Blairmore Courthouse - Blairmore, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 36.435 W 114° 25.895
11U E 685556 N 5498133
Quick Description: Once a courthouse always a courthouse doesn't hold true for Blairmore's Courthouse.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 7/28/2020 12:30:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM12WWP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
Built as much a jail and police detachment as a courthouse, the Spanish-Colonial Revival Style building has since been abandoned in favour of newer digs and today is part of a technological school campus. Today the 1923 courthouse building is used as the main building for the Nippon Institute of Technology (NIT) Canadian Campus. It’s operated as a school for Japanese students who come from their junior or senior high schools and universities in Japan.

When it opened in 1923 it was the first courthouse in Alberta to be built housing courts, police offices and barracks and both male and female jail cells. In fact, the majority of the building was taken up by police services, at the time a much needed facility. This was also the first courthouse to be built in the Crowsnest Pass area.
Blairmore Courthouse
DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE
The Blairmore Courthouse is a two-storey stucco/masonry, clay tile and wood frame structure, in a Spanish-Colonial Revival style. It occupies four and one-half lots at the eastern end of the main thoroughfare in Blairmore in the Crowsnest Pass.

HERITAGE VALUE
The Blairmore Courthouse's heritage value lies in its representation of Blairmore's status as a regional administrative centre in the Crowsnest Pass, and as the first courthouse in Alberta to include both police and court facilities. It is also a good example of a style (Spanish-Colonial Revival) of public building constructed by the province in the first third of the twentieth century.

With problems ranging from train robberies to labour confrontations, and especially bootlegging and smuggling after the introduction of Prohibition in 1917, there was an acute need for policing in the Crownest Pass. The Blairmore Courthouse was commissioned in 1922 as part of the effort to maintain law and order in the region's mining communities. When it opened in 1923, it was the first courthouse in Alberta to include both courthouse and police facilities (including offices and barracks for the Alberta Provincial Police and male/female holding cells). This centralization of the judiciary and police force came to symbolize the concerted effort to stem bootlegging activities and Blairmore's role as the regional administration centre of the Pass. Although the courthouse is not the oldest building in the area, it was the first provincial government building in a unique and historical area.

It is also an excellent example of a style of public building constructed in the province in the 1920s and 1930s. Designed by R.P. Blakey, of the Department of Public Works, the Spanish-Colonial Revival Style borrowed features from missions in the American southwest.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS
The heritage value of the Blairmore Courthouse reside in elements of the Spanish-Colonial Revival Style, such as:
- form, scale and massing;
- stucco covered masonry facade with decorative brick inlays, hollow brick tile and detailing;
- low hipped roof with curved gables and projected eaves with exposed rafter ends;
-stepped-arched parapets;
- the rough surface bricks;
- fenestration pattern of double-hung wood windows and horizontal banding;
- the stature and image that is becoming of building that provides law and order;
- the site presently allows for unimpeded views of all four elevations;
- the asphalt driveway and existing trees, foliage.

Original remaining elements and fittings of the interior of the Blairmore Courthouse such as:
- the existing floor plan layout;
- the staircase;
- the courtroom;
- the interior trim and doors.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

Address:
13427 - 20 Avenue
Blairmore, AB
T0K 0E0


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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