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Bremner House

Sherwood Park, Near

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Bremner House is a two and one half storey, 5,400 ft2 brick dwelling constructed in the early 1900s in a Craftsman style. The dwelling is located in rural Strathcona County on the west side of Range Road 225, approximately one kilometre north of Township Road 534. Municipal Historic Resource designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value
Heritage values associated with Bremner House include the aesthetic significance of the scale, style and location of the building as well as its representation of the cultural growth and development of Strathcona County during the first half of the 20th century.
Bremner House is valued as a rare example in the region of an early Craftsman-style dwelling constructed in a rural location to such a grand scale. The Arts & Crafts influence on the architectural style of Bremner house is common to Alberta and is apparent in such features as the hipped roof, covered exterior veranda, interior woodwork and spatial layout of private rooms; however, the size of the house (at 5,400 ft2) and its rural locale distinguish it from more modest Craftsman homes of the time located in the Edmonton region. At the time of its construction, Bremner House would have been an outstanding building in its context.
Bremner House is also valued culturally as a place that enabled business and community development in Strathcona County during the fluctuating economic conditions of the first half of the twentieth century.
James Charles Chatterton Bremner and his wife Edith were the first inhabitants of Bremner House, residing there between 1912 and 1929. William Schroter, his wife Nellie and their 10 children lived in Bremner House between 1930 and 1970. While these families lived here, Bremner House served as a place where business, family and farm life played out and where community bonds were established regardless of changing political and socio-economic circumstances. At the beginning of the twentieth century Strathcona County underwent rapid population growth and an expanding, vibrant local economy, which was followed by a period of economic depression in the 1930’s. Despite these varied circumstances, the house was an adaptable venue for raising a family and social interactions, as the Bremners and Schroters were both active in a range of business and community organizations.
The spatial divisions of the home allowed for a diversity of uses that responded to changing circumstances. Though the occasion might have varied between formal entertaining for business and community guests or for casual exchange between family and hired help, the use and orientation of rooms were utilized for common purposes; be it for the preparation of food, dining, conversation, recreating and resting. In this manner, Bremner House served as a constant; the roof and walls of Bremner House provided the functions and spatial needs of daily family, business and social life regardless of whether those functions were during a period of economic growth or decline.


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements that reflect the heritage values of Bremner House include:

Exterior
-Location in a rural setting
-Form, scale and massing
-Solid red brick main floor structure using American Common Bond technique
-Bell-cast hip roofs on the upper structure
-Third floor dormer
-Prominent main floor veranda that runs the full-length of the west elevation and part of the south elevation
-Conservatory on the south elevation with original fixed sash windows and sliding opening vents
-Original wood double-hung windows with upper sash muntin bars, typically eight over one configuration
-Double wooden doors and transom light at the main (south) entrance
-Bay window on the south elevation
-Three, tall, corbelled, red brick chimneys
-Extant elements of the second floor balcony, including siding, railing, etc.

Interior
-Configuration of rooms in the front area of the main floor, including the front hall, living and dining rooms as well as office located at the rear of the main floor
-Expansive stairwell located at the front entrance and extending to the second level, with fir treads and oak handrails
-Maple hardwood flooring
-Wood, fir dark-stained doors, windows, mouldings, wainscoting, fireplace surrounds and decorative ceiling beams
-Burlap wainscoting in the second floor landing, upper floor corridor and in the rear stairwell
-Built-in cabinetry in the living room, dining room and rear main floor office
-Four brick fireplaces with decorative ceramic tile hearths and including a cast iron fire box in the main floor office fireplace
-Period radiator heating elements
-Period lighting


Location



Street Address: 53452 Range Road 225
Community: Sherwood Park, Near
Boundaries: Lot 4, Block 1, Plan 8121037
Contributing Resources: Building

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
W4
22
53
30


PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
812 1037
1
4


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.6087 -113.2229 NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/06/30

Historical Information

Built:
Significant Date(s) 1912 to 1970
Theme(s) Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0289
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link: http://www.strathcona.ca/local_government/About_Strathcona_County/Strathcona_County_history/bremner-house.aspx
Data Source: Strathcona County, Planning & Development Services, 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, Alberta, T8A 3W7
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