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Fraser-MacDonald Building

Lacombe, Near

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Located in the downtown neighbourhood in the City of Lacombe just south of the main downtown business area, the Fraser-MacDonald Agency building is a one-storey masonry structure. The building is characterized by its flat roof with stepped front parapets and its glazed storefront with multi-paned windows and recessed asymmetrical entrance. The building was one of 31 buildings in the City of Lacombe involved in the Main Street Program from 1987 to 1993. The facade was reconstructed to resemble its original design.

Heritage Value
The Fraser-MacDonald Agency building demonstrates Lacombe’s success as an important local commercial centre in Alberta during the early twentieth century. At this time, Lacombe emerged as one of central Alberta’s predominant commercial and agricultural centres and was situated directly in between Calgary and Edmonton along the C and E Railway line. Constructed in 1920, the Fraser-MacDonald Agency building was built at the time when domestic insurance and real estate needs would have been rebounding following the end of the First World War.

The Fraser-MacDonald Agency building is valued for its association with prominent local businessmen, Jessie Fraser and Allan MacDonald. Both Fraser and MacDonald were real

estate and insurance agents, and both worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Hudson's Bay Company Land Registry; both men also represented the major insurance companies. The Fraser-MacDonald Agency building stands today as a representation of the wave of early and successful economic forces, which resulted in the construction of many fine commercial buildings in Lacombe.

The Fraser-MacDonald Agency is additionally valued for its modest one-storey masonry construction, and for being part of a downtown grouping of masonry buildings constructed in Lacombe in the early 1900s. From its prosperous beginning as a link between two major commercial centres, Lacombe developed its own distinctive appearance. Due to the

prevalence of brickyards in the community and the by-law requiring downtown buildings to be constructed of brick, many of the downtown commercial buildings today are the original brick buildings that were constructed in the early 1900s. Now carefully conserved, these buildings contribute to one of the most intact historic streetscapes in Alberta.

Many buildings in the downtown core display a distinctive Lacombe style, typified by the Edwardian-era Classical Revival style. The Fraser-MacDonald Agency building, like many of the commercial buildings in the city, exhibits modest scale and massing coupled with local materials and handsome detailing.

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements of that define the heritage character of the Fraser-MacDonald Agency include its:

- location on a corner lot along 47C Avenue at the alley in the City of Lacombe;
- commercial form, scale and massing including its one-storey height; rectangular plan; multi-paned glass storefront; and recessed entrance;
- masonry construction;
- Classical-Revival style features including: wood and multi-paned glass storefront; brick cornice and detailed brick fascia; brick pilasters at each side of the front façade with sandstone sections; and
- original interior features including: the pressed-tin ceiling, fireplace, Trans-Canada Air Lines route wall map, and a large wall safe.


Street Address: 4709 - 49C Avenue
Community: Lacombe, Near
Boundaries: Portion of Lots 9 and 10, Block 6, Plan RN1
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
Portion of 9 and 10

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.46270101 -113.731077 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2018/09/10

Historical Information

Built: 1920 to 1920
Significant Date(s) 1920 to 1938
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Office or Office Building
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Office or Office Building

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0421
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link: http://www.lacombe.ca/doing-business/planning-and-development-services/heritage-preservation-program/lacombe-s-heritage-resources
Data Source: http://www.lacombe.ca/doing-business/bylaws-policies/bylaws
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