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Heritage evaluation procedure and criteria

There are many sites in Calgary which merit inclusion on the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources ("Inventory") which have not yet been evaluated. Each year the Calgary Heritage Authority (“CHA”) uses a portion of its budget to evaluate these additional sites for potential placement on the Inventory. Sites that are selected for evaluation are proposed by the CHA, heritage planning staff and the public.

The current evaluation system, effective as of June 2008, is based on nine criteria of significance and six criteria of integrity.

Criteria of significance

To be listed on the Inventory a resource must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Activity - association with an activity (occupations, pursuits, and leisure practices of local individuals that were commonplace) that is significant to the municipality’s history.
  2. Event – association with an event significant to the municipality’s history.
  3. Institution - association with a significant institution in the municipality's history.
  4. Person/people - association with the life of a significant person in the municipality's history.
  5. Style – embodies a distinctive architectural style.
  6. Design - incorporates elements of previous design and is unconventional or original in its execution.
  7. Construction - embodies characteristics of a period/method of construction or exhibits innovative or locally unique construction with regard to the structure itself/construction technique.
  8. Landmark - has a special visual value that transcends its function and contributes to the distinctive character of the municipality.
  9. Symbolic value - has acquired special sentimental or symbolic value that transcends its function.

An Inventory site is determined to have value as either a City-wide Historic Resource or Community Historic Resource, meaning that the property has value to the entire city, or it has value at a more specific neighbourhood / community level. A property must have City-wide value associated with at least one of the nine criteria of significance to be listed as a “City-wide Historic Resource”.

Criteria of integrity

In addition to possessing significance, a property must possess integrity to be placed on the Inventory. Not all of the six “criteria of integrity” listed below are required for placement on the Inventory, however, a resource must on balance posses the criteria of integrity.

  1. Location - place where a resource was constructed or the site of an activity or event.
  2. Design - elements that create the form, plan, space, structure and style of a resource.
  3. Environment - physical character/context of a resource.
  4. Materials - physical elements used during a particular period to form a resource.
  5. Workmanship - evidence of the crafts of a particular culture/people during a period in history that provide information about technological practices and aesthetic principles.
  6. Association - a link between an historic resource and an historical activity, institution or person.

For more information see the Historic Resource Evaluation System Handbook.