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Historic Stevens Building in need of major repairs

stevens building

The Stevens Building was built in 1897 as Macleod’s first federal post office. The building is in need of repairs.

The historic building that housed Fort Macleod’s first federal post office needs repairs.
Just who will pay for the needed work remains undecided.
Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer David Connauton raised the issue of repairs to the Stevens Building at council’s April 27 meeting at Fort Macleod RCMP Centennial Library.
“There are some repairs needed,” Connauton told council. “Because it’s not really the town’s building, I just want some direction from council.”
The Stevens Building was built in 1897 and housed the town’s first federal post office.
The building was later used as a Masonic lodge, newspaper office and carpentry shop.
Town council received a report in May 2014 from a housing inspector hired to look at the Stevens Building.
Jerry Jensen of Castle Home Inspections and Consulting of Lethbridge told council the two-storey building erected in 1887 has been neglected.
Jensen in his written report said the entire exterior needs to be painted.
Five windows are covered with boards and should be replaced, with shutters added for protection and security at a cost of up to $350 apiece.
Jensen reported the shingles have life left in them, but patching is required on the north side of the roof’s west slope.
Jensen listed other minor problems but reported the building’s structure is solid.
Jensen estimated restoration could be done for less than $20,000.
Council did not take any action last year.
At last week’s meeting Connauton reported it was determined the Stevens Building was originally donated to The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
The building is owned by the Fort Museum and it is on land owned by Alberta Transportation.
Fort Macleod council is a major funder of the museum.
“It’s fundamentally the Fort’s asset and liability,” Mayor Rene Gendre said.
Coun. Gord Wolstenholme said the Fort Museum board is likely to ask council for funding.
Coun. Keith Trowbridge said the museum board has discussed repairs to the Stevens Building.
“They were talking about volunteer work with a group of guys getting together to fix it,” Trowbridge said.
Economic development officer Virginia Wishart said the province is aware of the need for repairs to the historic building.
“Someone needs to take responsibility for it,” Wishart said. “It is one of our historic assets and it is on one of the main roads and it does draw people in.”
Gendre said it is up to the Fort Museum’s board to recommend a course of action with regard to the Stevens Building

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