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Digital preservation of Golden’s Swiss Village begins

The Edward Feuz house is the first to be digitally preserved
The first chalet to be preserved from the Swiss Village. (RE/MAX Golden photo)

The first milestone towards the preservation of Golden’s historic Edelweiss Swiss Village has been reached, with a virtual tour available online.

Those interested can now take a stroll through a rendered 3D model of Edward Feuz’s Chalet, a two-story chalet built in 1911 by the Canadian Pacific Railway to house the Swiss Guides, of which Edward Feuz was one.

The digital preservation is being done through the University of Calgary and a team comprised of archaeologists, geomatics engineers, computer scientists and heritage managers, who are dedicated to preserving Alberta’s diverse cultural heritage.

While the Edelweiss village and Swiss Guides may have been located in B.C., the impact that the guides had on Alberta and Western Canada as a whole are palpable: the Swiss Guides served areas like Lake Louise and Banff, as well as Rogers Pass and Golden.

The Capture2Preserv Team worked with the Swiss Edelweiss Village Foundation and the Presence Switzerland to start the digital preservation of the Swiss Edelweiss Village in Golden, BC in May 2022.

The chalet is just the first of the buildings on the property to be digitally preserved, with plans for all six buildings to receive the same treatment.

READ MORE: Saving Golden’s Swiss Village: Dr. Johann Roduit and Dr. Ilona Spaar reflect on iconic B.C. spot

The building was scanned using two laser scanners, the Z+F 5010X and Lecia BLK 360, which generated a point cloud that was used to create a detailed 3D model of the building.

The milestone marks the next phase of the efforts to preserve the village - the first stage was focused on raising awareness, and the second on creating the Swiss Edelweiss Village Foundation.

Currently, they are in the third phase of the roadmap to full preservation, which involves the Foundation crowdfunding so that they can purchase the property for physical preservation.

The GoFundMe has raised $17,220 out of its goal of $100,000. A total of $2,300,000 is needed to purchase the property, with the first deposit due in mid-July.

The Edelweiss Swiss Village is comprised of six Swiss-inspired homes, on a 50-acre property, which was constructed between 1910 and 1912 for the Swiss Guides.

The guides were brought to Golden to guide tourists through Rogers Pass, Banff and Lake Louise.

The property first went up for sale in early 2021.

Claire Palmer
Editor for the Golden Star
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Claire Palmer

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