Description of Historic Place
One of a complex of twelve buildings known as the National Triaing Centre, the Smithy is a single storey log structure with a gable roof constructed with a rustic vocabulary of materials that includes horizontal logs and shakes. Its front facade features a large picture window and entrance door. The complex is isolated and self-contained around a large grassed area. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Smithy is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Smithy and its complex are associated with the early development of Jasper National Park. The National Training Centre was originally part of a homestead known as the Palisades Ranch. The Palisades Ranch had been established by Lewis Swift, a personality who figured prominently in the history of the area. The Palisades Ranch was a trail-related tourist industry and, as such, contributed to the development and use of Jasper Park. It remained privately owned until 1962 when it was purchased by the National Parks Branch. It began operation as a training center for Park employees in 1964.
The Smithy is a good example of a functional building type constructed in a rustic aesthetic. Its well-executed vocabulary of building materials, consisting of horizontal logs and shakes, conforms with the architectural character of Canada’s National Parks. An adaptable design, it functioned as a blacksmith shop and as a cottage.
The Environmental Value
As a significant building within the National Training Centre (formerly the Palisades Ranch), the Smithy is compatible in size, design and placement with the character of the complex. Although the complex is self-contained and not visible from the highway, the Smithy, by virtue of the fact that it is part of the National Training Centre, is known to the communities of Jasper and Hinton.
Kate MacFarlane, National Training Centre (former Palisades Ranch), Jasper National Park, Alberta, Federal Heritage Building Report, 87-10.
National Training Centre (former Palisades Ranch) Jasper National Park, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement, 87-010.
The following character-defining elements of the Smithy should be respected, for example:
Its functional design and rustic vocabulary of materials, for example:
-Its simple massing, consisting of a low, square, one-storey structure with a gable roof.
-Its horizontal log construction
-Its window and door.
-The choice of materials, including horizontal logs and shakes, which speak to the rustic
character of the building.
The manner in which the Smithy is compatible with its natural setting, as evidenced by:
-Its scale, its functional appearance and rustic materials, all of which are sympathetic
with the other buildings in the complex.