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Campbell Block


Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Campbell Block is a two-storey, red-brick building prominently situated on two and a half lots in Lacombe's historic downtown. The building features a wide front facade accommodating two storefronts, eight large wood-framed windows on the second floor, and a bracketed cornice surmounted by a simple brick parapet.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Campbell Block lies in its excellent representation of 1920s commercial architecture in Alberta.

The Campbell Block was erected in 1920 in the heart of downtown Lacombe and initially served the community as a department store. Hailed by the local newspaper as a "modern" business block which would greatly enhance the aesthetics of Lacombe's main street, the building featured robust red-brick construction, large second-storey "Chicago" windows, and decorative elements like a bracketed cornice and bold sign band. The Campbell Block's design echoed that of commercial buildings erected during the pre-First World War boom years in Lacombe and elsewhere, but was set apart by its scale, its modest detailing, and its distinctive upper windows. The solidity and elegant simplicity of the building also embodied the entrepreneurial optimism and civic prominence of its owner, A. M. (Sandy) Campbell, a leading merchant and political figure in early twentieth-century Lacombe. Prominently situated on two and a half lots in downtown Lacombe, the Campbell Building is one of the finest extant examples of 1920s commercial architecture and contributes to the physical and visual continuity of one Alberta's best-preserved historic streetscapes.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2251).

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Campbell Block include such features as:
- prominent location in Lacombe's historic downtown on the north-east corner of 50 Avenue and 50 Street;
- elements of the building that express its identity as an excellent representative of 1920s commercial architecture in Alberta, including its red-brick construction, piers, sign band, two storefronts with large display windows, bulkheads, large second-storey wood-framed windows, bracketed cornice, brick parapet, open interior with mezzanine, historic wooden railings, historic staircase, and tin ceiling.


Street Address: 4922 and 4918 - 50 Avenue
Community: Lacombe
Boundaries: Lots 1, 2 and a Portion of Lot 2, Block 3, Plan RN1
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
52.463218 -113.730184 Secondary source NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/04/02

Historical Information

Built: 1920 to 1920
Significant Date(s) 1920 to present
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-1347
Designation File: DES 2251
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 49655
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. 2251)
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