Lacombe’s Presbyterian Manse has been added to designated Municipal Historic Resources.   

Designation is the highest level of recognition and protection available for historic buildings, streets, landscapes, and landmarks.   

“It's the recognition of a significant part of the community. When it's designated it can't be demolished without having to go through quite a process,” said Myles Chykerda Chairman of the Lacombe Heritage Resources Committee.  

Owners of designated buildings can also apply for grants to help maintain character-defining elements of the property.   

Lacombe Heritage with assistance from the city, has curated a list of properties over 50 years old and has a selection of properties of interest.  

“These are buildings that are potentially of interest, a building might be significant, not because of the architecture, but because of the history that's connected to it,” Chykerda said.  

From the properties of interest, there are about 70 buildings researched, and documented, with a statement of significance.  

Designating a property is a homeowner-driven process.   

“It's been really great the last few years to see owners recognizing the importance of their buildings, their houses, and their businesses,” Chykerda said. “It's wonderful to see residents of the home standing up and protecting their properties and realizing just what an important part of our heritage buildings are in Lacombe.”  

Chykerda added when he talks to the property owners, it’s clear they love their homes, and they acknowledge the building's history.   

“They've spent a lot of their own time, sweat, and money over the years, maintaining it, upgrading it, and keeping it in good condition, and they just don't want to see it torn down,” he said.   

Presbyterian Manse is only the third residential home that has been designated in Lacombe.  

“One of the issues is there’s a lot of misconceptions about what designation means,” Chykerda said.  “It's more about the exterior look and the character-defining elements, those are what have to be really maintained and you can't just do anything you want to with them."  

Chykerda explained that Lacombe Heritage works with the owners to create a list of character-defining elements.   

“We never want to see a building become a frozen-in-time museum that you can't do anything with,” he said.  

Designation highlights the importance of the historic buildings in the community.   

“You don't get anyone who comes and visits Lacombe and doesn't say something about the historic downtown, or the great houses on Main Street,” Chykerda said.