Rutherford House

The residence is an excellent example of upper-class Edwardian era architecture in the Scottish Baronial style.

Rutherford House was named after Alberta's first premier, Dr. Alexander Cameron Rutherford, who resided there from its completion in 1911 until 1940. Constructed of red brick, and detailed with sandstone trim and sills, the house is distinguished by two-storey bay windows on either side of the columned front porch. The steep intersecting gable roof has parapets at the base and is flanked by chimneys. The interior contains oak woodwork and paneling as well as an interior stained glass skylight. Exemplifying the Rutherfords’ prominence in society, the house is one of the oldest and most significant residences in the historic Garneau neighbourhood. 

Alexander, along with his wife Mattie and their family, resided in the house for many years, and entertained visitors important to both the province and the University of Alberta. As Premier from 1905 to 1910, Rutherford helped lay the legislative and administrative foundations of the new province. With a particular interest in public education, he was instrumental in establishing the University of Alberta. He remained prominent in public life by practicing law and serving as president of the Historical Society of Alberta from 1919 to 1941; by sitting on the University Senate from 1907 to 1927; and by acting as University Chancellor from 1927 to 1941. 

The Rutherfords sold their home and furnishings in 1940 to the Alberta chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, who converted it into a fraternity house. The house was almost demolished in 1966 when plans were made to bulldoze it to make way for a new development. However, after a public outcry, the house was restored to its former glory. It subsequently was designated a Provincial Historic Resource (1975) and became a museum that celebrates the life of Alberta's first and visionary Premier.




Designation Status

No Historic Recognition



Year Built




Architectural Styles

Scottish Baronial

Character Defining Elements

Balcony , Bay window , Brick cladding , Brick structure , Columns , Corbelling , Crenellated parapet , Gabled parapet , Intersecting gable roof , Porch , Pyramidal roof , Smooth stone


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