Stumped for ideas for a Christmas gift this year? Do you have people on your list who love local history? Then consider donating to the Canmore Miners’ Union Hall restoration project under their name.
This $350,000 project, undertaken for the hall’s centennial in 2013 seeks to replace the stucco on the outside of the hall – started in 1910 and completed in 1913 – with wood bevel siding. The goal, following complete interior renovation and replacement of the front stairs, is to return the Union Hall, built by volunteers, to its original appearence.
Practically all of Canmore’s buildings used locally milled wood bevel siding in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The siding can be seen on the Canmore Hotel, St. Michael’s Anglican Church and the Ralph Connor Memorial Church. Very little brick and stone was used in Canmore as it was more expensive than the readily available pine. The Canmore Model School, built in 1922, was the only building built with brick. The rapidly disintegrating lamphouse, which sits at the No. 2 Mine Site as part of the Three Sisters Mountain Village (now held by the receiver PriceWaterhouseCoopers) was built with stone. Stucco later became a common siding on houses throughout town.
So far, a private donor has committed $100,000 towards the project, as long as the Town of Canmore, which owns the building, agrees to match that amount. The Town’s contribution is in the proposed 2012 capital budget, but it has not yet been approved. If that does indeed go through, that leaves another $150,000 to be raised through grants and local fundraising.
For more information on this project can be found at http://cmuh.weebly.com/index.html