February 2016 CHA  Newsletter
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Hi Heritage Friends,

If you have questions, events you want to share on this list, or you have friends who want to join, please email us.

You can also find all of our past newsletters here.

The Lions Are Coming!

The Calgary Heritage Authority Lion Awards are back! A formal save the date will be coming soon but please reserve July 28th in your calendar. We are excited to be able to showcase all of the great heritage in our city!

We are in the process of updating the Lion Awards website but please check back regularly for when applications open as well as sponsorship information!

Calgary Herald: Little Eau Claire smokestack raising big questions about protection of historic buildings

"When is an old smokestack more than just an old smokestack? When it becomes a symbol of the way the city protects its heritage buildings, according to some Calgarians.

Amid the recent debate over the proposal to redevelop Eau Claire was a pitch to move the area’s 27-metre-tall brick smokestack to a different nearby location because it didn’t fit into the proposed project. Most city councillors didn’t see a problem with that in a recent vote. The director of the downtown business revitalization zone likes the idea. Calgarians don’t seem to mind either, because 80 per cent of those surveyed supported the plan to move it.

The problem is that it isn’t just any old smokestack. It dates back to 1947 when the area was a gritty industrial riverside site, rather than today’s playground for well-heeled downtown lunchers. The smokestack served the Calgary Transit garages that sat on the site until 1988, and it is the last connection to an industrial past that includes the nearby Eau Claire lumber mill.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is that the smokestack is a designated municipal historic resource. That 2008 designation means it’s protected from, among other things, relocation. This is what has proponents of heritage protection worried. If the Eau Claire proposal is accepted and the smokestack moved, the protection designation would have to be rescinded. That’s begging the question in the minds of some people: what good is heritage protection if it can just be stripped when it becomes inconvenient?

“Yes, it’s a smokestack,” says Josh Traptow, executive director at Calgary Heritage Authority. “But it’s bigger than just a smokestack.” "

Calgary Herald: How many historic buildings in Calgary are protected?

"The points on the map represent properties in the city of Calgary’ Inventory of Historic Resources. They are coloured to reflect their heritage designation, or lack thereof, on the property. The data came from the City of Calgary’s open data site. 

The inventory is created  by the Calgary Heritage Authority, and are added based on criteria set by city council. For more details, see the City of Calgary Heritage Planning."

CBC Calgary: Calgary at a Crossroads

Below are some tidbits that we thought our readers would be interested in reading!

Some of Calgary's oldest bars and the people who ran them

Calgary's historical buildings hide secrets

Hunt House, oldest Calgary building on original site, set to reopen

Retroactive: Salt and Sidewalks: Putting It On Ice

"Winter is once again upon us, and ‘tis the season to shovel and de-ice snowy, slippery stairs and sidewalks.

But before you do, think twice about using salt and de-icing chemicals around historic buildings.

Common rock salt and chloride-based de-icers such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are damaging in varying degrees to historic fabric, and especially to concrete and masonry. Salts (chlorides) dissolved in melt water are easily wicked into porous materials such as brick or stone. As the water evaporates, the remaining salts crystallize, exerting powerful expansive pressures within historic masonry and concrete. Over time, these microscopic but destructive expansive forces tear historic fabric apart from within, resulting in spalling concrete, disintegrating sandstone, and often leaving unsightly stains or “efflorescence” (see photograph)."

Sites added to the Inventory of Evaluated Historical Resources

The following properties were evaluated for addition to the City’s Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources in December 2015 and were approved by the CHA at its January board meeting.

Fire Hall No. 6 (1964) 1940 & 1928 Westmount BV NW (evaluation – City-Wide Historic Resource). Fire Hall No. 6 has activity value for providing firefighting services to West Hillhurst and adjacent northwest neighbourhoods from 1964-98.  It is valued as a good example of Modern-style fire hall in Calgary, reflective of 1960s civic architecture and is a community landmark.

Bowness Town Hall (1956) 6328 35 AV NW (Re-evaluation - Community Historic Resource).  This modest Modern-style building reflects 1950s civic architecture is significant for its historical use as Bowness’ first town hall.  It represents a period of resurgence in the development of the Bowness neighbourhood following the Second World War. It is also valued for providing fire protection to Bowness for a period of over five decades and contributes to creating a community-core precinct by adapting to provide ongoing community-based services.

Smith Block (1910-1911) 1122 Kensington RD NW (Re-evaluation - Community Historic Resource).  Completed in 1911, just four years after the area was annexed to Calgary, the Smith Block represents the early development phase of Hillhurst. It also recalls the early high-street character of Kensington Road as a streetcar route from 1909-50.  It represents the Edwardian Commercial-style architecture in Hillhurst with its red-brick exterior, flat roof, large symmetrical plate-glass storefront windows and cornice and simple proportions. The Smith Block’s early commercial activities as a grocery store and café, were an integral part of the commercial retail character of Hillhurst’s two main shopping streets.

The Calgary Civic Trust

The Calgary Civic Trust was founded in 1982 and registered with the Province of Alberta  as a not for profit charity.  It has championed heritage education, has worked to assist organizations in managing heritage properties, has educated the public about heritage and has led a movement to achieve heritage preservation through covenants and easements.  It has also raised money for heritage projects like the publication on covenants with the University of Calgary Press, the construction of the John Laurie Memorial plaque, and the preservation of the McDougall cairn site in NW Calgary.  Now that it is entering its second decade, the Trust wants to continue to preserve Calgary’s heritage through the restoration of heritage properties, through caveats and covenants and through public education in partnership with community associations.  It is the firm belief of the Trust that the Community Associations are the “eyes and ears” to determine the effective players in heritage preservation.   

More specifically, the Trust is attempting to promote a tax regime which would encourage heritage property owners, should they wish, to donate their heritage interest in real estate to the Trust or a similar not for profit as a donation.  It is anticipated that this could work similar to the gifts of natural interests in rural property that have been so successful in helping to preserve Alberta’s eco system.  The value of the heritage interest would be the difference between the assessed value without a heritage covenant and then the same property with a covenant  There are incredible complexities to be sorted out and the Civic Trust is engaging in a research project to determine the best alternatives.  The precise mechanisms are discussed in F. Pannekoek and M McMordie et al, eds, Heritage Covenants and Preservation:  The Calgary Civic Trust (University of Calgary Press, 2004. )   These last few months members of the Trust have made representations to government officials, the National Trust for Canada, the Calgary Heritage Authority, the Calgary Heritage Initiative and The Cliff Bungalow Community Association. The current President of the Trust is Frits Pannekoek, the Vice President Veronica Thompson, the Secretary Keesa Hutchinson and the Treasurer Grace Coulter.  The Trust can be reached at

Calgary Heritage Events

Below is a listing of heritage events happening throughout the city. We are always happy to include the events of other organizations in our monthly newsletters. We only ask that you have them to us by the first of each month. Events can be sent to

Author Cheryl Foggo shares her research on the legendary cowboy and rancher, John Ware, and the impact he has had on her own life in Alberta.

7:30 pm, February 23, 2016 at Fort Calgary.

Archaeological Society of Alberta - Calgary Centre: From the Desert to the Plains: A Paleoethnobotanical Research Program

Wed, February 17, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
University of Calgary Room ES 162

Dr. Glenn Stuart, University of Saskatchewan
In this presentation, Dr. Stuart will be describing paleoethnobotanical research he has conducted in the American Southwest and how the methods employed there are being adapted for his research on the Northern Plains. First, he will review results of archaeological pollen and macrobotanical analyses from recent work in the Phoenix Basin. Then he will explore the possibilities that similar research holds for elucidating the character of the archaeological record from Wanuskewin Heritage Park (WHP) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Finally, a few preliminary results from his research at WHP will be presented, to illustrate how greater concern with plant use might affect our interpretations of precontact subsistence practices.

Lougheed House: Herein We Dwell: Unexpected Images of Calgary in the 1890s Opening Reception (FREE)

February 5th, 2016 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Lougheed House, 707 13th Avenue SW

Join us in celebrating the opening of a photography exhibit featuring little seen historical images of early 1890s Calgary. The opening commemorates the 125th anniversary of the construction of the House in 1891 and kicks off a series of year-long events. Cash bar available. RSVP to or 403-244-6333 ext. 103

Lougheed House: Herein We Dwell: Unexpected Images of Calgary in the 1890s

February 3rd - May 29th, 2016 
Lougheed House, 707 13th Avenue SW

A rare glimpse into the everyday life of 1890s Calgary is presented with historical images of early neighborhoods and people. Guest curated by Peter Duthie, founder of Folio Gallery, former Exposure Photography Festival Chair, and educator. This exhibit is running as part of the 2016 Exposure Photography Festival.
$8.50 – Adult
$6.50 - Seniors & Students
$5.00 - Child (Ages 6 - 12)
$25.00 – Family
Free - Under 6

Lougheed House: 1890s Beer and Bingo in Black and White.

February 24th, 2016, 7 - 9 p.m.
Lougheed House, 707 13th Avenue SW

Try your hand at old-fashioned bingo and enjoy local beer in 1890s style. Dress up in black and white and snap a photo at our 1890s photo booth.

Tickets are $10 Non-Members and $8 Members. Included with your ticket is one complimentary craft beer, and your first bingo card.

Each additional bingo card is $1 or 4 for $3. Win great themed prizes and view our current photography exhibit, Herein We Dwell: Unexpected Images of Calgary in the 1890s.

Purchase tickets on Eventbrite or call 403 244-6333 ext. 106

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