Volunteer for The City of Calgary’s Heritage Authority. Provide advice to City Council on all matters related to historic resources in the City, including the restoration, alteration and demolition of sites in The City’s heritage inventory. Please see Calgary.ca/cityclerks for more information on eligibility, qualifications, length of term, meeting times and how to apply. Apply by June 30, 2017.
A front gable house in Hillhurst just got a historic resource designation from the city and so the owner would like to offer a gentle reminder.
"Don't call it ordinary."
Lorna Cordeiro's 106-year-old home was given the protective status at Monday's city council meeting.
"When I look down my street in the last three or four years, four or five of those homes, very similar to mine, have been pulled down, have been demolished to make way for monster infills that house the same number of people, so I don't think of it as ordinary," Cordeiro told The Homestretch on Tuesday.
"It's a well-loved, well-maintained home that has housed many families for more than 100 years."
Cordeiro says the home has seen a lot over the years.
"The story is that the owner, William Gray, didn't live there that long. There were a number of people who lived in the home over time. It was suited at one time, it has gone through a number of different repairs and maintenance stories," she explained.
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. It’s often only when it’s too late to take action that we realize we’ve made an error or let an opportunity slip through our hands.
That’s why it’s encouraging to see Lorna Cordeiro pushing to secure heritage designation for her 1911 Edwardian gable-front house in Hillhurst. The Calgarian has grown tired of seeing such residences knocked down to make room for new construction, so she wants her home to be protected in perpetuity.
“I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” Cordeiro told city councillors earlier this month. “I want to preserve some heritage for future generations and I’m willing to incur a loss on market value potentially by doing so.”
Cordeiro is making a sacrifice. Future owners won’t be able to demolish the house or make extensive renovations, so it’s not as likely to fetch as high a price as similar homes. The city’s planning and urban development committee supports designating the house a municipal historic resource, and the proposal will go to council at the end of the month.
The red home is named the William J. Gray Residence, after a grocery store owner who bought the house in 1912 and sold it less than a year later. Such homes were common decades ago in Hillhurst, which was one of the city’s first communities north of the Bow River.
Coun. Andre Chabot, who chairs the committee, initially wondered if protection was appropriate, given there’s nothing unique about the home.
“When it’s run of the mill, is it worth preserving?” Chabot, who now supports awarding the home heritage designation, said after the May 10 committee meeting.
“In the future, single-family bungalows might be considered a historic resource, but there’s literally hundreds of thousands of them today … Is that something that’s worthy of preservation?”
There may be plenty of such homes today, but as Cordeiro has pointed out, they are quickly disappearing. If proud, conscientious homeowners such as Cordeiro don’t make efforts to preserve them, gems such as these will be lost, leaving the city a little more drab.
It’s important such designation is sought voluntarily. It isn’t up to the city to impose restrictions on what people can do with their property, but when homeowners are forward-thinking, the city should provide the support citizens need to ensure heritage homes don’t fall prey to the wrecking ball.
Century-old homes may not be scarce, but they will be if Calgarians don’t have the foresight to not only maintain them, but cherish them for future generations. We need more people like Lorna Cordeiro.
The CHA now has a blog! Watch for interesting stories told by members of the CHA and other community members! Have an idea for a blog? Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Checkout Aprils blog where our own Scott Jolliffe talks about why it is important to protect Calgary's industrial past.
"Saving Factories is as Important as Saving Churches": Scott Jolliffe's Fight to Preserve Calgary’s Industrial Past
April 12, 2017
by: Geoff Ellwand
Scott Jolliffe believes that Calgary is almost absent-mindedly erasing its irreplaceable industrial heritage. In his view the city’s industrial past it is just as important as the magnificent old residences and churches and public places which are being preserved.
Until last year Jolliffe was Chair of the Calgary Heritage Authority. Since his childhood he has had an abiding interest in the past, especially old bits and pieces of our industrial history. He remembers as a ten-year-old collecting worn out telegraph insulators and other industrial debris. These “treasures” were invariably thrown out by his mother. He remembers both his parents saying, “when something gets old you just throw it out.”
Well, that is one old-time value the family didn’t pass on to Jolliffe.
Update from the City of Calgary Heritage Planning
City of Calgary Heritage Planning has been engaged in several major projects throughout 2016-2017, in addition to regular work with permit review, designation bylaws, grant programs and public outreach.
New heritage content was created for the Developed Areas Guidebook (DAG), a policy document for inner-city communities in the second volume of the Calgary Municipal Development Plan. The purpose of the DAG is to set a consistent framework across local area plans in developed areas, including Area Redevelopment Plans (ARPs). Examples of policy from the Heritage Resources section include:
“Ensure new development is contextual with adjacent heritage buildings and the existing heritage character of the block through the use of setbacks, massing, street wall height and landscaping.”
“Encourage growth and change that is sensitive to the heritage resources and heritage character of an area and that will enhance those resources or character.”
“Acknowledge that the heritage value and heritage resources of an area include, but are not limited to, properties currently listed on Calgary’s Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources (Inventory).”
In order for the Developed Areas Guidebook to apply to a community, it must be mentioned in the active local area plan. Communities with older area plans can implement the Developed Areas Guidebook when a new ARP is created. The Developed Areas Guidebook was approved by Council on April 11, 2017.
Heritage Planning has worked with the Main Streets team in Bridgeland/Riverside to help develop a framework for incentivizing the retention of heritage homes in the context of an updated Area Redevelopment Plan. In areas near the 1 Ave NE Main Street, a new land use district is proposed that would encourage keeping existing ‘character homes’ by granting additional density and flexibility to owners that choose to keep the heritage house, and add density through accessory suites or additional buildings on the property. The Bridgeland/Riverside ARP amendments, including the Character Home Policy, and implementing the Developed Areas Guidebook, is scheduled to go before the Calgary Planning Commission on June 15, 2017.
Since January of 2017, 8 heritage sites have received Municipal Heritage Designation: The James A. Ross Residence, the White Residence, the William J. Gray Residence and Dafoe Terrace, in addition to the City-owned Holy Angels School, Cliff Bungalow School, Confederation Park, and Reader Rock Garden. Heritage Planning would like to commend the owners of the designated private properties for their role in heritage conservation in Calgary!
To stay up to date with Heritage Planning work, visit the updated City of Calgary website, follow us on twitter (@yycCityHeritage), and find the Administration report summary in the minutes of each CHA Board Meeting.
The following sites were evaluated or re-evaluated for addition to the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources in April and approved by the CHA at the May board meeting.
Blum Residence (1963) – 128 Shannon TC SW (Shawnessy) Evaluated as a City Wide Historic Resource (CWHR)
The Blum Residence, built in 1963, has high style value as an exceptionally rare example of Expressionist style in the residential context in Calgary. (Style Value, City Wide Significance) The Blum Residence is further valued for its design value, for its masterful use of thin shell concrete technology. (Design Value, City Wide Significance) The Blum Residence has further symbolic value as a vestige of the area’s large lot estates that were subdivided from larger farming and ranching settlements from Calgary’s early development in the 1880s. (Symbolic Value, Community Significance)
Cannibale Block (1912) – 815 1 AV NE (Bridgeland-Riverside) Re-Evaluated as a Community Historic Resource (CHR)
As an early commercial-residential building situated along 1st Avenue NE, an important streetcar commercial street since 1911, the 1912 Cannibale Block is valued for its mixed-use activity for nearly a century. (Activity Value, Community Significance) The Cannibale Block, associated with many ethnic residents, owners and proprietors, is also symbolic of the ethnic immigrant groups who settled and established businesses in Bridgeland-Riverside at the turn of the 20th century. Its builders and first owners, the Corradetti family, were just ahead of the first small wave of Calgary’s ethnic Italians who arrived in 1910-14 and settled in Bridgeland-Riverside, mainly along 1, 2 and 3 avenues. (Symbolic Value, Community Significance) The 1912 Cannibale Block is one of few surviving examples of the Edwardian Commercial Style in the community, and has several typical elements of the style, the most notable being the pressed-metal upper cornice and signband which reads ‘C.ANNIBALE BLOCK 1912’. (Style Value, Community Significance)
Leavitt Residence (1970) – 920 Prospect AV SW (Upper Mount Royal) Evaluated as a City Wide Historic Resource (CWHR)
The Leavitt Residence is valued for its exceptional design having been planned from the outside in, blending natural aspects of the lot to create a private oasis, achieved through its angled orientation amidst a screen of existing mature trees and is a rare intact residence by celebrated Modern architect, Gordon Atkins. (Design Value, City Wide Significance) The Leavitt Residence is further valued as an excellent example of the Modern Shed style which incorporated bold diagonals, natural materials such as wood and brick, and organic geometry that blended, as opposed to contrasted the surrounding landscape. (Style Value, City Wide Significance)
Hilderman Residence (ca.1912) – 113 7A ST NE (Bridgeland-Riverside) Re-Evaluated as a Community Historic Resource (CHR)
The Hilderman Residence is a high quality and very well preserved example of the Queen Anne Revival style in Bridgeland-Riverside. It displays the gable-front variation of this style, with prominent, full-width front gable containing decorative wooden dentils, moulded frieze and diamond-shape shingles in the peak. (Style Value, Community Significance) The ca.1912 Hilderman Residence possesses symbolic value for its association for nearly eight decades with its ethnic German owners, tenants and builder. The settlement in the part of the community just north of the Bow River was known as “Germantown” from the late 1800s for its many ethnic German residents. (Symbolic Value, Community Significance)
Ford Motor Company of Canada Warehouse (1922) – 902 11 AV SW (Beltline) Evaluated as a City Wide Historic Resource (CWHR)
The Ford Motor Company of Canada Warehouse is significant for its contribution to the development of a warehouse and industrial district south of the CPR’s mainline, recalling Calgary's historic status as the most important wholesale and distribution centre between Winnipeg and Vancouver. (Activity Value, City Wide Significance). The Ford Motor Company of Canada Warehouse is an elegant and rare expression of late-Edwardian industrial architecture in Calgary. (Style Value, City Wide Significance). It contributed to the development of the northern Beltline area as Calgary's main wholesale/warehouse district, and continues to contribute to the warehouse district's historic identity and character. (Symbolic Value, Community Significance)
Morasch Block (1911) – 642 1 AV NE (Bridgeland-Riverside) Re-Evaluated as a Community Historic Resource (CHR)
The Morasch Block, an early commercial-residential building fronting the historic 1st Avenue NE streetcar route since 1911, possesses value for its mixed-use activity for over a century. (Activity Value, Community Significance)
The commercial block, with its impressive, pressed-metal upper and lower cornices, is a well-designed example of the Edwardian Commercial Style in the community, and one of few remaining buildings of this style. (Style Value, Community Significance) The mixed-use block is associated with many ethnic Germans - residents, owners, proprietors and its builder – and is symbolic of the ethnic immigrant groups who settled and established businesses in Bridgeland-Riverside at the turn of the 20th century. (Symbolic Value, Community Significance)
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 end of each month. Events can be sent to email@example.com.
D-DAY: THE CANADIANS AT NORMANDY (June 27)
Join military historian Stéphane Guevremont as he presents a fascinating multimedia interpretation of this famous battle, highlighting Canada’s crucial contribution
Tuesday June 27, 7-9p.m.
Central Library, John Dutton Theatre
Our History Through Images: Residential Schools (July 5)
Through many different images explore the origins and effects of residential schools in Canada from the 1600s to the present. Led by Dr. Jennifer Pettit, Mount Royal University.
Wednesday June 14 7-8:30p.m.
Fish Creek Library * Please note: This date has changed from the date published in Library Connect, May-June 2017 which was originally to be held June 14
Register In Person, By Phone or On Line