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STONY PLAIN SCHOOL

5411 - 51 Street, Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/05/04

Stony Plain School Provincial Historic Resource (January 2006); Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2006
Front facade, view looking southwest
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Other Name(s)

STONY PLAIN SCHOOL
Stony Plain Multicultural Heritage Centre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1925/01/01 to 1926/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Stony Plain School is a one and one-half storey brick building located on a single block of land in Stony Plain. The building was erected between 1925 and 1926 and features a complex clipped gable roof system, parapeted gable ends with large multi-paned window arrangements, and a square bell-tower with a pyramidal roof.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the former Stony Plain School, now the Stony Plain Multicultural Heritage Centre, lies in its association with the development of consolidated school districts in Alberta and its unique architectural expression of the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement.

The Stony Plain School reflects a significant development in Alberta's educational system - the consolidation of small rural school districts into larger, regional districts beginning in the mid-1910s. The impetus for consolidation came from concerns about inadequate facilities and narrow educational options in the province's many rural schools. The Stony Plain Consolidated School District No. 52 had been established in 1918 and included Stony Plain Centre School District No. 381, Stony Plain Village School District No. 1638, and Lindley School District No. 4131. Population growth in the region between 1918 and 1924 led to overcrowding in the consolidated district's schools and the decision to construct a new high school. The Stony Plain School was constructed between 1925 and 1926 as the first regional high school in the district. It was employed as a school until the late 1940s, when population pressures again necessitated the construction of a new high school. The building was used as an overflow classroom and a storage facility until 1972, when it was closed. It later reopened as the Stony Plain Multicultural Heritage Centre and continues to fill an important role in the community life of Stony Plain.

Designed by influential Edmonton architects William and Richard Blakey - the latter of whom served as the Provincial Architect for over a decade - the Stony Plain School features a unique architectural style, distinct from any of the standard plans used to construct western Canadian schools during the 1920s. The building embodies Arts and Crafts ideas in its modest scale, brickwork, complex roofline, and gables. It may also reflect the influence of Scottish models of school design. This intriguing building is the only of its kind extant in Alberta, although a similar school once existed in Westlock.

Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1073)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Stony Plain School include such features as:
- form, mass, and style
- shingled, clipped gable roof system, parapetted end system;
- shed dormers, corbelled chimney and square bell-tower with a pyramidal roof;
- brick facade and detailing, including sills, layered courses, and other decorative work;
- brick buttresses;
- pedimented front entrance featuring decorative brickwork, a flat roof supported by double brackets over double doors, windows, and stone blocks inscribed with "1925" and "STONY PLAIN SCHOOL";
- gable end parapets featuring large, multi-paned window arrangements;
- multi-lite fenestration pattern and style;
- original interior floor plan;
- original interior fittings, flooring, mouldings, and trim;
- original plantings, including poplar trees and spruce tree.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date

1983/05/04

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Education
Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer

William and Richard Blakey

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1073)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0572

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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