Burns Building - Calgary, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
N 51° 02.721 W 114° 03.508
11U E 706185 N 5658985
Quick Description: The Burns Building, opened in 1913, was originally owned by Patrick Burns of Burns Meat Packing Fame. The building is located across 2nd Street from the Municipal Building in downtown Calgary, Alberta.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 11/14/2008 6:29:35 PM
Waymark Code: WM55GF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoKs
Views: 21

Long Description:
Original owner: Patrick Burns who was born in Ontario in 1855 and homesteaded in Manitoba in 1878 where he began purchasing cattle and supplying beef to railway construction crews. After moving to Calgary in 1890, he became a successful rancher and owner of the Burns Meat Packing Company.

Patrick Burns was one of the original "Big Four" who financed the first Calgary Stampede and in 1931 was appointed to the Senate. Between 1890 and 1928 Burns built one of the largest packing and provisioning businesses in the world. Burns died in February 1937.

The building was constructed with a steel reinforced concrete frame with reinforced concrete floor and roof slabs. Exterior walls constructed of brick masonry. The north, south and east wall facades were clad in cream terra cotta (fired but unglazed clay). A glass and metal canopy extended around the building’s east and north sides above the sidewalk.

Architectural style: Edwardian Classical. Lions’ heads and other ornamental mouldings sculptured in the surface of the terra cotta.

Original interior details: "Six stories in addition to a roomy basement and quarters for the janitor above the sixth storey." White and green Italian marble was used to finish the main stairways and corridors. The building included modern conveniences like steam heating and ventilation. In addition to electricity, each office was equipped with natural gas lighting

The ground level provided retail space for Burns’ retail meat market. The 130-foot long market hall featured twelve 25-foot high Doric marble columns. Burns leased out the remaining 35,000 square feet of office space to a wide variety of tenants. Historian Hugh Dempsey wrote, "the list of businesses which occupied the Patrick Burns Building…reads like a corporate Who’s Who." Calgary Power, Alberta Investment and Insurance Brokers, Rocky Mountain Cement and a variety of dentists, doctors, lawyers, realtors, insurance agents and accountants were among the first tenants.

The building was designated a Provincial Heritage Resource in 1987.

With information from Cornerstones, Calgary Public Library (visit link)
Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: On 9th Avenue and 3rd Street you will likely find parking

Placement agency: Alberta Culture

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