Both our house, 1916 5A Street SW and the house next door, 1918 5A Street SW are excellent examples of Edwardian Gable Front architectural style. They were both built in 1913 by R.B Niblock, during the Age of Optimism (1906-1913). This house was subsequently sold to M. Alex Sinclair, an agent at Sun Life Insurance.
The house is a two-story wood frame dwelling with a gabled and hipped roofline. It retains its original siding of shingles and planks, with stucco and wood frame on the front gable. It has a rectangular, side- hall plan with a three- sided bay window extension in the front lower façade and another three-sided bay-window in the front upper facade. The house also includes and open, full-width front veranda with second-storey balcony comprised of wooden balustrades of plain, square balusters and squared wooden columns. Both the front veranda and the upper balustrade have been rebuilt similar to the original.
Inside, the house retains its original layout with a parlor, dining room, kitchen, and study on the main floor and four bedrooms and one bathroom on the upper floor. There is one wood-burning fireplace in the study that is used to help heat the house in the winter
Our house is situated on the historically significant 5A Street SW Boulevards, which has been identified as a historic resource by the City of Calgary.
According to the City of Calgary website:
The heritage value of 5A Street SW boulevards, developed in 1915, lies in the ordered design and the influence in Calgary of the City Beautiful movement.
5A Street SW consists of two landscaped boulevards that run from 17 Avenue SW to Royal Avenue SW and dates from 1915. The boulevards include the regularly spaced Green Ash trees (Fraxinum mandshruica) with a manicured turf understory that is adjacent to the sidewalk, which is not separated from the carriageway on both sides of the street.
The ordered, regular planting design of the boulevards reflects the formal approach to the design of public spaces common in the City Beautiful movement. The movement supported beautification and formality to encourage order and harmony. Advocated of the movement believed the approach would promote a harmonious social order that would increase the quality of life and help reduce undesirable social behavior.
Photo of the house before the storm that took out part of the tree in the front yard
Photo of the house after the storm with half of the boulevard tree on the upper balcony and roof.