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Key Number: HS 29047
Site Name: Old St. Stephen's College
Other Names:
Site Type: 0307 - Educational: College or University
1610 - Religious: Seminary

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 24 4


Address: 8820 - 112 Street
Number: 20
Street: 112
Avenue: 88
Other:
Town: Edmonton
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
Digital scan of Negative
70-R30L-06-M
71-R0001-29
71-R0001-30
71-R0001-31
71-R0001-32
71-R0001-33
71-R0001-34
71-R0001-35
71-R0001-36

1971/01/01
1971/01/01
1971/01/01
1971/01/01
1971/01/01
1971/01/01
1971/01/01
1971/01/01
Main entrance
SW
SW
NW
NW
Cornerstone, NE
Turrets, E side
E side
E side

Architectural

Style: Gothic Revival
Plan Shape: T
Storeys: Storeys: 4 or more
Foundation:
Superstructure: Brick
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Gable-Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Wall Design and Detail: Crenellated Parapet
Dormer Type: Hip
Exterior: Collegiate Gothic style.
Twin octagonal turrets; crenellated parapets; dormer windows. The building has 5 storeys.
Gable roof over center block, flat roof over wings, crenallated parapet, two central octagonal towers at entry, mullioned windows, quoins at entry.
Interior: Stained glass windows.
Environment: Neighbourhood: University of Alberta Part of the land assembled for the University by the department of Education - river lot 5 cost $150,000 in 1907 - a portion leased to Methodists for 99 years.
Condition: Good (1997).
Alterations:

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
N/A
N/A
Construction Started
Construction Ended


1910/01/01
1911/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Alberta Historical Resources Division
Methodist Theological College
Convalescent Hospital
Leased to the Childrens Development Centre
Vacant

1911/01/01
1920/01/01
1972/01/01
1975/01/01
Owner: Owner Date:
United Church
Methodist Church
Government of Alberta

1911/01/01
1977/01/01
Architect: Magoon & Macdonald
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: Old St Stephen's College was opened on January 2, 1911 under the name Alberta College South. This was the first building occupied on campus.
The college amalgamated with Robertson College of the Presbyterian Church, and was renamed St. Stephen's College in 1927. In 1912, 2 storeys were added to the west wing. In 1917-1920 it was used as convalescent hospital in World War I when a fire escape was added. In 1935 a preserved chapel was added on the main floor. In the 1950's some renovations where carried out. In 1972 it was leased to the Children’s Development Centre. Then in 1975 it became vacant until taken over by Alberta Culture.
* * * * *
Through 1930's 1940's south wing served as Nurses Residence. This building served as the foundation of the University of Alberta.
* * *
OLD ST. STEPHEN'S COLLEGE (1911) First University Building
It is said that William Aberhart was born as a disciple of Social Credit within the hallowed halls of Old St. Stephen's College. The future premier of Alberta was in his room at the college in 1932, where he was staying while marking examination papers. Aberhart's ear was bent by fellow teacher Charles Scarborough, who insisted Aberhart read a book on the meaning of Social Credit. The book, Employment or War, by Maurice Colbourne, was a popularized version of the theories of Major Clifford H. Douglas, a Scottish engineer.
Thus began the rise of Social Credit which was to rule Alberta for 36 years. All this and more in a building twice threatened with demolition in the 1970s to make way for a parking lot.
The five-storey T-shaped red brick structure, built in 1910, was the first completed building at the University of Alberta. Its facade is now largely obscured by trees, but its twin octagonal turrets, distinguished roof line and crenellated parapets are still visible.
The building now houses offices and laboratories for Alberta Culture's Historical Resources Division and its archaeological services branch. It was designated a Provincial Historical Resource in 1983.
The design is 'eclectic' and springs from the English Collegiate Gothic Style based largely on English Tudor Style precedents such as Trinity College at Cambridge University and St. James Palace in London. Designed by Edmonton architect H.A. Magoon, the college was built for $130,000.
It was first known as Alberta College South. Its role was that of a theological learning centre as well as a dormitory with dining and recreation facilities, meant to serve the needs of both the university and department of education for the university. Known as River Lot Five, it cost $150,000 in 1907. A portion was leased to the Methodists for 99 years.
The building features a five-storey centre, four-storey north and south wings, and a three-storey north west wing. Two more storeys, complete with dormer windows, were added to the west wing in 1912. A chapel, noted for its stained glass windows, was added to the main floor in 1935.
From 1917 to 1920, other quarters were used by the college as the building became a convalescent hospital for soldiers wounded in the First World War. At that time tube fire escapes were added to the end of each wing. Students later used the tubes to initiate freshmen.
The unlucky souls were dumped down the tubes and followed up by buckets of ice cold water as they slid past every floor.
Even faculty members were not immune to such stunts. One morning after Halloween, principal Riddell arrived to find his buggy perched precariously on one of the college's towers.
In 1925, when the Methodist and Presbyterian churches joined to form the United Church of Canada, the name was changed from Alberta College South to United Theological College. It was renamed St.
Stephen's in 1927.
* * *
Old St. Stephen's College was opened on January 2, 1911 under the name Alberta College South as a Methodist theological college and student residence. This was the first building occupied on campus. The steel frame and brick structure (with external Tudor Stylistic features) was designed by the Edmonton firm of Magoon and Macdonald. After formation of the United Church in 1925, the college amalgamated with Robertson College of the Presbyterian Church, and was renamed St.
Stephen's College in 1927. The building has served as a college, convalescent hospital, nurses' residence, army barracks and student residence. St. Stephen's was renovated in 1979 and now serves as the home of the Historical Resources Division of Alberta Culture.

* * *
When the University of Alberta started in 1908, the first classes were held in various schools, the present campus being only an extensive tract of bush and parkland. The first building of the new university was the seminary of the Methodist Church, completed in 1911.
Throughout most of its history, St. Stephen's College was a residence for university students, accommodating from 80 to 150 young men. Alumni will remember the old spiral fire escapes that used to adorn the ends of the three wings. More than one scholar began his university career by being pitched headlong down one of these five-storey corkscrews.
The United Church phased out its undergraduate theological program in 1971-72. For three years following, the building housed the Alberta Child Development and Research Foundation. St. Stephen's was vacant after 1975.
Though on campus, St. Stephen's was owned by the United Church of Canada. By 1972, the church was losing money on the somewhat dilapidated old building, and plans were made to demolish it. After several reprieves, demolition was finally averted in 1977, when the provincial government purchased the building as a home for the Historical Resources Division of Alberta Culture.

* * *
BUILDING DESCRIPTION AND CONDITION: Four-storey T-shaped structure with a central tower at the front. It is in good structural condition. Mechanical systems have been updated. It has been subject to few alterations.

SITE HISTORY:
This building, which is the first structure built on the grounds of Alberta's first University, is a significant part of the history of education in Alberta. St. Stephen's College throughout its history has played an important part in the social and academic life of the University of Alberta. The Tudor style architecture of building has made it a dominant landmark on the University of Alberta campus.

HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE:
The historical importance of this building derives from the fact that it is the first structure built on the grounds of Alberta's first University which was established in 1908. The University of Alberta was one of the first such institutions in the four western provinces.
As a part of the University of Alberta, St. Stephen's College has played an important role in the social and academic life of that institution.

ARCHITECTURAL IMPORTANCE:
The Tudor style architecture of this building with such features as battlemented parapets and octagonal towers similar in design to St.
James Palace in London has made it an imposing landmark on the campus of the University of Alberta.
* * *
Old St. Stephen's College Old St. Stephen’s College was opened on January 2, 1911 under the name Alberta College South as a Methodist theological college and student residence. This was the first building occupied on campus. The steel frame and brick structure (with external Tudor stylistic features) was designed by the Edmonton firm of Magoon and Macdonald. After formation of the United Church in 1925, the college amalgamated with Robertson College of the Presbyterian Church, and was renamed St.
Stephen's College in 1927. The building has served as a college, convalescent hospital, nurses' residence. St. Stephen’s was renovated in 1979 and now serves as the home of the Historical Resources Division of Alberta Culture.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active
1989/01/01
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal A List
Provincial Historic Resource

1983/06/04
Register: A105
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/06/15

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0281
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