Red Deer Armoury / Fire Hall #1 - Red Deer, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 52° 16.090 W 113° 48.544
12U E 308329 N 5794582
Quick Description: Opened in 1914 as an armoury, in 1961, following a fire, this building, ironically, became a fire hall. In the 1990s the building made another about face to become the children's section of the Red Deer Public Library.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 6/25/2020 5:02:41 PM
Waymark Code: WM12PAH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 2

Long Description:
This large Edwardian style brick and stone building was constructed in 1913-14 as the regimental headquarters for the 35th Central Alberta Horse. Constructed of solid brick, the Armoury used locally quarried sandstone for both its foundation and detailing. As built, the building included a rifle range and seating for up to 300.

Built amid considerable controversy, the placement of the building contradicted the city's "City Beautiful" plan for the city centre. Red Deer's M.L.A. and leader of the Provincial Conservative Party, Edward Michener, found himself in a close race with his Liberal opponent during the 1913 provincial election. In an attempt to ensure an election win he convinced his cronies in the federal government to announce the construction of an armoury and lavish new post office building for Red Deer. Mr. Michener narrowly won the election and the Armoury was ceremoniously opened on January 1, 1914. The post office project, as many expected, was abandoned, the large excavation already prepared was filled by the Dominion Government in 1922. Yet another gang aft agley.

There just happens to be a Wonderful Sculpture at the southeast corner of the building.

An Alberta Historical Marker at the building reads as follows:
Red Deer Armoury/Fire Hall
Built in 1914 in the Gothic Revival style, the Armoury was constructed as the headquarters of the 35th Central Alberta Horse Regiment. The Armoury served as a recruitment office and training centre for the Department of Militia and Defence for more than four decades, and it also hosted many social events and dances during the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1961, while The City of Red Deer was negotiating to purchase the Armoury, a fire destroyed much of the inside of the building. The City renovated the space, converting it into Fire Hall No. 1.

The Red Deer Public Library purchased the building in 1991, and it now houses the Children's and Teen collections. The site is designated as a Municipal Historic Resource.
Red Deer Armoury / Fire Hall #1
Description of Historic Place
Red Deer Armoury / Fire Hall No. 1 is a two and one-half storey rectangular solid brick building in the Edwardian Free Style that was constructed as an armoury in 1913. It is located on a large urban lot at the southeast corner of Red Deer's civic square, opposite the Parsons Residence.

Heritage Value
Historical Value: The heritage value of the Red Deer Armoury lies in its association with military preparedness in Central Alberta. Constructed as the regimental headquarters for the 35th Central Alberta Horse, it also has political significance as the outcome of a 1910 election promise by Edward Michener, Red Deer MLA and leader of the provincial Conservative Party. The Red Deer Armoury provides strong evidence of its defense function through two world wars as a recruiting centre, training facility, barracks, armoury, and military offices. It has sentimental associations for the community through its role as an inter- and post-war social and cultural centre. The building also has historical significance in community protection as the location of Fire Hall No.1 for the City of Red Deer Emergency Services Department from 1961-1992.

Architectural Value: Architecturally, the building is among the most striking examples of Edwardian Free Style in Red Deer and a good regional example of classic armoury design, built with local materials of brick and stone.

Character-Defining Elements
- Form and massing, including the large gabled roof, the six regularly spaced structural bays and the silhouette of the front facade exemplified by features such as: the twin square towers; rib-like buttresses; and gabled parapet above entrance on east facade
- Exterior features/materials such as brick masonry; sandstone detailing
- Original fenestration pattern and the structural openings created in the conversion from an armoury to a fire hall
- Remaining interior features that reflect the adaptive reuse of the building from defense to fire protection, such as the metal roof trusses and fire pole.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

4905 - 49 Street
Red Deer, AB
T4N 1V1

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
To log a visit to a Waymark in this category at least one photo of the property, taken by the visitor, must be included with the visit, as well any comments they have concerning either their visit or the site itself. Suggested inclusions are: what you like about the site, its history, any deviations from the description in the heritage listing noted by the visitor, and the overall state of repair of the site.
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T0SHEA visited Red Deer Armoury / Fire Hall #1 - Red Deer, AB 9/26/2020 T0SHEA visited it