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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Hiebert Residence is an early twentieth century, two and one half-storey building situated on two lots in a residential district on Didsbury's northern edge. The house embodies the Queen Anne architectural style and features a red brick facade, hipped roof with dormers on each side, Palladian and bay windows, widow's walk, and a verandah featuring classical columns.
The heritage value of the Hiebert Residence lies in its association with Didsbury entrepreneur and politician Cornelius Hiebert and in its dynamic design which incorporates elements of the Queen Anne architectural style and expressed Hiebert's local prominence.
The completion of the Calgary and Edmonton ( C and E) Railway in 1891 opened the vast lands of central Alberta to settlement and development. The settlement at Didsbury emerged as a depot community along the new line. During the mid-1890s, the influential Mennonite immigration agent Jacob Y. Shantz led a group of Mennonites from Ontario to settle in the Didsbury area. In 1901, a second wave of Mennonite homesteaders arrived in the region from Manitoba. Among the new arrivals was Cornelius Hiebert, a former Secretary-Treasurer for the Municipality of Rhineland in Southern Manitoba. Hiebert initially established a general store in the community and later sold lumber, hardware, and agricultural implements. He also built a grain elevator in the community. Hiebert served his community politically as the first Overseer for the Village of Didsbury from 1901 until 1904 and was elected as the Conservative representative for the Rosebud constituency in Alberta's first Legislative Assembly. One of only two Conservatives elected to the legislative body in 1905, Hiebert gained a reputation as a non-partisan politician: he approved of many of Premier Alexander Rutherford's initiatives while advocating for further development of the province's railway infrastructure and pressing for the prohibition - or at least the government regulation - of alcohol. His lack of partisanship resulted in Hiebert leaving the Conservative party and running for re-election as an independent in 1909. He lost and subsequently left the community, travelling first to northern Alberta to homestead before relocating to Saskatchewan and finally returning to Didsbury shortly before his death in 1919.
The Hiebert Residence was built circa 1907 and its design clearly reflects the influence of the lively Queen Anne style. This eclectic style is evident in the dynamic marriage of elements derived principally from medieval and classical sources. The red brick facade, hipped roof with dormers on each side, three-sided projecting bay, and verandah are all prominent exterior features of this style, as are the elaborate interior elements, including the coffered stairwell, embellished parlour entrance with double columns, and well-crafted wooden window and door frames. The home's design is robust, but playful, incorporating keyhole-shaped windows, quoins, and asymmetrical elevations. When it was constructed, the Hiebert Residence was among the largest and most ornate in the region and one of the few to boast running water - a powerful symbol of Hiebert's prestige and prominence in the community.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1064)
The character-defining elements of the Hiebert Residence include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- red brick veneer with decorative brick features and rock-faced sandstone foundation, sills, lintels, and quoins;
- steeply pitched, truncated, cedar-shingled hipped roof with gable dormers on each face;
- chimneys with corbelling and brick detailing and widow's walk;
- verandah with semi-circular central extension supported by wooden columns crowned by Ionic capitals;
- verandah cornice work;
- three-sided projecting bay on front facade;
- fenestration pattern and style, including segmentally arched windows, Palladian windows in dormers, leaded glass windows, bay windows, and keyhole and eyebrow windows featuring patterned and bevelled glass with metal glazing bars;
- wide eaves and support brackets;
- elaborate interior woodwork, including coffered stairwell with newel posts and balustrades, embellished parlour entrance featuring double columns, and well-crafted window and door frames;
- hardwood floor, oak fireplace with fir mouldings and trim;
- original water system with holding tank on third floor;
- original doors, mouldings, trim, wainscoting, and fittings;
- variety of woods used in panelling and trim;
- flower beds, semi-circular concrete walk and lawn area.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Politics and Political Processes
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
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. 1064)
Cross-Reference to Collection