Historic Barron Building will not get legal protection from province

Calgary's historic Barron Building facade will not get legal protection, after Calgary Heritage says it was notified by Alberta's culture minister.

Calgary Heritage Initiative Society says it was notified by Alberta's culture minister of decision

Calgary's Barron Building has been put on Heritage Canada Foundation's Top 10 endangered places list. Alberta Culture has decided not to give the building legal protection. (Leigh Anthony Dehaney/Flickr)

Calgary's historic Barron Building will not be getting legal protection from the province after all.

The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society says it was notified by Alberta's culture minister of the decision not to proceed with the legal protection of the facade.

The reasons for this decision are not yet clear.

The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society website says that would have protected much of the exterior facade of the building while allowing all interior elements such as the former Uptown Theatre space, penthouse and lobby to be demolished.

Cynthia Klaassen, the society's president, says she's disappointed in the decision. 

"It is a great example of art deco and art moderne style, which is really rare to find in Alberta at all, and of course it also included ... the Uptown Theatre for many, many years."

The owners of the building fought against the protection efforts and now that the designation has been cancelled, there is no legal protection for any aspect of the building.

In April, Alberta Culture announced its intention to declare the exterior of the building as a provincial historic resource.

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

The Barron Building was one of the first office buildings built in Calgary after the Leduc oil find in 1947.

It has been called an exceptional example of Art Moderne architecture. 

The Alberta Association of Architects named the building in 2003 as one of the most significant structures in the province.