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W.D.L. Hardie Residence


Other Names:
Hardie Residence
Tichenor Residence
W. D. L. Hardie Residence
WDL Hardie Residence

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The W.D.L. Hardie Residence is a two-and-a-half storey brick house from the pre-First World War period occupying portions of three city lots in the historic London Road neighbourhood of Lethbridge.

Heritage Value
The W.D.L. Hardie Residence's heritage value resides in its association with William Duncan Livingstone Hardie. Hardie played an important role in the development of Lethbridge as a mines superintendent for the Alberta Coal and Railway Company from 1894 to 1910 and Mayor of Lethbridge from 1912 to 1928. The W.D.L. Hardie Residence also possesses secondary heritage value as a good example of the kind of residential architecture constructed by upper-class Albertans in the pre-First World War period.

The first commercial coal development in Alberta, the Galt Mines and the Alberta Railway and Coal Company (financed by Sir Alexander Galt and his family) was critical to the development of Lethbridge at the turn of the twentieth century. Hardie served as colliery superintendent from 1894 to 1910, a period of revived fortunes and expansion for the Galt Mines. Elected Mayor of Lethbridge in 1913, Hardie ushered in a series of dramatic reforms, including establishing the first Commission government in Canada at the municipal level, imposing stricter financial management, and the extending municipal suffrage to women. He also had the longest tenure of any chief magistrate in Lethbridge's history, serving as mayor until 1928.

Built in 1911, the W.D.L. Hardie Residence was the family home throughout his tenure in office. The home is eclectic in its design and style, featuring a Foursquare style plan with some neo-classical and Arts and Crafts decorative details on the exterior and interior. It is a good example of pre-First World War residential architecture in Alberta

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 824)

Character-Defining Elements
The exterior character-defining elements of the W.D.L. Hardie Residence include:
- pyramidal roof with cedar shingles and wide, bracketed eaves;
- dormers featuring paired windows and sloping ("battered") walls and hipped roofs;
- fenestration pattern with segmental arch openings, surviving examples of wood frame windows with storm windows, leaded glass parlour windows featuring Arts and Crafts decorative treatments;
- wood verandah with entrance portico, Ionic columns, and enclosed sun room;
- oculus window above main entrance;
- wood front door with sidelights and leaded glass transom windows;
- exterior of locally manufactured brick.

Interior character-defining elements of the W.D.L. Hardie Residence include such features as:

- ground floor plan;
- interior woodwork, including stained wood baseboards and cornice mouldings, panel doors with historic hardware, door and window casings, colonnade at parlour entrance;
- original fireplaces in parlour, dining room and master bedroom featuring decorative stained wood mantels, glazed tile, and brass and cast iron inserts;
- original hardwood floors;
- main stairway balustrade;
- pocket doors separating parlour and dining room;
- built-in bedroom cupboards.


Street Address: 1242 - 5 Avenue South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Portions of Lots 20 to 22, Plan 1354C
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
9 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
1354 C
1354 C
1354 C


Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.693076 -112.826435 Secondary Source NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type
5506107 368278 Digital Maps NAD 83


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1987/12/10

Historical Information

Built: 1911/01/01 To 1911/01/01
Significant Date(s) 1913 To 1928
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Extraction and Production
Governing Canada : Politics and Political Processes
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling

W.D.L. Hardie played a significant role in the economic, political and social history of Lethbridge and district. He was a Scottish born and trained civil and mining engineer who had worked extensively in the United States before coming to Lethbridge in 1889 at the request of Sir Alexander Galt to service as assistant to Superintendent William Stafford. At that time Galt was constructing a narrow gauge railway to Great Falls, Montana in order to supply coal to a smelter at Anaconda. Upon completion of the railway, the owner of the smelter, Marcus Daly, failed to honour his promise to purchase coal, thus closing this potential market. Responding to the declining prospects for coal mining in the Lethbridge area, Hardie left in 1891 to take a position as mining advisor to the Republic of Mexico. From Mexico Hardie went to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he re-wrote the mining course of the Scranton School of Mines.

Upon the recovery of the coal mining industry, Hardie returned to Lethbridge in 1894 as superintendent of the Galt Mines. Under his direction the company expanded its operations, thus contributing to the economic boom which occurred in Lethbridge prior to World War I. Hardie remained with the company until May 1910 when he resigned to take a similar position with the Diamond Coal Company. The following year Hardie constructed his residence in the London Road district, which was rapidly developing as an exclusive residential area. In 1912, however, having failed actively to pursue the development of their property, the Diamond Coal Company terminated its contract with Hardie.

The end of Hardie's career in the Lethbridge coal mining industry marked the beginning of his career as a municipal politician. In November 1912 he entered the mayoral election and defeated the incumbent, polling a total of 455 votes. The dominant issue in the 1912 municipal elections was the proposal to change the Aldermanic to the commission form of local government. Hardie's strong stand in favour of this change was largely responsible for his election. After the election, Mayor Hardie presided over the implementation of the first commission government to be established in Canada. Other highlights of his fifteen-year term as mayor include his successful implementation of a financial plan to deal with declining tax revenues, a problem, which developed as early as 1913 and was intensified by World War One. Following his retirement in 1928, he ran unsuccessfully in the 1930 provincial election, and then acted as Superintendent of the Dominion Elevator Terminal from 1930 until 1936.

W.D.L. Hardie's career thus spans the development of Lethbridge from a coal-mining town dominated by the Galt interests to an agricultural service and transportation centre. The W.D.L. Hardie Residence owes its historical importance largely to its association with Hardie himself. His 16 years with the early Galt coalmines made him one of the pioneers of the Lethbridge coalfield, the first commercial coal development in Alberta. Then, as Mayor of Lethbridge for 16 years, W.D.L. Hardie guided the city safely through a long period of financial turmoil, combining his faith in the city with a frugal policy making do with the "irreducible minimum". He was instrumental in the consolidation of Lethbridge after its previous rapid expansion.

The Hardie residence is modeled after Georgian Revival residential designs, which were popular across Canada and the United States from the 1880's until about 1915. Characteristics of the classically derived style include the broad eaves overhang with brackets under the eaves, a central doorway with transom lights, a wrap-around verandah supported by twin boxed columns, and a tall central, decorated chimney stack. The plan is symmetrical in appearance, constructed of brick and capped by a hipped roof with two ornamental dormers, more features which were typical of Georgian Revival residential designs. Many variations on the Georgian Revival theme can be found throughout Alberta, particularly in large homes constructed of brick before 1920. Other examples include the Gibbons and Ross Residences in Edmonton.

(Site Information Summary)

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0189
Designation File: DES 0824
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 25032
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 824)
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