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Calgary Heritage Initiative forums • View topic - Preserving the Nellie McClung home

Preserving the Nellie McClung home

Moderator: newsposter

Preserving the Nellie McClung home

Postby newsposter » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:52 pm

There is a photo of the home at the link, along with the story. A copy of the McClung "statement of significance" is also posted below the story, courtesy of the City.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Calgary+pr ... story.html

Calgary to preserve historic McClung home (story continues below photo)


Calgary Herald
January 21, 2009

Nellie McClung House on 15th Ave. S.W.Photograph by: Lorraine Hjalte, Carlgary HeraldThe Calgary home of Nellie McClung, who helped win women the right to vote, is poised to be preserved as a municipal historic resource.

The city’s land use, planning and transportation committee will be asked Wednesday to approve the designation for the 101-year-old home at 805 15th Ave. S.W.

The house was designated a provincial historic resource 30 years ago.

Bob van Wegen, with the Calgary Heritage Initiative, said it has significance both as a building and for the person who occupied it for nine years.

“It’s very important because of the association with Nellie McClung and her importance in Canadian history,” he said.

Van Wegen also pointed out the structure is just an “average” house in the Beltline, representative of what many Calgarians would’ve been living in during the early part of the 1900s.

McClung lived in the home between 1923 and 1932.

From 1921 to 1926, McClung was one of Alberta’s first three female MLAs.

A report going to committee says she entertained other members of the Famous 5 in the 15th Avenue home.

The group of five women petitioned to have the word “person” in the British North American Act include females, which would allow women to sit in the Senate.

In 1916, she had been part of the effort to win women the vote in Alberta and Manitoba.

McClung, who died in 1951, also authored a number of novels, including three she completed in her second-storey bedroom in the house on 15th Avenue, according to the report.

The house, built in 1907, is Tudor Revival style, with the report detailing steeply pitched roofs, half-timbered gables and several verandas and porches.

The designation also requires approval from council.

Ald. Druh Farrell says it’s good news the home is up for a municial historic resource designation and notes that in the last number of years city has been taking the preservation of heritage buildings seriously.

“She’s one of our most important historical figures and it’s fitting that her home is preserved for future generations,” Farrell said of McClung.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Prepared by City of Calgary heritage planning:


SCHEDULE “B” – THE NELLIE MCCLUNG HOUSE STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

Description
The Nellie McClung House, built in 1907, is a Tudor Revival style house with an Arts and Crafts style interior. Located in a residential section of Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood, the house is dominated by steeply pitched roofs, half-timbered gables and several verandas and porches. The property was designated as a Historic Resource
by the Province of Alberta in 1978.


Heritage Value
This property is of heritage value as the home of Nellie McClung (1873-1951), a writer, temperance leader and women’s rights advocate of national significance, as well as being one of Alberta’s earliest female legislators. McClung and her husband Robert occupied the house from 1923-32.

McClung first gained fame as a novelist in 1908, publishing a national best-seller, Sowing Seeds in Danny. While continuing to write, McClung became prominent as a successful campaigner for prohibition, first in Manitoba and then Alberta, moving to Edmonton late in 1914. She is best known as a suffragist, and was instrumental in the fight to secure women the right to vote in Manitoba and Alberta in 1916 by campaigning for the like-minded Liberal party in each province. Later, with four other important Canadian women, together known as the ‘Famous Five’, McClung was at the fore in bringing Canadian women the right to serve in the Senate. In 1927 the Famous Five petitioned for the word “Person” in the British North American Act to include females. This change was enacted in 1929 thereby allowing women the eligibility for appointment to the Senate.

In 1921 McClung was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly, becoming one of the first three women to join that body, and one of the first six women to be elected to a provincial assembly anywhere in Canada. McClung served as an Edmonton member in the Alberta Legislature until 1926, despite moving to Calgary in 1923. While residing at this house McClung commuted to Edmonton to sit in the Legislature, returning to Calgary for the weekends. She entertained a variety of personalities of the period in this house including other members of the Famous Five, as well as nationally recognized authors, social reformers and politicians.

McClung was a prolific writer while living here. Working from her second-storey bedroom, she completed books that included Painted Fires (1925), All We Like Sheep (1930), Flowers for Living (1931) and many essays and articles. She also continued to make extensive speaking tours of Canada, the United States and England as an author or activist. Subsequent to her time in Calgary, McClung served as the first woman member of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Board of Governors from 1936-42. She was the only woman member of the Canadian delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva Switzerland in 1938.

The Nellie McClung House is architecturally important as an excellent example of Tudor Revival style in Calgary. Built in 1907 for attorney Harry Woodburne Blaylock, the house is one of Calgary’s earliest examples of the style utilized in residential design in the city, and the only one of its type in its neighbourhood. The exterior of the spacious house is dominated by its mock half-timbered gables, broad and steeply pitched roofs and several verandas and porches. The interior of the house is notable for compatible Arts and Crafts style detailing that includes darkly stained wood (fir) detailing, beamed and cross-beamed ceilings, three-quarter-height paneling and clay-tile fireplaces.

The substantial size and sophisticated architectural treatment of the house further serves to recall the area’s status as a choice residential neighbourhood at the time of its construction. Bordering the city’s original exclusive residential area of 12 – 14 Avenues, prior to the development of the Mount Royal area, the McClung House exemplifies the early character of its vicinity.

Character-defining Elements
The exterior character-defining elements of the Nellie McClung House include its:
• One and one-half storey, irregular, asymmetrical plan;
• Steeply pitched, cross gable roof with gable-on-hip roof dormers; red brick chimneys (3); wooden shingle roofing; wooden bargeboards with multiple mouldings;
• Wooden shingle cladding and half timbering with rough cast stucco;
• Skirt roof enclosing the gables with closed, tongue-and-groove eaves;
• Open verandas (2) and porch (1) with wooden-shingle-clad roofs; solid, shingled balustrades and stair walls; wooden tongue-and-groove ceilings and wooden floors; and
• Fenestration with a variety of wooden-sash single-hung, fixed and casement windows; multi-pane upper sashes (12- and 18-pane) and casement windows (16-pane); fixed, leaded, multi-pane windows; wooden-sash storm windows (2- and 4-pane); French windows (veranda) with patterned glazing.

The interior character-defining elements of the Nellie McClung House include its:
• Floor plan consisting of a centre-hall plan surrounded by eight rooms on the main floor and six rooms (5 bedrooms, 1 lavatory) on the upper floor;
• Dark-stained fir wood detailing including the Arts and Crafts-style staircase with squared balusters and tapered newel posts with diamond-shaped cut-outs; beamed and cross-beamed (false) ceilings; three-quarter-height paneling; built-in bookcases; paneled chimneypieces with bracketed mantles; mouldings such as window and door casings, picture rails, baseboards; paneled doors and French windows with patterned glazing;
• Fireplaces with clay-tile hearths and surrounds - some with original cast-iron insets;
• False skylight (conservatory);
• Upper-storey lavatory with wooden, three-quarter height, tongue-and-groove paneling, cast-iron claw-foot tub;
• Upper-floor fir flooring; and
• Cast-iron radiators throughout.

The character-defining elements of the Nellie McClung House property landscape includes its:
• Corner-lot location and original placement on the property; and
• Soft character of its landscaping.
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Postby newsposter » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:15 pm

http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/ed ... story.html

Whoa nellie! That's good news

Calgary Herald - editorial

January 23, 2009

In a city that has gained a notorious reputation over the years for razing its own history, it is wonderful to see city hall on side with designating Nellie McClung's home a municipal historic resource.

The city's land-use, planning and transportation committee approved the designation for the Beltline two-storey at 805 15th Ave. S. W. on Thursday.Now, city council just needs to affix its seal of approval.

McClung, one of the western-Canadian quintet of suffragists called the Famous 5, bought the home in 1923,two years after being elected to the Alberta legislature. She and her pharmacist husband and two of their five kids lived in the half-timbered, Tudor-style house with its charming gables until 1932.McClung's habit was to spend weekdays in Edmonton and weekends in her Calgary home, where she turned out three novels at the desk in her upstairs bedroom.

The house was declared a provincial historical resource 30 years ago. It is fitting it should become a municipal one, as well. Now, if only some group would come forward with a proposal to turn the place into a museum so Calgarians could enjoy seeing all of the house's attractions, including what McClung called her "nice bright kitchen facing west" and the glassed-in conservatory she called her "ivy room."

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
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Postby newsposter » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:06 pm

More good news! The Herald (Dec. 11 2009) reports that:

A developer has pledged to give $100,000 to the Famous 5 Foundation when it sells out a new condominium complex. In conjunction with the 80th anniversary of the Famous 5 "Persons" Case, Calgary-based developer ProCura will donate $1,000 for each of the 100 remaining units it sells in the newly completed The Montana condominium residence highrise (which is next to the Nellie McClung house)...

Furthermore: ProCura maintains the historic Nellie McClung house in Calgary. Sherry Schluessel, who heads Pro-Cura's giving program, says it's looking for investors to help turn the property into a community space for women's organizations, as well as converting part of the home into a museum dedicated to the Famous 5.

Here is the full story:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/C ... story.html

And the news release:
http://www.marketwire.com/press-release ... 83887.html
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Postby newsposter » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:47 pm

Nellie McClung house may become a community centre for women's groups and a museum dedicated to the Famous 5....

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Museum+pro ... z0fqdXT1KM

David Parker column, Calgary Herald, February 17, 2010
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Postby newsposter » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:52 pm

David Parker reports on March 16, 2010 in the Herald:

At the Famous 5 Foundation reception held in the Nellie McClung house last week, Sherry Schlussel made good on her promise to donate $1,000 to the organization for every new suite sold in the adjacent Montana highrise condominium tower. Schlussel presented board chair Gillian Lawrence with the first cheque of $5,000.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/S ... z0iO2WqPhQ
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Ideas for Nellie McClung House

Postby cjane » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:27 pm

The sales office has closed and the house is awaiting its next incarnation. One idea is for a Famous Five museum to compliment the nearby Lougheed House. What do you think?

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Postby Val Jobson » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:08 pm

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Postby newsposter » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:40 am

A couple of interesting points in the story linked in the above posting about the sale of the McClung House.

First of all, that there were at some point discussions (now abandoned) to possibly move the McClung house to heritage park. The CEO of Heritage Park is quoted that a move would be too expensive and possibly damaging to the house. A more important point is that it is best practice to leave historic buildings on their original site; to remove them reduces their heritage value. ( See the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada:
http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/pages/s ... ormes.aspx ) This building has exceptional heritage value, and is legally designated as a heritage site by both the province and the City. Both designations, forms of legal protection, would have to be removed (by the Minister of Culture and City Council, respectively), for the house to be moved; the same designation protects it from demolition. Designation is meant to assure protection, and can not be disgarded lightly.

Secondly, the realtor speculated that the Beltline property would have sold for $5 million if it could be sold for redevelopment, such as for a condo tower, versus $1.5 million as a house. There have been studies that heritage protection has a positive or neutral impact on property value, so what gives? There are two components of property value, building value and land value. I would guess that legal protection, reflected in the care and value and "cache" of a heritage building might protect and increase its value. But if the value of the land is very high due to high density zoning, maybe legal protection of the building on the land, if it eliminates the possibilty of redevelopment, might reduce its value to some buyers. In places like downtown and the Beltline, the City has density transfer policies that allow municipally protected buildings to transfer or "sell" their unused density to other sites, thus owners of protected properties can benefit in that way from high density zoning. Also, presumably if the "market value assessment" is lower they could have lower property taxes in that scenario.

Finally, we would like to know more about what Alderman Lowe was proposing in the City Council budget talks... According to the story, Ald. Gord Lowe pitched his colleagues on a fund for historical and cultural projects as council contemplated how to divvy up the $10.2-million “tax room” fund. One of those potential projects was a new version of the Nellie McClung house to be built at Heritage Park prior to its 50th anniversary in 2014. hile there was little appetite for Lowe’s plan, he urged the city to support the “facilities that play an important role in the history of the city.”

Hmmm....

In any case, here is some information about the McClung house:

http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg ... px?id=5144
http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/LUPP/Pages/He ... urceId=351
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Re: Preserving the Nellie McClung home

Postby newsposter » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:15 pm

An update on the historic Nellie McClung home. It was sold to real estate investor Bill Lister, who owns another historic building in Mission, and is the new home of Calgary's first Consul-General from Colombia. Here is a David Parker story from August 22, 2013. Also includes a shout-out to provincial heritage conservation advisor Eileen Fletcher. A good news story.

Parker: Vintage home gets out-of-town tenant
By David Parker, Calgary Herald August 22, 2013
http://www.calgaryherald.com/Parker+Vin ... story.html
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