The Warden’s Residence Gets a New “Old” Look

Posted on May 29, 2020

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Over the past several years, improvements at the Fort Heritage Precinct have kept it preserved and well-maintained.  This time, the historic 1937 Warden’s Residence, home to the Fort Heritage Precinct’s Visitor Information Centre and administration, is getting a paint job.

The Warden’s Residence, Summer 2019.

Many residents will be familiar with the white stucco and green trim that they have come to associate with the Warden’s Residence over the past 30 years; but historical photographs and physical examination of the building has revealed that the house once donned a bolder colour palette: peach & red.

Warden’s Residence at the Fort Heritage Precinct during painting. May 28, 2020.

Removing the top layer of white paint reveals the original exterior paint colour. Further paint analysis of the building shows us that this is the only other colour the building has been painted since it was built in 1937.

 

As a museum and heritage site, it is our mandate to tell, and represent, the history of Fort Saskatchewan as accurately as possible. We have chosen to return the Warden’s Residence, a Municipal Historic Resource, to its historical colours to help us share the history of the Fort Saskatchewan Provincial Gaol more accurately.

Warden J.D. McLean (warden from 1926-1959) and Etta McLean on the Warden’s Residence front steps, ca. 1950s-1960s.

 

The preservation and restoration of heritage buildings is important. It helps to ensure that a historic building’s appearance maintains its original historic and cultural value within our community. It is a team effort that involves not only the facility maintenance and contractors but also curators and researchers who have an understanding of the building’s history and original design.

"The tour of the Precinct was really interesting and very engaging for the children. There were so many hands on activities for them to participate in that they were always engaged. I love that they are allowed to touch and explore many of the items around the precinct. That makes such a difference to keep them engaged, on task and motivated. The learning connections between what we talked about in school and what we saw were evident in the conversations between the kids and the interpreters."