Despite recent efforts to save it, the historic A. Minchau Blacksmith Shop building in Old Strathcona was torn down Monday.
However, it appeared workers were trying to save some of the building’s original beams.
Early in 2018, the building’s owner applied to demolish the building, which dates back to 1925. Adolf Minchau became a prominent Strathcona business figure. He came to the area in 1907 from Russia.
But the Heritage Forward group pushed to save the historic Edmonton building from the wrecking ball. A historical resource impact assessment was requested. The move by the province paused any demo permit, according to the heritage organization.
A demolition permit was issued this past July.
A Heritage Forward member called the history of the Minchau building “possibly the single most Edmonton story I can think of.”
Historic building enthusiast Dan Rose explained in an Instagram post in March 2018 that Minchau immigrated in 1907 and “worked for John Walter as a millwright before opening a blacksmith shop of his own catering to the carts, carriages and industrial businesses passing through the ‘end of steel.’
“As WWII kicked off, his German-ness was enough to arouse suspicion of authorities and Adolf Minchau was sent to an internment camp as a suspected enemy alien,” Rose wrote. “The business was confiscated but, after the war the family picked up where they left off and the blacksmith business continued in this location until the 1980s.”
The building was on the inventory of historic properties, but had no official designation.
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