NORMAL SCHOOL / ROSEHAVEN
Rosehaven Normal School
Rosehaven Care Centre
Camrose Normal School
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Camrose Normal School building, which now houses the Rosehaven Care Centre, is a three and one-half storey brick building, constructed in the Collegiate Gothic style, and located on an entire block of park-like grounds in the town of Camrose.
The heritage value of the Normal School/Rosehaven lies chiefly in its association with the history of teacher education in Alberta, and particularly with its founding principal, Dr. C. Fred McNally. It is also significant as a good example of the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture and as a landmark building in the town of Camrose.
Constructed by the province in 1915 as the second institution in the province dedicated to educating teachers, the Camrose Normal School served this role for twenty three years. In first decades of the twentieth century, the children of Alberta's largely rural population were often educated in one-room schoolhouses. Before this time, teachers were certified on the basis of their own secondary education and their Normal School training, a course usually lasting four to six months. Literally thousands of Alberta schoolteachers received training at the Camrose Normal School between 1915 and 1938, when the building was turned over to the Department of National Defence.
C. Fred McNally, a pioneer educator in Alberta, was the founding principal of the Camrose Normal School. He later went on to serve as deputy minister of education under Premier William Aberhart. Dr. McNally's initiatives, informed by his experiences training teachers for the challenges of rural school realities, led to the integration of the more than three thousand tiny school districts into fifty larger school divisions, thereby creating programs that allowed more rural students to attend high school.
The Camrose Normal School building is a typical example of the Collegiate Gothic style, a popular choice for academic buildings across North America during the early decades of the twentieth century. The building, situated prominently on a slightly raised bluff on a well-landscaped campus, is a well-known landmark in the central Alberta region.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 170)
The character-defining elements of the Normal School/Rosehaven building include such features of the Collegiate Gothic style as:
- form and massing;
- battlemented parapets, octagonal four storey stairwell towers, square headed mullioned windows, crenellated cornice, stone lintel and sills;
Other character-defining elements include such features as:
- hipped roof construction;
- arched main entry with 'stepped' voussoir pattern;
- oak entrance doors;
- the location, siting and plan of the building.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
1915/01/01 to 1938/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Composite School
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. 170)
Cross-Reference to Collection