Restored heritage property on block
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.