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Happy May 1st friends!

Today – I wanted to go back in time – now, Calgary as you may know is a bustling metropolis nestled in the heart of Alberta and our city truly boasts a unique architectural landscape that tells the story of our city of Calgary’s rich history and rapid growth.

From its early sandstone structures to the towering modern skyscrapers, this city’s architecture is a blend of old and new, reflecting the diverse influences that have shaped its development.

Today, I wanted to explore some of Calgary’s architectural wonders, their historical significance, and the factors that have contributed to the city’s iconic skyline.

  1. Early Sandstone Structures

In the late 19th century, Calgary’s architecture was dominated by sandstone structures, which lent the city a distinct charm and character. The Lougheed House, built in 1891, is an excellent example of the Romanesque Revival style and stands as a testament to Calgary’s early architectural prowess. Other sandstone masterpieces include the Calgary City Hall, constructed in 1911, and the McDougall Centre, built in 1907, both of which showcase the city’s commitment to preserving its architectural heritage.

  1. The Influence of Art Deco

As Calgary grew, so too did its architectural styles. The Art Deco movement, popular in the 1920s and 1930s, left its mark on the city with several striking buildings. The Barron Building, completed in 1951, is one such example, featuring bold geometric designs and a stunning terrazzo floor. Another notable Art Deco structure is the Burns Building, which boasts an impressive façade adorned with intricate carvings and elegant ornamentation.

  1. Modern Skyscrapers and Urban Development

The late 20th and early 21st centuries saw Calgary’s skyline transformed by modern skyscrapers and innovative urban development. The Bow, completed in 2012, stands as the city’s tallest building at 236 meters and showcases a unique crescent shape that offers panoramic views of the city. The TELUS Sky, a mixed-use building completed in 2021, features a striking design that combines residential, office, and retail spaces, reflecting Calgary’s ongoing commitment to sustainable urban development.

  1. Diverse Architectural Styles

Calgary’s architecture showcases a myriad of styles, from the Gothic Revival of Knox United Church to the postmodern designs of the Central Library. As the city continues to grow and evolve, so too does its architectural landscape, serving as a reflection of the diverse influences that have shaped its development over time.

Calgary’s rich architectural history is a testament to the city’s growth, resilience, and adaptability. From the stately sandstone structures of its early days to the soaring modern skyscrapers that now dominate the skyline, Calgary’s architecture tells the story of a city that has embraced its past while looking to the future.

What is one of your favourite, existing structures in our city of Calgary? Let me know in the comment section below!

Take care,
Shane Wenzel

Shane Wenzel

Shane is the President & CEO of the Shane Homes Group of Companies and the namesake. Shane's responsibilities include strategic direction for the companies, policy advice for the building industry through BILD Calgary, and political involvement through the Alberta Enterprise Group on the economy, making him an industry leader in his field. Shane's sales and marketing background comes from growing up with two entrepreneurial parents, Cal and Edith, and participating in a business advisory group. On the personal side, Shane considers himself a bit of a "tech junky" and social media influencer on various platforms. He's also proudly apart of the LGBTQ community.