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Key Number: HS 81397
Site Name: Hycroft China Ltd. Factory
Other Names:
Site Type: 0723 - Industrial/Manufacturing - Miscellaneous Products: Factory

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
12 5 4


Address: 701-703 Wood Street
Number: N/A
Street: Wood
Avenue: 7
Other:
Town: Medicine Hat
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape:
Storeys:
Foundation:
Superstructure:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure:
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: N/A
Condition: N/A
Alterations: N/A

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
N/A

Owner: Owner Date:
Friends of Medalta Potteries

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History:
HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

The Hycroft China Plant was built in 1937-38, and the warehouse in 1947, part of what was originally called Medicine Hat Potteries. Pottery manufacture had been a well-established industry in Medicine Hat since the early 1900s, taking advantage of the fine, local clay supply, and the abundance of power from the natural gas fields. Medicine Hat’s location on the Canadian Pacific Railway Line meant the products of the city’s kilns could be easily shipped to stores and customers across Canada.

The buildings on the Hycroft site, and the equipment they contain, are fine examples of an important industry in southern Alberta. Pottery manufacture in Medicine Hat began in 1912, and remained a significant player in the local economy into the 1950s. During the Second World War, for example, Medicine Hat Potteries supplied the Department of Munitions and Supplies with several lines of white crockery.

This site’s considerable historical significance comes from its membership in an important southern Alberta industry, and from the excellent period equipment still in good repair on site.

The Hycroft China Plant and Warehouse was, according to original architectural drawings, constructed in 1937-38. The plant’s design, with its clerestory lighting, glass block windows and curved wall adjoining the entryway, was a very modern architectural statement for its day. A large colour version of the “Little Chief” trademark is emblazoned on the curved wall. It has the updated name of Hycroft China (as opposed to the original “Medicine Hat Pottery”), and was probably touched up at various times, but is nevertheless in relatively good condition and is a good representation of the graphic design ideas of the day. Not surprisingly, the factory is constructed of brick (probably of local manufacture) and concrete with a metal roof system. Changes from the original configuration have occurred – notably in the window placement at the front entrance, but on the whole the integrity of the site remains high. Factory facilities of this period and type are not numerous, and this is a good example.

BUILDING/SITE ASSESSMENT

The structural condition of the industrial structure varies from fair to very good. The building is being restored in areas where public access is a concern and other areas are being stabilized to prevent failure. The building retains 90% of its original architectural character, fabric and industrial equipment. Mechanical and electrical systems have been upgraded to satisfy code and functional needs. The roof restoration is a priority to preserve interior building fabric, equipment and artifacts.

COMMENTS

The industrial complex houses the “Great Wall of China Display” plus numerous other displays interpreting the pottery industry. The Friends of Medalta have been successful in partnering with numerous sources for the preservation of the structure. The building houses the society’s archives, offices and a gift shop.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
signed)

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
1995/08/16
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/04/25

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0490
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