Barron Building, home to Uptown theatre, to be declared historic

Alberta Culture has announced its intention to declare the exterior of Calgary’s Barron Building, home to the old Uptown Stage and Screen on Eighth Avenue S.W., a provincial historic resource.

Provincial designation will protect the exterior

Calgary's Barron Building had earlier been put on Heritage Canada Foundation's Top 10 endangered places list. (Leigh Anthony Dehaney/Flickr)

Alberta Culture has announced its intention to declare the exterior of Calgary’s Barron Building, home to the old Uptown Stage and Screen on Eighth Avenue S.W., a provincial historic resource. 

The decision comes after the building was listed by Heritage Canada Foundation in 2012 as one of their top 10 endangered places.

Matthew Wangler, who heads Alberta's Historic Resources Management Branch, said the Barron Building's facade is an exceptional example of Art Moderne architecture.

But Wangler said the owner won't have to keep the theatre inside.

“With the theatre space, it's very difficult to adaptively use that for another purpose. So it would be very difficult, for instance, to use that space for office or retail. So that can dramatically impact the economic prospects of that space.”

Wangler said it's his understanding the owner wants to add retail and office space to the 11-storey structure.

“It seems quite likely that the only way to preserve that theatre is to disassemble it and then reassemble it within the redevelopment. As you can probably imagine, there's a fairly significant price tag associated with that kind of work.”

It was one of the first office buildings built in Calgary after the Leduc oil find in 1947. The Alberta Association of Architects named the building in 2003 as one of the most significant structures in the province.

The owner and the public have 60 days to request a hearing if they want to comment.

Corrections

  • The Leduc oil find took place in 1947, not 1949 as originally reported.
    Apr 02, 2014 1:32 PM MT

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