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Alberta Historical Resources Foundation awards grants for Fort Macleod buildings

Grier Block

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation provided a grant to owners of the Grier Block.

Renwick Building

The owner of the Renwick Building received a grant from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

The owners of two historic Fort Macleod buildings received grants from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.
The Grier Block on Second Avenue and the Renwick building on Main Street were among 82 recipients of grants totalling $1.48-million.
“The history of Alberta and its people matters to Albertans,” Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk said. “Investments that help preserve our past are creating cultural, social, and economic benefits that help build strong communities for the future.”
“We are proud to partner with the organizations and individuals who work to protect and promote history in communities across the province.”
Alberta Culture, through the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, awarded $1.48-million to support community heritage preservation and conservation projects across Alberta.
Grants are awarded twice annually to individuals, municipalities, nonprofit organizations and businesses to support heritage preservation projects ranging from conservation of designated historic buildings to research projects, publications and heritage inventories.
Grier Block owner 889860 Alberta Ltd. received $4,880 in the latest round of funding.
The Grier Block was the first and largest commercial building in Fort Macleod housing multiple businesses.
According to the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, the Grier Block’s construction reflected the town’s prosperity after the arrival of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1892, and its role in the culture and economy of southern Alberta.
The upper floor of the Grier Block was initially used for professional offices and meeting space for fraternal organizations such as the Masons, and later converted to apartments, while businesses such as a saddlery, druggist, butcher and newspaper took advantage of the wide storefronts at street level.
The building was named for Bruce Grier, a former North West Mounted Police officer, cattleman and farmer, who financed the construction of the Block.
In addition to varied business interests, Grier served as mayor between 1900 and 1918, when many of the public services such as electrical power, water, sewer and natural gas were installed.
The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation awarded a $16,310 grant to Victoria Moses-Alberts for the Renwick Building.
According to the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation William Renwick in 1910 constructed a two-storey brick and sandstone building with a full basement.
Renwick operated his hardware business from the main floor while residential apartments occupied the second floor.
Constructed of locally-quarried sandstone, the Renwick Building features a number of architectural elements typical of commercial buildings of the period, including the large ground floor display windows with transoms, the centrally-located, recessed entryway, and the parapet with an entablature bearing the year of construction.
In the 1930s, William Renwick sold the building to W.G. Andrews, who continued to operate it as a hardware store.
The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation said the building’s long-standing use as a retail space and its association with numerous other historic sandstone and brick buildings make it a vital contributing element to the heritage character of Fort Macleod’s commercial core.
The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation also awarded an $11,850 grant to the Crowsnest Pass Ecomuseum Trust Society for the Historic Bellevue Coal Mine.
The mine was established in 1903 by West Canadian Collieries and operated until the early 1960s.
The mine represents the underground mining practices and technologies used to extract steam-grade coal in the Crowsnest Pass, once a leading coal-producing region in western Canada.
Tours of the mine now allow thousands of visitors annually to experience the workings and environment of a historic coal mine, which was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 2011.
The grant is to develop a plan to conserve distinctive concrete portals as an important feature of the historic site and landmark on Highway 3.
The Crowsnest Pass Economic Development Society received a $5,000 heritage awareness grant for the 2014 Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival.

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