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4923 - 50 Avenue, Lacombe, Alberta, T4L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/10/15

Urquhart Block, Lacombe; Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management
Southeast elevation
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Other Name(s)

Kanngiesser Building
Jack Kanngiesser Ltd.
Kanngiesser Store, The

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1907/01/01 to 1907/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Urquhart Block is a two-storey brick building situated on two and a half lots in the central business district of the Town of Lacombe. Built in 1907, the structure features a rare polygonal footprint within a triangular block that provides it with two virtually identical street frontages. The Urquhart Block is otherwise typical of early commercial buildings constructed in the province and its two street frontages include yellow cement brick facades, recessed entrances, arched lintels with keystones over the second storey windows, and parapets with central pediments.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Urquhart Block lies in its fine representation of early commercial architecture in Alberta.

Built in 1907, the Urquhart Block is situated in a historic Lacombe neighbourhood distinguished by an uncommon triangular footprint created by the intersection of the original land survey with the oblique alignment of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway line. The block's triangular plotting and grouping of heritage buildings makes it one of Alberta's premier collections of early twentieth century commercial buildings. The peculiar shape of the block's footprint imparts to the Urquhart Block building a unique feature: dual storefronts. Though the presence of two storefronts on the building is unusual, the design of the storefronts is typical of Alberta's early commercial buildings, featuring the division of their surfaces into three sections: the main floors with recessed entrances, large display windows surmounted by transoms, and bulkheads; second storeys separated from the first by sign bands and featuring the symmetrical arrangement of multi-paned windows; and crowning cornices surmounted by parapets and a central pediment. The yellow cement brick joined by red mortar on each of the storefronts imparts a distinctive character to the building. It is a vital contributor to the lively historic ambience of Lacombe's central business district.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1683)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Urquhart Block include such features as:
- location in Lacombe's historic downtwon;
- yellow cement brick joined by red mortar on main facades;
- original chimney;
- dual street frontages, including recessed entryways, pediments, large display windows surmounted by transoms, bulkheads, typical sign bands framed on the top and bottom by projecting brick stringcourses, second storey arched lintels with keystones and windows, projecting brick stringcourses below and on top of crowning cornices and parapets, upper cornices with decorative conclave brackets, and parapets with central pediments;
- fenestration pattern and style, including original three paneled windows on the second storey.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




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. 1683)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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