A historic home in downtown Red Deer that recently sold will continue to be cared for as one of the city’s important links to its past.
A new business — a spa — will be located at McIntosh House, at 4631-50 St., and the contents of the home, some of which are antiques, will be auctioned off in April.
The previous owner of the home, Trudy Madole, passed away in 2014. She had operated a bed and breakfast in the house, and also lived there. The house, which was sold a few months ago by her family, had been listed for sale at $519,900.
McIntosh House has three floors and a full basement, and is considered Victorian, or early Edwardian era. It has 869.5 square metres (9,360 sq ft) of floor space.
It’s fine and beautiful work is considered a testament to the skills of master bricklayer Julius McIntosh, who used brick made locally to build the home for himself and his family in 1906. Julius’s grandfather and great grandfather developed the McIntosh apple.
“It really is a stunning house,” said Janet Pennington, City of Red Deer Heritage Community Development Co-ordinator.
Pennington, along with a senior planner from the city, and a provincial government conservation advisor, have met with the new owners. The Advocate was unable to make contact with the unidentified owners.
The home is designated as a historic resource and therefore is protected. Any renovations or alterations need to meet national standards and guidelines, Pennington said, adding very minimal changes will be made to the home when it becomes a spa.
Whenever the city is looking at designating a property or looking at changes to a designated site, they meet with the property owners, and depending on the issue they will bring in provincial advisor who provides extra expertise, she said.
Matching funding is available, up to $50,000, from the province for restoration work for these kinds of buildings.
“It is an absolutely amazing property. It’s pretty well intact inside,” Pennington said. The original woodwork remains. The only thing that has been changed is the kitchen, which had been changed to meet commercial standards.
Pennington said the city has worked with the new owners so the house is not affected. “These people are committed to retaining that property as it is.”
Last September for the first time the city held a Doors Open event that allowed access into different buildings and sites not normally open to the public. Over 3,500 people came out to get inside such facilities as the water tower, which itself drew 780 people, Pennington said.
Another Doors Open event is scheduled for the fall and the new owners of McIntosh House have expressed interest in participating, she said.
Tom Kean, owner of Cherry Hill Auction, said he is holding an unreserved auction of the house contents that were there when it was a bed and breakfast.
The auction, April 3 at Ridgewood Hall, will include period furniture such as sideboards, china cabinets and dressing tables. Kean said he expects there will be antique collectors from Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan there.