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St. Andrew's United Church


Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
St. Andrew's United Church is a large red brick church with Gothic Revival-style inspired architecture situated at the corner of 53 Street and 51 Avenue in Lacombe. The building is identifiable by its steeply pitched front-gabled roof, pointed Gothic-pointed-arch windows, and large corner belfry.

Heritage Value
St. Andrew's United Church, built 1908-09, is significant as a community institution that has served the spiritual needs of the Lacombe community for over a century. Lacombe's Presbyterian congregation was founded in November 1892, with the first church constructed in 1895 by Robert McNaughton. As Lacombe's population grew with the emigration of Presbyterians from Scotland and Ireland, so too did this congregation, necessitating a larger place of worship. With funds raised by the church's women's group, construction of a new church began in 1908 and it was dedicated on january 31, 1909, opening as St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. In 1922 the town's Methodist and Presbyterian congregations voted to join forces, thereafter becoming St. Andrew's United Church. The church continues to serve the religious needs of the community today.

St. Andrew's United Church has additional significance as a key example of the high quality of Lacombe's architecture,which displays Gothic Revival-style references. Built at a cost of $12,315.93, it was constructed by local builder G.P. Vickers. The Gothic Revival style was one of the most favoured architectural expressions for religious structures in Alberta. Clad in red brick, this historic landmark features elegant Gothic pointed-arch windows, a steeply pitched front gabled roof and a corner belfry. Later additions provide evidence of the church's evolution over time, including modifications to the corner entry and additions at the rear and side elevations. Although changes have occurred, the building remains an important historic landmark in Lacombe.

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage character of St. Andrew's United Church include its:
- prominent corner location at 51 Avenue and 53 Street in Lacombe;
- ecclesiastical form, scale, and massing as expressed by its two-storey height, plus basement; rectangular plan with basement; steeply-pitched front gabled roof; corner belfry topped with quadrilateral shaped steeple with pyramidal roof;
-masonry construction with red-pressed brick with red mortar and concrete foundation;
- lighting rod with decorative bulb, located on the steeple;
- Gothic Revival details such as: steeply-pitched roof; Gothic pointed-arch windows; and open belfry in the steeple;
- additional decorative features such as shingle patterning and half-timbering in the gab le ends; brick stringcourses; and horizontal brick patterning above windows;
- original windows including: Gothic pointed-arch wooden frame windows with diamond-leaded panes in single and triple assembly; 2-over-2 single-hung windows; later additions of stained and patterned glass windows; and
- interior features such as wooden trim.


Street Address: 5226 - 51 Avenue
Community: Lacombe
Boundaries: Lots 37 to 42, Block E, Plan 1900U
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
37 to 42

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2014/08/25

Historical Information

Built: 1908 to 1909
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Building Social and Community Life : Religious Institutions
Historic Function(s): Religion, Ritual and Funeral : Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Current Function(s): Religion, Ritual and Funeral : Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Builder: G. P. Vickers

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0317
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: City of Lacombe File: 65.201.01 (13) 5432 - 56 Avenue, Lacombe, AB T4L 1E9
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