Calgary buildings, 1905 - 1914: the emergence of an urban landscape
LccFC 3697.7 M44 1984 Fiche
LcshCalgary (Alta.) - Buildings - History
Calgary (Alta.) - History
Architecture - Alberta - Calgary - History
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AbstractThere were fewer than three-quarters of a million people on the Canadian prairies in 1905, but by the time that World War I began, almost a million more were added. In the same period, Calgary's population multiplied more than sixfold, from approximately 12,500 to nearly 80,000. Along with this great torrent of immigrants came immense changes to the local economy, society and physical environment. In one short decade, Calgary was dramatically transformed from a small community on the frontier of an immature region into a progressive, fast-moving metropolis, the center of a vast agricultural and natural resource hinterland. Rapid growth strained the capability of existing facilities to meet the needs of the expanding population. It soon became apparent that more substantial architecture was needed to keep pace with this development, and to create a new image for the city that was commensurate with its changed status. This thesis is concerned with the more than 10,000 buildings that were erected between 1905 and 1914, particularly those that were constructed in response to favourable economic conditions during the boom years of 1909 to 1913. Using information from a variety of sources, including local newspapers, city records and directories, government publications, school board documents, architectural drawings, archival materials and secondary literature on western Canadian architectural history and on relevant topics pertaining to Calgary history, this study surveys the architectural landscape that emerged. It not only describes the architectural features of individual buildings, but also analyzes their importance within the broad context of the city's social, economic, cultural and technological development. This thesis reveals that Calgary very quickly took on both the character and appearance of a modern North American metropolis in this period of unparalleled growth and prosperity. It observes that the city entered into the mainstream of modern architectural design in conjunction with the flourishing of the local economy. Skyscrapers, stores, apartment buildings and industries which utilized construction techniques devised in the United States sprang up in great numbers as opportunities for profit loomed large. Single-family residences also appeared in the thousands as workers immigrated to the city en masse. Yet while new architectural forms transfigured the urban landscape, this study shows that Calgary retained its distinctively British atmosphere in the midst of a fast-paced building boom. The palatial residences of the city's upper classes, elegant commercial structures and grand public buildings and schools manifested a certain preference for Edwardian architectural tastes. In the years leading up to the war, these edifices thus provided local residents with tangible evidence of their society's fundamental loyalty to the Empire.
Bibliography: p. 170-182.