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Burgman Building


Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Burgman Building is a two-storey, brick commercial building. It occupies a commercial space on 13th Street North, which was traditionally the main street of the North Ward, which later developed into North Lethbridge. The two-storey brick building was built in 1912-13 by Richard (Dick) Burgman, a local bricklayer. The building was known for years as Burgman’s Hall or Burgman’s Block, and has also been known as the Donaldson Block after a later owner.

Heritage Value
The Burgman Building is significant for its connection to Richard Burgman, a bricklayer and builder whose legacy lives on in a few significant buildings in North Lethbridge. The surviving exceptional brick patterning on the building’s façade is a demonstration of his skill, interest and creativity. The exposed corner also clearly reveals the more costly and higher, consistent quality of the face brick and mortar used on the street facade, versus the less costly, and lower, varied quality of brick and mortar used on the party wall. The building itself is also significant for the commercial and social roles it has played in the development of both North Lethbridge and the community of Lethbridge.

The building was constructed during the 1906-1913 boom in Lethbridge and represents the great growth of the community during that period as many new settlers moved into Lethbridge and district, requiring many new services.

Richard Burgman arrived in the Lethbridge area from Ontario in 1901. He was a popular member of the community, and he and his wife Tilley were active members of the United Church and other community organizations. The Burgman family home, which he also constructed, stands on 5th Avenue North and 19th Street North, and is a popular fixture in the North Lethbridge community to this day. Richard Burgman was the bricklayer for the York Hotel, another prominent building in the neighbourhood.

Burgman's wife, Tilley, was often in the newspaper in the 1910s for her work with various committees and church groups, until her death in 1919. Richard Burgman retired around 1942 and died in 1951. Both are buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

The Burgman Building was a central meeting place for North Lethbridge, hosting many events, including dances, piano recitals, and political rallies. It also played host to various businesses, including McCaffery Drugs, Design Lighting, Restore Builders, Hart Hardware, Garbutt Business College, North Lethbridge Hardware, a pool hall, Murphy’s Taekwondo, the Native Friendship Centre, and the local farmer’s market, as well as a post office substation from 1965-1975.

The building is a prominent fixture in North Lethbridge. Located along North Lethbridge’s main route, on what used to be known as Westminster Road, the Burgman served to connect North Lethbridge with the downtown community. Most of the resources and services that the residents of North Lethbridge needed could be found along 13th Street North, and buildings such as the Burgman were cornerstone elements of the main commercial street for the Senator Buchanan and Westminster neighbourhoods.

Character-Defining Elements
-Ghost sign on the north elevation (note that the modern painted sign in the top left corner was painted in an area without any legible lettering, prior to designation);
-Brick detailing on front façade including: the two-toned diaper patterned brick frieze between the ground and upper floor, the two-toned Flemish pattern at the upper window sill as well as projected brick surrounds at the windows and wall of the upper storey;
-Overall built form, scale, and massing;
-Pattern and style of all original door and window openings;
-Angled, recessed entry on 13th Street;
-Common bond brick construction;
-Segmental arches and brick sills;
-Symmetrical stepped brick parapet across the street façade and descending parapet profile of the party wall towards the lane; and
-Pressed metal cornices.


Street Address: 418 - 13 Street North
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Lot 8, Block 147, Plan 406R
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

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

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.70488 -112.82430 Digital Maps

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type
5507416 368463 Digital Maps


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2018/08/20

Historical Information

Built: 1912 to 1913
Significant Date(s) 1912-13
Theme(s) Building Social and Community Life : Community Organizations
Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Eating or Drinking Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services : Office or Office Building
Builder: Richard Burgman

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0422
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 10161
Website Link:
Data Source: Planning & Development, City of Lethbridge City Hall, 910 - 4th Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0P6
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