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UKRAINIAN GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST. MARY (SZYPENTIZ DISTRICT)

near Hairy Hill, Alberta, T0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/12/02

Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary (Szypenitz District) Provincial Historic Resource (January 2006); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2006
Northwest view
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Other Name(s)

UKRAINIAN GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST. MARY (SZYPENTIZ DISTRICT)
U.G.O. of St. Mary - Szypentiz
U. G. O. of St. Mary - Szypentiz
Szypenitz Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary
Szypentiz Ukrainian Church, Two Hills
Szypentiz Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church and Graveyard Bell Tower
Szypentiz Church
Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary, Szypentiz
UGO of St. Mary - Szypentiz

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1917/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary (Szypenitz District) located on 21.4 hectares of land, near Hairy Hill in the County of Two Hills No. 21, is a brick church building built in the style of the Eastern rite Churches of western Ukraine. It features a large central dome over the nave of the church and a small cupola over the entrance.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary lies chiefly as a unique example of brick construction atypical of rural Canadian Eastern rite church architecture. The site is additionally significant for its association with Eastern Christian worship and Ukrainian settlement in Alberta.

Built in 1917 as the parish's third church after outgrowing its first church, and losing its second to fire, the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary stands as a rare example of a rural Eastern-Rite church employing brick construction. Most rural churches built for these communities were of a much simpler wood-frame construction. Built for endurance, St. Mary's was constructed under the auspices and plans of Harry Osiecki, a well known church-builder based out of Vegrevillle.

The historical significance of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary lies in its representation evidence of the Bukowinian culture that prevailed in the northern reaches of what has been termed the Ukrainian Block of east central Alberta. The interior decoration, including the iconostasis, was painted by Peter Lapinski in the popular Ukrainian iconographic style. Its style and upkeep, in an area with many other Eastern Rite churches, prominently illustrates the faith and religious dedication of the Ukrainian immigrants who settled north of the North Saskatchewan River after the turn of the twentieth century. The Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary is a significant contributor to the cultural landscape of the region.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1588)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary (Szypenitz District) include such features as:
- brick construction atypical for rural Ukrainian churches;
- masonry features such as common bond brickwork pattern, quoin quarters, circular and arched window opening pattern;
- triple zrub (tripartite) construction typical of Bukowinian style churches;
- main open cupola constructed of a wooden frame;
-interior details such as the iconostasis, altar and sacristy in the east apse;
- interior church decoration by well-known Ukrainian-Albertan iconographer Peter Lapinski;
- detached bell tower.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date

1987/12/02

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Settlement
Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Harry Osiecki

Additional Information

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. 1588)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0526

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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