This house is a “Prairie Style” Arts and Crafts home built in 1914 by the McAra family on land originally owned by Hentry James Madill and William Robertson both of the city of Calgary. McAra printing is still in business in Calgary and this family also built the Lancaster building in downtown Calgary. Subsequent owners, were the Mackie family (Howard Mackie LLP…now Borden Ladner Gervais LLP a legal firm in Calgary), the Shaw family and finally the Stoakes family. Balloon framing was used in the construction of this house. Local river rock is used in the stucco finish. When the matriarch of the Mackie family passed away, the house sat vacant for many years and fell into disrepair. The Shaws purchased this home in the 1980’s and did many of the original upgrades. An article on this home, was published in the Calgary Herald in February 1989 when the Shaws completed their renovation. We are the lucky fourth owners of this home which we purchased in 1990 and have renovated and restores over the last 23 years. A major addition was done to this home in 1992 (Shirely Orr was the architect), which kept to the style of the original home and expanded the 1950’s kitchen and added an additional dining area, a family room and a usable basement area. In the 2000’s renovations have continued in order to bring the electrical and plumbing up to code as well as upgrade all of the living areas, bedrooms and bathroom. A new garage was added in 2011 which also mimics the architectural features of the house. This house now has a large formal living room, a family room, 2 dining areas, a large kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a recreation room. Steve Alvey of Inventure Management Limited has done an amazing job on this house over the past 10 years and has worked diligently to maintain and respect the original character of our home.
This house has been maintained and restored over the years and retains most of its original features, such as the fir woodwork and trim, plaster walls and ceilings and antique lighting fixtures throughout. All additions, upgrades and restorations have been done with the history of the house in mind and maintaining as much of the original house as possible. There are a very few ‘old’ homes left in Calgary and it is our hope that this house stands the test of time and urban development. It is a great family home and it has been wonderful raising our family here.
There are still things to discover and we hope to dig into the history in more detail in the future. As it stands, we cannot operate a livery feed or sale stable, sell dairy products, sell intoxicating liquor or sell immoral or illegal purposes (limiting our business opportunities!) as indicated on our land title encumbrances. The original building had to have a value of more than $4000.00 (A lot of money in 1911). Margaret Brown, our long-time neighbor, now moved to Wildwood and sorely missed, has provided many details about previous owners (for example “Shoot-in Judge Mackie”, we still have the gun cabinet and some ancient ammo, which should go to the hazardous waste disposal sire, if we dare) and we hope to get more details from her. We hope you enjoy the house as much as we do and if you know any of its history, we would be pleased to hear from you.