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Carstairs church now a municipal historic resource

Knox Presbyterian Church is the town's earliest formal place of worship
MVT knox presbyterian
The 120-year-old Knox Presbyterian church building at the Carstairs Heritage Centre has been designated a municipal historic resource. Dan Singleton/MVP Staff

CARSTAIRS - The Knox Presbyterian Church building in downtown Carstairs has been designated a municipal historic resource.

The move came by way of motions on Bylaw No. 2017 at the April 26 Carstairs council meeting through the passage of Bylaw No. 2017.

“It’s nice to have it designated so it will remain and no one can decided later to rip it down,” said Town of Carstairs Mayor Lance Colby.

Located at the Carstairs Heritage Centre at 1138 Nanton Street, the facility is owned by the Carstairs & District Historical Society (CDHS). 

Constructed as a church in 1901 and expanded to include a social hall in 1958, its current use is a museum building, housing artifacts from the town and district. It is also used for CDHS events.

In its application for the designation, the CDHS said, in part, that, “As the oldest extistant building in Carstairs, which embodies the labours and sacrifice of early community pioneers, Knox Presbyterian Church is symbolic of the early settlement of the town.

“Knox Presbyterian Church is Carstairs' earliest formal place of worship, possessing value as a significant institutional building that served the spiritual needs of its congregation and the social needs of the wider community for almost 12 decades.”

The facility is valued as an example of Carpenter’s Gothic Style and is a town landmark, the CDHS said.

The building ceased to be used as a church in 1985 and in 1988 it was designated a registered provincial historic resource.

Under the new designation, “no person shall destroy, disturb, alter, restore, repair or otherwise permanently affect the regulated portions unless that person has obtained the prior written approval of council or the chief administrative officer (CAO) or his (or her) appointed designate.”

The CAO may authorize minor work to alter, restore or repair the facility, with council retaining the final approval on requests to destroy or demolish the facility and on requests for major conservation or restoration work that require a building or development permit or other cases as deemed necessary.

No compensation is owing from the Town of Carstairs to the owner of the Knox Presbyterian Church building as a result of this designation.

Councillors unanimously passed first, second and third readings of the bylaw.