High-tech windows circa 1910

Prism glass:  the stained glass used in storefront windows historically found in commercial buildings on main street. The shimmering, textured surfaces of original prism glass transom windows — running the width of a historic storefront above the main display windows — can be a rare treat when they’re intact. Sometimes referred to as clerestory windows, … Read more High-tech windows circa 1910

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Replication of Long-Missing Features Completes Restoration of Fort MacLeod’s Grier Block

The Grier Block, built in 1902, was one of the first and largest commercial buildings in Fort MacLeod. It has one of the only pressed-metal facades in western Canada, highly decorated with an elaborate cornice and pilasters (columns between the window bays). Peter Maas recalls that by the early 2000s, when he and his brother … Read more Replication of Long-Missing Features Completes Restoration of Fort MacLeod’s Grier Block

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A “Team Effort”, High River continues Heritage Inventory

For good reason, the Town of High River has been featured several times on the pages of RETROactive – for its heritage work – over the past few years:  For the first phase of its Heritage Inventory project; As host to the Board Meeting of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation; and, As one of the ‘epicentres’ of the catrastrophic floods of … Read more A “Team Effort”, High River continues Heritage Inventory

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Main Street Coordinators Meet to Learn and Strategize

Local leaders from Alberta Main Street Program communities met recently in Olds for information sharing, learning best practices, and ongoing conversations about the Four-Point Approach®.   The program, established in 1987 and now renewed with a fresh format, revitalizes historic commercial areas through heritage conservation. The bar for participation is high: communities desiring to participate must complete a … Read more Main Street Coordinators Meet to Learn and Strategize

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After the Flood

First Steps in the Recovery of Alberta’s Flood-Damaged Historic Buildings As the floodwaters in southern Alberta recede, we must take care to preserve the integrity of our historic resources. It is very important that old and historic buildings dry slowly. Accelerated drying will warp, twist or split floors, doors and paneling; draw salts through stone … Read more After the Flood

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Historic Places and Communities Affected by Unprecedented Floods

We know from receiving calls from many people that several historic places have been affected by the catastrophic flooding in southern Alberta. Historically, communities in Alberta were often built close to rivers – sources of water to accommodate trade and travel. Needless to say, these low-lying areas where our communities grew up in the late … Read more Historic Places and Communities Affected by Unprecedented Floods

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Using the Standards and Guidelines

How do you determine whether or not a proposed change (what we call an intervention) is appropriate for a historic place? Would a fresh coat of paint preserve the heritage value of an old house? Does painting the brick affect its heritage value as a Municipal Historic Resource? How do I choose the colour of … Read more Using the Standards and Guidelines

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Salt and Sidewalks: Putting it on Ice

Winter is once again upon us, and ‘tis the season to shovel and de-ice snowy, slippery stairs and sidewalks. But before you do, think twice about using salt and de-icing chemicals around historic buildings. Common rock salt and chloride-based de-icers such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are damaging in varying degrees to historic fabric, … Read more Salt and Sidewalks: Putting it on Ice

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It’s bad to clad!

Property owners occasionally ask whether historic wood windows and trim can be clad in sheet metal to both eliminate maintenance and protect fragile historic material. As conservation advisers, we discourage cladding since it removes, in effect, a character-defining element from the building, and cladding raises maintenance issues of its own. Tempting though it may be, … Read more It’s bad to clad!

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What information did you miss?

At the 2011 Municipal Heritage Forum, “Roadmap to Success,” four concurrent breakout sessions provided by staff of the Historic Places Stewardship Section, Culture and Community Services allowed attendees to learn about managing a successful municipal heritage conservation program. Find out what you missed: click below to obtain PDF versions of the presentations. “Creating Heritage Advisory … Read more What information did you miss?

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