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Calgary's Heritage Resources

RyLucky

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Check out a map of Calgary's heritage resources:

https://maps.calgary.ca/DiscoverHistoricCalgary/

Since the 1870's Calgary has amassed a variety of architectural styles including American Colonial Revival, Art Deco, Art Moderne, Arts and Crafts, Beaux-Arts, Brutalism, Bungalow, Chicago Commercial Revival, Classical Revival, Collegiate Gothic, Craftsman, Eastern European, Edwardian, Expressionist, Foursquare, Georgian Revival, Gothic Revival, International, Italianate, Modern, Modern Classical, Postmodern, Prairie, Queen Anne Revival, Renaissance Revival, Romanesque Revival, Rustic, Second Empire, Spanish Colonial Revival, Structuralist, Tutor Revival, and Vernacular with new styles turning up every year.
  • Which other buildings or sites deserve heritage status?
  • What defines the character of our neighbourhoods?
  • What contemporary buildings are destined to be heritage icons?
 

RyLucky

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Another thing I wanted to discuss was the possibility of a heritage trail through Calgary. For reference see Boston's Freedom Trail ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Trail ), which is a 4 km path past a number of sites important to Boston and the American Revolution. To follow the Freedom Trail, all you have to do is follow a trail of red bricks imbedded in the sidewalk. The bricks make it feel eternal and the whole experience is more tactile. You can't help but be curious where the bricks lead. It is the de facto tourist activity if you have a few hours to kill in Boston, and gives you a good sense of the history and character of the city. At key sites, a medallion lets you know there is something to learn there.

On a recent trip to Portland, I also explored the 4T Trail (https://www.travelportland.com/article/4t-trail/) which leads one via "trains, trails, trams, and trolleys" in a giant loop of the town. This works especially well in Portland, because they have great hiking right in the city. Many visitors to Portland probably have also not been on too many trams or trolleys before.

There also has been a lot of talk about "the Music Mile" (http://www.musicmile.ca/venues.html) from Inglewood (Blues Can, Festival Hall, Gravity Cafe, Ironwood, etc) to NMC/King Eddy. How much wood it cost to sink a few guitar picks and drumsticks or something into the sidewalk to give it a bit more presence and awareness?

A trail like either the Freedom Trail or the 4T Trail in Calgary could have a number of advantages. Where would it work best in Calgary?

My first though was to start the trail at Fort Calgary, head east along 8th Ave (past NMC, St Louis Hotel), under the NCL, through City Hall (past Centre Street Lions, old City Hall), down Stephen Ave (past Olympic Plaza, Famous 5 Statue, many historic buildings), turn south at 1st St SW (past Palliser Hotel, Grain Exchange), meander to Central Memorial Park Library, continue east to Laugheed House, turn south on 7th St SW past Nellie McClung's house, turn west again on 17th Ave (past WCHS), jig south to 18th Ave (past St Mary's Cathedral, CNR Station), and finally end the trail at a new gate to the Stampede Grounds. <5km.
 

Oddball

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Hey Ry. Thanks for starting this discussion. Sounds neat. The link didn't work unfortunately. Do you have another one? Also, where is there any Second Empire in Calgary?

I'm really glad you included WHCS in your heritage walk. It's a great building, and if ever you gain access, you have to make your way to the 3rd floor of the West Wing and go to the men's bathroom. It has the greatest urinals on earth. They're like bathtubs turned up vertical standing on end.

When it comes to Calgary's heritage resources. I think it's pretty clear that most things built early in Calgary's history, say everything still standing from it's foundation to the inter-war era, is going to get some attention. Skipping ahead, I think there's a lot to like about Calgary's current wave of construction. Projects like the Bow and Telus Sky, and smaller less noticed works like the Water Building I think will be highly regarded by future residents of the city. However, I do think that there's a gap in our perception of heritage buildings. When are we going to start to put value on the buildings built during the boom eras from the 60s-80s? There is admittedly a lot of crap in there. I will be the first to celebrate the demolition of the Scotia Tower or the current Telus building when their times come. But I think there are definitely some buildings from that era that are under appreciated and at risk.

The area North of City Hall is loaded with weird brutalist buildings that I know from conversations many Calgarians don't value. The crown jewel to me is the old CBE building. I really hope they preserve it, but there are others of the same vintage, like the old central library and the appartment block across from the CBE building with the curved balconies that I think are weird and wonderful, which along with the mature trees lend the area a uniqueness and a cohesion. My ultimate hope for the area is that these buildings are handed over to Bow Valley College as it expands and become the basis for a downtown university campus. But that's just a pipe dream. The YWCA has had it's days numbered. So how much longer do the others have?

Also fitting into the 60s-80s period are Calgary's Olympic legacies. Some of them have expanded and flourished like COP/Winsport. Others like the Saddledome which is currently talked about being replaced or the ski jumps which no longer seem able to serve their original purpose may be at risk. For my part, the Olympic legacy truly deserving of heritage status is the Olympic Oval though. Modernization wouldn't hurt it, but it is a very unique structure in terms of both design and purpose. Covered speed skating ovals are rare beasts.

Apart from the Oval, I've never been particularly fond of the U of C Campus, but I think there must be some of those structures that are at least worth reviewing. The Engineering Building is receiving a massive ovehaul. I wasn't an engineering studen when I went there, but I did have the odd class there. It was a very awkward building, hard to get around and make sense of, but it also had a sense of mystery to it. As though it might be full of hidden rooms and crawl spaces one could make their own. I'm sure the new upgrade will mak it considerably more functional, but I fear there has been a great loss of character along with it. So long door to nowhere. The best hidden gem I can think of is the covered court yard in the Administration Building. It's like a greenhouse/patio.

I feel much the same way about Mount Royal's main building as I did about the engineering building. I was often there for music lessons and summer camps as a kid. We'd often have to trump around it and it was hard to tell how you'd get from A to B in there. I've maintained a certain level of awe and respect for it since I've grown up. It has many weird rooms and angles and hallways that seem to meander off almost at random. It has weird changes in scale from hall to hall and not to mention it's strange colour palet and materials. Even after all these years it still fills me with a sense of wonder. Maybe it's not the most functional building, but it's kinda fun. To me at any rate.

Finally, there's the Tower. And, I've got a whole thread about that that's getting about as much attention as the real tower. :p
 
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RyLucky

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^ Apparently there is one example of Second Empire in Calgary:
St. Anne's R.C. Convent http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/PD/Pages/...oric-Calgary-resources.aspx?dhcResourceId=364
Sorry that link didn't work for you. Maybe try copy/pasting http://maps.calgary.ca/DiscoverHistoricCalgary/ into browser or try from non-mobile?

I know the inside of WCHS well. I went there!

I think you are on to something with Calgary's modernist legacy. So much of our growth occurred in the 70s/early 80s, an era that has been like something that was embarrassing to us when we were young but now we realize is kind of cool. Like dad's vinyl collection.
 

Surrealplaces

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I like the idea of the Music Mile, and think it could be done feasibly in Calgary. It would also help better tie Inglewood int East Village.

Another thing I wanted to discuss was the possibility of a heritage trail through Calgary. For reference see Boston's Freedom Trail ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Trail ), which is a 4 km path past a number of sites important to Boston and the American Revolution. To follow the Freedom Trail, all you have to do is follow a trail of red bricks imbedded in the sidewalk. The bricks make it feel eternal and the whole experience is more tactile. You can't help but be curious where the bricks lead. It is the de facto tourist activity if you have a few hours to kill in Boston, and gives you a good sense of the history and character of the city. At key sites, a medallion lets you know there is something to learn there.

On a recent trip to Portland, I also explored the 4T Trail (https://www.travelportland.com/article/4t-trail/) which leads one via "trains, trails, trams, and trolleys" in a giant loop of the town. This works especially well in Portland, because they have great hiking right in the city. Many visitors to Portland probably have also not been on too many trams or trolleys before.

There also has been a lot of talk about "the Music Mile" (http://www.musicmile.ca/venues.html) from Inglewood (Blues Can, Festival Hall, Gravity Cafe, Ironwood, etc) to NMC/King Eddy. How much wood it cost to sink a few guitar picks and drumsticks or something into the sidewalk to give it a bit more presence and awareness?

A trail like either the Freedom Trail or the 4T Trail in Calgary could have a number of advantages. Where would it work best in Calgary?

My first though was to start the trail at Fort Calgary, head east along 8th Ave (past NMC, St Louis Hotel), under the NCL, through City Hall (past Centre Street Lions, old City Hall), down Stephen Ave (past Olympic Plaza, Famous 5 Statue, many historic buildings), turn south at 1st St SW (past Palliser Hotel, Grain Exchange), meander to Central Memorial Park Library, continue east to Laugheed House, turn south on 7th St SW past Nellie McClung's house, turn west again on 17th Ave (past WCHS), jig south to 18th Ave (past St Mary's Cathedral, CNR Station), and finally end the trail at a new gate to the Stampede Grounds. <5km.
 

Oddball

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http://www.metronews.ca/news/calgary/2016/10/18/bow-valley-college-eyes-calgary-central-library-expansion.html

It looks like BVC is hoping to acquire the old Central Library once the new one goes live in 2018. The article also makes mention that they're hungry for properties on adjacent blocks. I hope this means that they might make a push to encorporate and preserve the old CBE building. I'm also interested to see that "planned expansion" they have in store in the next 4 years.

I also finally had a chance to peak at the Heritage link you posted. They're list is pretty exhaustive and educational. There's quite a bit of older stuff in the city if you know where to look.

Right on about WCHS. Red...hawks... on the warpath!
 

Surrealplaces

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I think BVC in the old library is a good fit. I know the building was old, but it's main issue was lack of space and issues with overloaded weight due to books.

Is the old police station still in use?
 

Stephen Ave

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I never noticed this thread before. Glad to see we have one, and glad to have found those videos. Very cool,videos and very well done.
 

JoeUrban

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New recommended additions to Calgary's Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources (all photos sourced from there)

http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/pd/Pages/Heritage-planning/Inventory-of-evaluated-historic-resources.aspx

Note that the inclusion on the inventory simply identifies sites which have been professionally researched and evaluated but does not provide any protection. However they are flagged on the city's permit system and any permit applications are forwarded to Heritage Planning for approval. It also allows the site to be designated (legally protected) should the owner wish to do so.

1911 Belisle Residence (Mission)




1917 Reavely Residence (Mount Pleasant)




1912 Cross Residence (Bowness)



1913 Wallace Residence (Bowness)

 
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JoeUrban

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However, I do think that there's a gap in our perception of heritage buildings. When are we going to start to put value on the buildings built during the boom eras from the 60s-80s? There is admittedly a lot of crap in there. I will be the first to celebrate the demolition of the Scotia Tower or the current Telus building when their times come. But I think there are definitely some buildings from that era that are under appreciated and at risk.

The area North of City Hall is loaded with weird brutalist buildings that I know from conversations many Calgarians don't value. The crown jewel to me is the old CBE building. I really hope they preserve it, but there are others of the same vintage, like the old central library and the appartment block across from the CBE building with the curved balconies that I think are weird and wonderful, which along with the mature trees lend the area a uniqueness and a cohesion. My ultimate hope for the area is that these buildings are handed over to Bow Valley College as it expands and become the basis for a downtown university campus. But that's just a pipe dream. The YWCA has had it's days numbered. So how much longer do the others have?.
Just to respond to this, the Calgary Heritage Authority has started adding some 50s, 60s and later buildings to the heritage inventory.
There are 71 sites from 1957 to 1987.

Some examples downtown:

Elveden Centre, 1958



Natural Resources Building, 1966



Education Centre Building, 1969



NOVA Building Complex, 1979



Dome Building, 1958





Catholic School Centre, 1968




The murals on the side of the Glenblow Museum, 1975



As well as Oympic Plaza and the speedskating oval.

Outside of the downtown there's 50s, 60s, and 70s modernist churches and grocery stores and a few houses



I actually 'discovered' that one in Shawnessy and submitted it for possible inclusion. Early 1960s house in a 1980s community.
 

Social Justice

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Where is the Shawnessy house?
 

Habanero

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I know both of those houses in Bowness. I didn't realize they were that old!

New recommended additions to Calgary's Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources (all photos sourced from there)

http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/pd/Pages/Heritage-planning/Inventory-of-evaluated-historic-resources.aspx

Note that the inclusion on the inventory simply identifies sites which have been professionally researched and evaluated but does not provide any protection. However they are flagged on the city's permit system and any permit applications are forwarded to Heritage Planning for approval. It also allows the site to be designated (legally protected) should the owner wish to do so.

1912 Cross Residence (Bowness)



1913 Wallace Residence (Bowness)

 

Social Justice

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That's incredible, thanks!


I notice that the Shawnessy Barn is still there.
 

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