News   Apr 03, 2020
 872     0 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 1.9K     3 
News   Apr 02, 2020
 761     0 

Terrible Redevelopments and Renovations of Calgary™

Platopos

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
166
Reaction score
300
Hey guys, so recently I visited Calgary, went to the Chinook Center food court and got to see what I assumed to be a pretty damn soul murdering renovation. Any and all creativity, variety or decoration is gone including, but not limited to the planes hanging from the ceiling, the carousel and the plant sections, replaced by homogeneous black painted metal parts and white tiles that you'd expect in an office space, not a place to eat.

However, I realized that this renovation isn't even close to one of the worst in Calgary.

You guys remember what happened to the Devonian Gardens? I moved to Calgary too late to find out and wish I never did anyways. But, as fate put it, I stumbled across two youtube videos of the old Devonian Gardens and I damn near punched a wall.
Devonian Gardens Historical Tour - part 1:
Devonian Gardens Historical Tour - part 2:

I'm almost enjoying my rage, so if you have any more completely shitty redevelopments or renovations like these, done in Calgary, feel free to post them.
 

The Familia

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
346
Reaction score
450
Haven't seen the new Chinook food court yet, but Devonian Gardens is a terrible tragedy. What a clusterfuck of a renovation.

While not a "renovation", the new science center is a complete fail in every regard. For a building that is supposed to invoke creativity, imagination, and futurism, this building is a disgrace and I would actually celebrate if it literally collapsed in the middle of the night.
 

Platopos

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
166
Reaction score
300
Haven't seen the new Chinook food court yet, but Devonian Gardens is a terrible tragedy. What a clusterfuck of a renovation.

While not a "renovation", the new science center is a complete fail in every regard. For a building that is supposed to invoke creativity, imagination, and futurism, this building is a disgrace and I would actually celebrate if it literally collapsed in the middle of the night.
When did you go by any chance? I know when it first opened in late 2011, it had very few exhibits and many that were available, were targeted towards kids, or were just simple or boring. Has it changed much since then?
 

Platopos

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
166
Reaction score
300
Seems like we're actually about to have another one of these underway
https://calgaryherald.com/news/loca...xpansion-as-it-seeks-to-become-more-inclusive

Just a quick quote from the article itself on the expansion project.

“It’s certainly a big physical project,” said McLean. “We’re also going to be completely gutting and renovating the existing building so that it will be unrecognizable.”
Seriously, what the hell.
 

Platopos

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
166
Reaction score
300
Seems like we're actually about to have another one of these underway
https://calgaryherald.com/news/loca...xpansion-as-it-seeks-to-become-more-inclusive

Just a quick quote from the article itself on the expansion project.

“It’s certainly a big physical project,” said McLean. “We’re also going to be completely gutting and renovating the existing building so that it will be unrecognizable.”
Seriously, what the hell.
I'm really hoping they're referring to the new building, not the historic building. If it's the recently built one, I guess it's okay.
 

UrbanWarrior

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,367
Reaction score
7,761
Location
Mission
Seems like we're actually about to have another one of these underway
https://calgaryherald.com/news/loca...xpansion-as-it-seeks-to-become-more-inclusive

Just a quick quote from the article itself on the expansion project.

“It’s certainly a big physical project,” said McLean. “We’re also going to be completely gutting and renovating the existing building so that it will be unrecognizable.”
Seriously, what the hell.
Fort Calgary's current facilities are terrible, this will be a major improvement.

 

Surrealplaces

Administrator
Staff member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,771
Reaction score
20,422
Location
Calgary
I liked the old Devonian Gardens better as well. It needed some sprucing up, but I think they would have been fine without re=doing the whole thing, and instead just did a upgrading with new materials etc.
Hey guys, so recently I visited Calgary, went to the Chinook Center food court and got to see what I assumed to be a pretty damn soul murdering renovation. Any and all creativity, variety or decoration is gone including, but not limited to the planes hanging from the ceiling, the carousel and the plant sections, replaced by homogeneous black painted metal parts and white tiles that you'd expect in an office space, not a place to eat.

However, I realized that this renovation isn't even close to one of the worst in Calgary.

You guys remember what happened to the Devonian Gardens? I moved to Calgary too late to find out and wish I never did anyways. But, as fate put it, I stumbled across two youtube videos of the old Devonian Gardens and I damn near punched a wall.
Devonian Gardens Historical Tour - part 1:
Devonian Gardens Historical Tour - part 2:

I'm almost enjoying my rage, so if you have any more completely shitty redevelopments or renovations like these, done in Calgary, feel free to post them.
 

darwink

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
1,408
Reaction score
2,301
Opening to the mall in hindsight was a mistake. Without its own HVAC which had higher humidity, and the smell of plants (though, a lot of that was from the turtles people had released over the years) it just isn't even close to the same.
 

CBBarnett

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
680
Reaction score
1,850
Fort Calgary's current facilities are terrible, this will be a major improvement.

When you don't have a good plan for operations, hire an architect to attract more capital to get a shiny new building to buy some more time. Their facilities are poor, but their problem is far worse than their facilities being shabby; it's that they have little raison d'etre, they don't have a reasonably purpose to exist as they do.

Fort Calgary averaged 100 or so visitors per day in 2017, with a high degree of seasonality and with several big holidays making up a large amount of the attendees. This is not good utilization of such a prominent (and large) site. History is important - part of the reason more "urban" redevelopment didn't happen in the 1970s is the site had a 60 year history of being the CN rail yard and all the contamination and issues that go with that legacy, as well as floodplain issues, a collapsed mega project for a highway interchange and union rail station etc. The site became a historic site as a result of failing to do anything more useful with it, not because of some burning need to preserve our history.

A field house/recreation centre on some of the site would be a much better addition. Perhaps even a small outdoor stadium. If you designed either of these things to have an urban footprint, you wouldn't even need to remove the 1975-era historic fort. Just slide it right onto the corner of 9th Ave & 6th St SE. Such a use would keep the site a public amenity, but one that is actually used by the public at a far greater extent supporting current and future citizens, not just the past. Surely such a re-purposing would be better in line with a future rapid transit station a block away, the best bus and bicycle network in the city and the whole re-urbanization process underway in all the surrounding areas.

Perhaps this will be my contentious conclusion (apologies in advance): The Fort Calgary site certainly has history, but is hardly "historic"; it's existence has more to do with failed major projects than having an attractive program. IMO it shouldn't be rewarded to keep a marginal site limping along for another few decades until the next renovation. The site is a huge public asset being put to incredibly poor use that a minor western heritage museum expansion will not resolve.The city needs more cultural and event space, but it does not need more dedicated space of a niche history museum. Any visit of Stampede Park 355 days a year should remind us of this. /endrant :)
 

Platopos

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
166
Reaction score
300
Fort Calgary's current facilities are terrible, this will be a major improvement.

Oh thank god, they made it sound like they'regonna tear down the historic section of the building. But they way it looks here, it's good, definitely an improvement over what they have there now.
 

JoeUrban

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
290
Hey guys, so recently I visited Calgary, went to the Chinook Center food court and got to see what I assumed to be a pretty damn soul murdering renovation. Any and all creativity, variety or decoration is gone including, but not limited to the planes hanging from the ceiling, the carousel and the plant sections, replaced by homogeneous black painted metal parts and white tiles that you'd expect in an office space, not a place to eat.

However, I realized that this renovation isn't even close to one of the worst in Calgary.

You guys remember what happened to the Devonian Gardens? I moved to Calgary too late to find out and wish I never did anyways. But, as fate put it, I stumbled across two youtube videos of the old Devonian Gardens and I damn near punched a wall.
Devonian Gardens Historical Tour - part 1:
Devonian Gardens Historical Tour - part 2:

I'm almost enjoying my rage, so if you have any more completely shitty redevelopments or renovations like these, done in Calgary, feel free to post them.
A $70 million dollar vandalism in my opinion.
 

JoeUrban

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
290
Oh thank god, they made it sound like they'regonna tear down the historic section of the building. But they way it looks here, it's good, definitely an improvement over what they have there now.
Just to clarify one thing, no buildings on the west side of the Elbow on the Fort Calgary site are historic.
The "Markings" public art installation traces the actual site of the fort, which was discovered in the 1970s underneath a warehouse storage yard

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.0439948,-114.0460274,161a,35y,39.17t/data=!3m1!1e3

The remaining historic buildings from Fort Calgary are the Deane House which was moved from the west to the east side of the Elbow, and the two cabins next to the Deane house. The NWMP barracks are a reproduction from 2000.
 

Mountain Man

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
2,019
Reaction score
2,268
Heritage Park and Ft Calgary should have been the same development, we don't need 2 separate historical parks ion the city. It's too bad Ft Calgary couldn't have been kept and maintained like Ft Langley in BC, that area really surprised me how vibrant it was.
 

JoeUrban

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
290
Heritage Park and Ft Calgary should have been the same development, we don't need 2 separate historical parks ion the city. It's too bad Ft Calgary couldn't have been kept and maintained like Ft Langley in BC, that area really surprised me how vibrant it was.
Imagine Fort Calgary along with a reproduction of a couple of blocks of 4th avenue circa 1900, with the houses moved from downtown to there and re-purposed as restaurants and bed and breakfasts

 

Top