). This centralization of the judiciary and police force came to symbolize the concerted effort to stem bootlegging activities and Blairmore's role as the regional administration centre of the Pass. Although the courthouse is not the oldest building in the area, it was the first provincial government building in a unique and historical area.
It is also an excellent example of a style of public building constructed in the province in the 1920s and 1930s. Designed by R.P. Blakey, of the Department of Public Works, the Spanish-Colonial Revival Style borrowed features from missions in the American southwest.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 149)
The heritage value of the Blairmore Courthouse reside in elements of the Spanish-Colonial Revival Style, such as:
- form, scale and massing;
- stucco covered masonry facade with decorative brick inlays, hollow brick tile and detailing;
- low hipped roof with curved gables and projected eaves with exposed rafter ends
- the rough surface bricks;
- fenestration pattern of double hung wood windows and horizontal banding;
- unimpeded views of all four elevations;
- the asphalt driveway and existing trees, foliage.
Original remaining elements and fittings of the interior of the Blairmore Courthouse such as:
- the existing floor plan layout;
- the staircase;
- the courtroom;
- the interior trim and doors.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Special or Training School
- Courthouse and/or Registry Office
- Police Station
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 149)
Cross-Reference to Collection