Parsons House is checked regularly by our project contractor, it has a security fence, and an active intrusion alarm system. File photo by ADVOCATE staff

Efforts are made to secure Parsons House in Red Deer: Infrastructure Minister’s office

Precautions are taken to ensure Red Deer’s historic Parsons House doesn’t meet a fate similar to a Calgary heritage home that burned down recently.

The Enoch Sales House, which was more than 100 years old, in downtown Calgary was destroyed by a fire this past weekend. There is belief the fire was started after a person climbed into the building to get out of the cold.

The office of Alberta’s infrastructure minister Sandra Jansen says efforts are made to keep Parsons House secure.

“Parsons House is checked regularly by our project contractor, it has a security fence, and an active intrusion alarm system.

“In addition to this, the building is kept heated and snow is removed regularly to maintain the sidewalks surrounding the site,” the minster’s office said in a statement to The Advocate.

Parsons House has been called one of the best surviving examples of Edwardian neo-classical designs in the city. It’s also one of the few local structures clad in brick from the defunct Red Deer brickyards.

The Government of Alberta continues to work closely with the City of Red Deer regarding Parsons House’s future, the minister’s office added.

“At this time no decision on the future of the structure has been made. Alberta Infrastructure is committed to reaching an agreement with the city that will allow the much needed Red Deer Justice Centre project to proceed on schedule and on budget.”

In November, Red Deer city council agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the province to preserve the 115-year-old Parsons House, kitty corner to the provincial courthouse.

A new justice centre is to be built on land behind the home.

The city sent the province a letter last year asking that the house be incorporated into the design of the justice building. The memorandum of understanding would address some of the province’s concerns about security and the aesthetics of the house.

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