“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared February 25, 2003.
Then: Robin Hood Flour Mills, 401 9th Ave. S.W.
• Originally built around 1910, the mill was purchased in 1912 by Francis Bean Jr., son of the founder of International Milling Co., the predecessor to Robin Hood Mills Ltd. In its heyday, the mill ground 105 million litres of Alberta wheat annually into 9.5 million kilograms of flour destined for international markets. Declining production brought on by a loss of export markets contributed to the closure of the mill in 1969. Two years later, Robin Hood Multifoods donated the mill and the 50,000 square feet of property to the City of Calgary. During the first few months of 1973, demolition of the landmark turned 27,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete into rubble.
Now: Gulf Canada Square
• Gulf Canada Ltd. and Canada Square Corp. completed construction of Gulf Canada Square in 1979. Designed by Chandler Kennedy Architectural Group with Ken Cooper and Adamson Associates, the building was highly praised for its energy efficiency. In 1989-90 owners Olympia and York Developments spent nearly $14 million renovating retail and mechanical components. The 1,125,000-square- foot building consists of 20 floors of office and retail space serviced by 22 elevators and two escalators. It is partly owned by Brookfield Properties Corp. Original design features, including thermal storage tanks in the basement, contributing to its ongoing reputation as one of the city's most energy-efficient buildings.