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A.G.T. Building


Other Names:
Vulcan A.G.T. Building

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The A.G.T. Building is a Municipal Historic Resource consisting of a portion of two lots located at 232 Centre Street in the Town of Vulcan. The property features a single-storey, wood-frame building constructed in 1917. A country schoolhouse of similar design was relocated to the adjacent lot in July 2002. An entrance was built to join the school and the A.G.T. Building, which allows the public to conveniently view both buildings. The school and the entrance are not included in the designation.

Heritage Value
The A.G.T. Building is valued for its association with the establishment of telephone service in Vulcan and its simple design.

Telephone service was introduced in Vulcan around 1911 when a switchboard was installed in a local store. Telephones calls were placed by ringing the operator. The caller would then ask to be connected to another subscriber’s number. The provincial government began aiding in the construction of telephone networks to facilitate communication between Alberta’s far-flung communities. The provincial government would later incorporate the telephone system as a Crown corporation known as Alberta Government Telephones (A.G.T.). Demand for the service grew and this building was constructed by the provincial government in 1917 to house the expanded switching equipment. The switching equipment in this building connected local subscribers to each other and to other local exchanges throughout North America through the long distance network.

The A.G.T. Building is also valued for its design. The simple, functional design provided room for the switching equipment, a front office and a residence for two operators. The building’s form and massing gives the exchange a residential appearance and the design became synonymous with A.G.T. in Vulcan. Although the exchange was decommissioned in 1964, the building remains a local landmark that represents the introduction of telephone service to Vulcan.

Source: History of Vulcan Telephone, by Mae (Jarrett) McMullen for the Vulcan and District Historical Society’s publication “Wheat Country” issued in 1973. Mae was one of the first two operators to work in this building in 1917.

Character-Defining Elements
The site's heritage value is embodied in elements that reflect the building's historic use as a telephone exchange, such as:

- original panelling in the interior;

- the plan layout showing the division of the interior rooms;

- the historic door and window trim.

The site's heritage value is embodied in elements that reflect the building's identity as a Alberta Government Telephones (A.G.T.) building, such as:

- the building’s form and massing;

- the cottage-roof;

- the exposed rafter soffits;

-masonry foundation around the perimeter;
- brick chimney with parging cap in the centre of the roof;

- main street door with ornate overhead drip protection;

- oversize single pane windows with divided transom lights and double hung windows;

- original exterior horizontal wood siding , corner trim and window and door trim.


Street Address: 232 Centre Street
Community: Vulcan
Boundaries: Lot 35, Block 7, Plan 9710677
Contributing Resources: Building: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
50.403221 -113.263671 Secondary source NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type
5585913 339138 Digital Maps NAD83


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2007/10/09

Historical Information

Built: 1917 to 1917
Period of Significance: 1917 to 1964
Theme(s): Developing Economies : Communications and Transportation
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Industry : Communications Facility
Current Function(s): Education : Museum

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0186
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Town of Vulcan Administration, 321 2nd Street South, P.O. Box 360, Vulcan, AB T0L 2B0
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