RESCHEDULED to Friday, 23 February 1:00 pm in consideration of road and parking conditions.
MEET ME AT THE CORNER
In 1901 Calgary was the biggest city between Winnipeg and Vancouver, despite a population of only 4000. Ten years later the population had increased more than tenfold. The city took on a whole new look as the new construction materials of steel and reinforced concrete made skyscrapers possible. The sleepy intersection of 7th Avenue and 1st Street West became Calgary’s first “big city” intersection with the simultaneous construction of the Southam (later Greyhound) Building, Southam Chambers (later the Herald Building), and the Hudson’s Bay Company department store – not to mention the Lougheed Building only a few steps away. From the town’s earliest days, some of Calgary’s leading movers and shakers were involved in the intersection’s development. This presentation tells the story of the events and personalities that have shaped this corner, from bald prairie to its latest addition – Brookfield Place, currently Calgary’s tallest building.
Doug Coats is a native Calgarian and University of Calgary graduate who was first captivated by Calgary history when one of his teachers mentioned that you could see the date “1888” in the sandstone of the old Alberta Hotel building. A trip downtown showed that this was indeed the case. An almost-80-year-old artifact was pretty impressive to a kid in Grade 7! Today both Doug and the hotel are a lot older, but still standing. For over thirty years Doug taught junior high Social Studies, and was privileged to receive the Alberta Excellence in Teaching award. Then he “retired” to become a Senior Interpreter at Heritage Park Historical Village. He will soon be retiring again, to indulge his hobbies of reading, model railroading, and of course Calgary history.