Did you know that over 50 homes in the Highlands neighbourhood are on the City of Edmonton Heritage Inventory? These homes have met the City’s criteria for historical significance and homeowners can apply for designation. The criteria are listed on the City of Edmonton website. https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/edmonton_archives/historic-resources.aspx
If a home is listed on the City’s Historic inventory, the owners are eligible to apply for historic designation. One of the biggest benefits of owning a designated property is the financial assistance the homeowner may receive from the city to restore character – defining elements of the property. Historic designation also protects the home against demolition or large scale changes. In addition, at five year intervals, the program allows for homeowners to recoup up to one third of the expenses of maintaining their heritage home. The Rose Residence is one of several homes that have received municipal historic designation in the Highlands.
The Ira W. Stephens residence in the Highlands is the most recent addition to the list of designated properties in Edmonton. The owners have taken advantage of the grants available and have done a beautiful job of restoring this classic Craftsman.
If your home isn’t on the inventory, but you would still like to recognize its contribution to the community of Highlands, consider getting a plaque to commemorate your home’s first owners. In 2009, the Highlands Historical Society, lead by David Locky, began its own heritage recognition program.
This program is a partnership between the Highlands Historical Society and the City of Edmonton Heritage Conservation Unit. It recognizes homes that are 50 years or older. Once the homeowner has done the required research to confirm the date the home was built and the name and occupation of the original owners they can apply for a plaque.
This program has been extremely successful as evidenced by the number of plaques that are sprinkled throughout the neighbourhood. Since its initiation, approximately 6-8 plaques have been added each year to homes in the Highlands and Bellevue neighbourhoods. (A little known fact is that William Magrath and Bidwell Holgate also initiated the Bellevue sub-division.)
Over the period of nine years since the program’s beginning, the only change has been with regards to the shape. Early plaques do not sport the HHS logo but more recent ones do so the style is slightly different. This June, the HHS will be presenting the Highlands School with a plaque to recognize its important role in this community. We are so glad that this building will be preserved.
So, if you have a home in the Highlands or Bellevue neighbourhoods that is more than 50 years old, consider applying for a plaque. Plaques capture the history that exists in our neighbourhoods, and provide a tantalizing glimpse into the lives and careers of the people who have walked our streets, and built our community. For more information on the program check here. Deadline for summer applications is May 31st, 2018.