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Former Prince Albert City Hall National Historic Site of Canada

1010 Central Avenue, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, S6V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/11/23

View of the façade of the Former Prince Albert City Hall, showing the main entrance, 1980.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, 1980.
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Former Prince Albert City Hall
Ancien hôtel de ville de Prince Albert
Former Prince Albert City Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Prince Albert Town Hall and Opera House
Prince Albert Town Hall and Opera House
Prince Albert Arts Centre
Prince Albert Arts Centre
Arts Centre and Little Gallery
Arts Centre and Little Gallery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1892/01/01 to 1893/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Two storeys high and made of brown brick veneer on a rubble stone foundation, the Former Prince Albert City Hall National Historic Site of Canada is located in the town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Its bell tower signals time and events in this multifunctional space. Presently, as the Prince Albert Town Hall and Opera House, the building shares a landscaped public square with the new city hall. The official recognition refers to the building on its lot.

Heritage Value

The former Prince Albert City Hall was designated a national historic site in 1984 because:
- this building is one the few 19th-century town halls still standing on the prairies; and
- its substantial size, brick-clad exterior and bell tower reflected the town’s pride in its status as an important territorial centre and its faith in a prosperous future.

Incorporated as a town in 1885, the Prince Albert civic council hired Hamilton architect F.J.Rostrick and Son to design the building. A local contracting firm, A. and W.B. Goodfellow, used brick and lumber manufactured locally in the construction. The lot was raised from the street, a common practice to enhance its perceived size, with a yard planted in trees and shrubs. The building’s grand scale and formal detailing offset the restrained design of the exterior. Little of the interior remains beyond the layout of the front entry and some of the door and window trim. The opera house space has been reconfigured into two floors, while the main staircase and council chambers room across the front are more intact.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1984.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of the former Prince Albert City Hall include:
-its siting on a raised site in downtown Prince Albert;
-its two-storey rectangular massing with side bell-tower;
-its wood-frame construction with brick facing;
-its three-bay front façade using classically inspired motifs including bracketed portico surmounted by a wrought-iron railing, pedimented front entry flanked by evenly spaced segmentally headed windows, side bell tower, and the opera-house façade with remaining portions of its original high round-headed windows with porte-cochere, bracketed cornice, and pediment;
-evidence of its original interior layout and finishes.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1984/11/23

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum
Leisure
Recreation Centre

Historic

Government
Town or City Hall
Leisure
Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub

Architect / Designer

F.J.Rostrick & Son

Builder

A. & W.B. Goodfellow

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

754

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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