The future of the old Bawtinheimer & Sons butcher shop, listed for sale as a “handyman special,” is up in the air.
History buffs in the city hope the building at 5820 and 5818 51st Ave. will be saved and restored.
“The original commercial district of North Red Deer was along 51st Avenue and 58th Street and this is the last surviving commercial building of that area, which at one time was the village of North Red Deer,” said Michael Dawe, the city’s curator of history.
North Red Deer was a village from 1911 to 1947.
It was Bawtinheimer’s second butcher shop.
The building was sold in 1912 and has seen various uses over the years.
In 1948, it was home to manufacturing and woodwork repair shop Red Deer Sash and Door.
Most recently, the shop was converted into a triplex for residential use.
Real estate information on the property lists it as built in 1944 because that’s when substantial renovations were done.
The Riverside Meadows property is in foreclosure and needs work.
“Over the years, the building has not been kept up well. It’s not had good maintenance.
“The original brick work was stuccoed over a long time ago, but it does have significance,” Dawe said.
And it’s located in a commercial area that’s seen significant revitalization over the years, he said.
“If someone was to take the building and do something with it, I think it would be very nice and probably a good attraction.”
The Bawtinheimer building is included in the city’s North Red Deer Walking Tour booklet.
Janet Pennington, the city’s heritage community development co-ordinator, said in 2008 the city identified 460 potential heritage property sites, including the old butcher shop.
But right now it’s not listed in the city’s land-use bylaw as a site of significance.
“What that means is it has no protection as a heritage building. So theoretically, the current owners or new owners could submit a request to demolish,” said Pennington, who works with property owners on ways to restore sites and apply for grants.
She said research could be done to see if property meets Canadian standards and guidelines to be classified as a heritage site.
If it was a designated site, the owner would be eligible to apply for a $50,000 matching grant from the province each year to help restore the building.
“We are certainly willing to work with any group in the community that’s interested in preserving historic sites. We have been incredibly successful in this town in getting these grants.”
The former Bawtinheimer machine shop, at 4925 48th St., is already a heritage building and is leased by Ten Thousand Villages.
“I know the community is very passionate about preserving its heritage sites,” Pennington said.