Doll Block Building - Stephen Avenue Mall - Calgary, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
N 51° 02.729 W 114° 03.743
11U E 705910 N 5658989
Quick Description: The Doll Block was the site of a jewelery store originally called the "Doll's Diamond Palace" in 1907 on 8th Avenue Southwest in Calgary, Alberta.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 11/6/2007 5:06:51 AM
Waymark Code: WM2HJ4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoKs
Views: 170

Long Description:
The Doll Block was built by Louis Henry Doll, a successful jeweler in 1907 to be his store called "Doll's Diamond Palace". Doll, a former Torontonian, opened a jewellery manufacturing business and retail outlet which specialized in diamonds. Named Doll's Diamond Palace the business was by all accounts set to be a thriving enterprise. Tragically the successful businessman's 10-year old daughter Florence died that same year and he lost interest in his jewellery outlet.

In 1910 a former apprentice of Doll's, David Ernest Black moved into the building to operate a jewelry business. D.E. Black and Co. later evolved into one of the largest watch repair businesses in Western Canada.

During the Christmas rush of 1911, Black became the victim of what was then the largest diamond heist in Calgary's history. When the business was amalgamated with Henry Birk & Sons in 1920, Black had 28 watch repair specialists.

In 1912 the brick and sandstone building was purchased by the Royal Bank. For the next three decades it was owned by a number of individuals until being bought by City of Calgary alderman Hedley Chauncey in 1928. It stayed in the Chauncey family until 1946 when it taken over by another prominent Calgary family - the Belzbergs. Since that time the building has once again changed ownership a number of times.

Designed by architects Dowle and Michie, the Doll Block is exception for its elegant design and use of materials. Its distinct projecting window (known as an oriel) and its seashell shaped lunettes (or curved shaped sandstone decorations) was completely refurbished in 1994 and awarded a Community Heritage plaque in 1997.

Today the Doll Block continues to be one of the most appealing buildings in this city making it an important, and beautiful, part of Calgary's living history.

It was extensively restored in 1994.
Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: Stephen Avenue is generally closed to traffic. Try a nearby parking lot on 9th

Placement agency: Heritage Adivsory Board of the City of Calgary

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