Several buildings constructed for Canada’s military are designated historic resources. These places can help us understand how soldiers preparing for service lived and worked. Tomorrow being Remembrance Day, we thought it appropriate to feature a piece of Alberta’s military history – the historic resource that Municipal Heritage Forum attendees experienced firsthand at the end of October.
The Municipal Heritage Forum was held at the Prince of Wales Armouries in Edmonton. Most participants enjoyed meeting in this historic place. The Prince of Wales Armouries is a great example of how to adaptively repurpose a historic place.
Several City of Edmonton staff members provided an excellent behind the scenes tour of the facility. We learned how the building was rehabilitated to meet its new role as an archive, museum and meeting facility. As part of the tour, we had the opportunity to hear Timothy O’Grady (Archivist, City of Edmonton Archives) speak about the history of the building. Click here to view Timothy O’Grady’s photo essay.
The Prince of Wales Armouries was built in 1915 to give the Department of National Defence a place in Edmonton to train men for service in the militia. Essentially a huge drill hall, the soldiers who trained here served Canada in both world wars and in many other operations. In recognition of the building’s historic use and its distinctive architecture, the armouries was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1979 and then a Municipal Historic Resource by the City of Edmonton in 2004.
The City of Edmonton acquired the facility in 1977. In 1989 the city began constructing a new archive facility in the centre of the drill hall. The Armouries is now home to the City of Edmonton Archives and several museums.
For a complete collection of the 2011 Municipal Heritage Forum presentations, please click here.
Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer