Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Description of Historic Place
The Court House is a Municipal Heritage Property located on a large parcel of land with a commanding vista overlooking Central Avenue and downtown Prince Albert. Constructed in 1927, the property features a two-storey, brick-clad building, surrounded by landscaped grounds
The heritage value of the Prince Albert Court House lies in its architecture. The building is one of a series of court houses designed by the office of the provincial architect, a government department responsible for the design and supervision of all public buildings from 1905 until the department was discontinued in the early 1930s during the depression.
Architect and engineer Maurice Sharon held the position between 1916 and 1930 and is credited with the design of ten Provincial court houses. Several towns and cities were identified as judicial centres with those at Yorkton, Kerrobert, Prince Albert, Weyburn and Estevan receiving buildings of substantial size, while those at Gravelbourg, Shaunavon, Wynyard, Melfort and Assiniboia received more modest buildings that share an identical prototypical design.
While Sharon’s first courthouse at Yorkton exhibited an elaborate Beaux-Arts style, similar to other government buildings constructed during that time, he embraced a Colonial Revival style for the remaining nine buildings. The building’s massing and projecting end pavilions make this building similar to the court houses in Yorkton and Kerrobert. However the Prince Albert Court House is distinguished from the others by its unique central cupola with a clock. These buildings featured pitched roofs, rain gutters integrated with projecting metal cornices, central cupola with attic ventilation, and brick cladding trimmed with stone. The incorporation of these design elements enabled the government to reduce construction costs and solve technical problems of roof drainage while retaining the appropriate sense of grandeur and presence symbolic of a judicial building.
The heritage value of the Prince Albert Court House also lies in its landmark status in the community. Situated on a hill overlooking downtown Prince Albert, the building’s prominence is evident through its size, brick cladding, and location. The building’s large landscaped grounds with flagpoles and a statue also speak to the Court House’s landmark status.
This property has been designated as being of architectural, historical or natural value under the City of Prince Albert Bylaw No. 17 of 1983 - Designation of Heritage Property - Heritage Property Court House.
The heritage value of the Court House resides in the following character-defining elements:
those architectural elements that reflect the Colonial Revival style of architecture, such as the building’s symmetrical design, sloped roof, metal cornice with integral rain gutters, central cupola with clock, dormer windows, and columned main entrance with portico and balcony;
those architectural elements specific to the series of colonial style courthouse’s in Saskatchewan designed by Maurice Sharon, such as the use of claybank brick and Tyndal stone highlights;
those elements that demonstrate the building’s status as a landmark in the community, such as the formal plantings and open grass areas of the grounds, flag poles, and statue on front grounds.