A resident determined to save Red Deer’s oldest hotel from demolition is now seeking special historical status for it.
Tim Lasiuta submitted an application to have the 110-year-old downtown hotel designated as a Municipal Historic Resource under the Alberta Historic Resources Act, which would prohibit future alterations, renovation repairs, restoration or demolition unless the city gives approval. He further asked the inn at 4905 51st Ave. be included within the Historical Preservation District under the municipal land use bylaw.
Tara Lodewyk, a planner with Parkland Community Planning Services, received Lasiuta’s application on Friday. She said it is missing a signature from the building owner, which is the City of Red Deer.
“We don’t accept applications for municipal designation unless the owner signs them,” Lodewyk said.
Lasiuta highlighted the history of the inn in its heyday. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s prime minister from 1896 to 1911, visited Red Deer on Aug. 10, 1910.
“It has been suggested that, in addition to staying at a private house, he also stayed at the Arlington,” writes Lasiuta. “I would expect that he also was treated to a grand banquet in the same room as the 1906 debate.”
The leaders of the newly formed Alberta province met at the Arlington to debate the final location of the capital city.
Lasiuta’s report includes photos of preserved woodwork and vintage wallpaper from 1899. With Municipal Historic Resource designation, Lasiuta said the city could access provincial dollars to restore the building.
Lasiuta, who is also gathering petitioner signatures to save the inn, was unavailable for comment on Friday.
Lodewyk says once she receives a signature from the city, then she could prepare a “statement of significance” to show the building’s historical values.
She also submitted a report, which includes feedback from various historical representatives, to Inspections and Licensing Department manager Paul Meyette on Friday. In that report, she asked that the 45-day period, given after the city filed an intent to demolish, not be waived so that the community can provide feedback.
After April 10, the city can tear the building down, Lodewyk said.