Re­stored her­itage prop­erty on block

Calgary Herald - - CALGARY BUSINESS - D AV I D PARKER AROUND TOWN

From time to time a Cal­gary her­itage build­ing comes on the mar­ket and for­tu­nately most are pur­chased by de­vel­op­ers like David Neill of En­corp or Neil Richardson’s Her­itage Prop­erty Corp. and are care­fully ren­o­vated and re­stored to their orig­i­nal glory.

Rarely is an older char­ac­ter build­ing listed that has al­ready been ren­o­vated and up­graded like the Kelly Block that was built on the North Hill in 1913.

Dan and Lori McWil­liam, own­ers of Ap­plied Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, pur­chased the two-storey build­ing in 2003. It was be­ing used for re­tail on the main floor and housed seven res­i­den­tial suites above.

The street level and base­ment had to be to­tally gut­ted to make way for new me­chan­i­cal sys­tems, wash­rooms and shower fa­cil­i­ties, and the main floor has been trans­formed into a very at­trac­tive, mod­ern of­fice area. The tin ceil­ings were saved and por­tions used as a stun­ning dec­o­ra­tion in the re­cep­tion area.

The en­tire new floor is of light­weight poured con­crete with inset tiles de­signed and hand painted by Lori, an in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor as well as head of the agency’s creative depart­ment.

Cur­rently, the up­stairs, which has a sep­a­rate en­trance, houses two offices and the McWil­liams con­sciously kept five apart­ments that are still leased out as low-rental units.

The ex­te­rior is in the orig­i­nal red brick with painted tin cor­nices, just as it was when on Oct. 15, 1913, Cal­gary’s first branch li­brary opened in the build­ing un­der li­brar­ian Mrs. T.E. Whyte and her staff of 11.

Then called the Hicks Block, it was cho­sen by the li­brary board to serve the grow­ing Cres­cent Heights com­mu­nity. It is con­ve­niently lo­cated at 1804 1st St. N.W., across the street from the sand­stone Bal­moral School that, with its 0.8 hectares of land, is now a des­ig­nated his­toric site.

It is still a great lo­ca­tion, steps from the in­ter­sec­tion of 16th Av­enue and Cen­tre Street N. and handy to down­town.

The 4,300 square feet of main floor space and base­ment are avail­able as va­cant upon clos­ing; ideal for an owner-oc­cu­pier with a taste of his­tory. List­ing for the prop­erty is with John Fisher and Dun­can MacLean of CB Richard El­lis.

Christ­mas is ap­proach­ing fast and Lougheed House has joined with Cal­gary De­sign Group to present a daz­zling dis­play of “Christ­mas all through the House,” rem­i­nis­cent of the sea­son through the decades since 1890 as a fundraiser for its restora­tion and de­vel­op­ment projects.

Any­one who at­tended cit­i­zen­ship court when Judge Ray Lee has presided over the cer­e­monies has ap­pre­ci­ated his sin­cer­ity, sense of hu­mour and pride in Canada.

He steps down to­day, af­ter a three-year term, hav­ing shak­ing hands with some 65,000 new Cana­di­ans since his ap­point­ment in 2006.

Lee was the first Al­berta judge of Chi­nese de­scent and he has also served this com­mu­nity on the se­nate of the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary, is honorary di­rec­tor emer­i­tus of Sien Lok So­ci­ety, and last year was ap­pointed to serve on the fed­eral Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for Chi­ne­seCana­dian Com­mu­nity.

DAVID PARKER AP­PEARS TUES­DAY, THURS­DAY AND FRI­DAY. HE CAN BE REACHED AT 403-830-4622 OR E-MAIL INFO@DAVIDPARKE­R.CA

Lori and Dan McWil­liam stand out­side the 1913 char­ac­ter build­ing they have put on the mar­ket in the north­west.

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