“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared January 11, 1998.
• 138 7th Avenue S.E.
• Built: 1911 - 1912
• Demolished: 1987 following a December 1986 fire which also destroyed the Commercial Block.
• Architect: Hodgson, Bates and Beattie of Calgary.
• Contractor: McDougall and Forster Limited and R.A. Brocklebank.
• Original cost: $500,000
• Construction materials: Brick.
• Architectural style: Commercial/mercantile with classical features.
• Original interior details: A local newspaper reported, "It is fully modern throughout, all the interior being finished in leather wainscotting, and is semi-fireproof. The main entrance is elaborately decorated with marble and highly expensive cornice work, and the floors right through are tiled. There are three Otis elevators. Every room in the block is also installed with the vacuum system for clearing."
• Building was originally the idea of Judge Jeremiah Travis who died April 27, 1911 before construction began. The day before he died, Travis signed a contract with local builder R.A.Brocklebank for the erection of the "Judge Travis Block." Because of an earlier verbal agreement with the Judge, Brocklebank had already ordered some of the building supplies.
• Local real estate developers Stephen and Francis Beveridge and the Alberta Loan and Investment Company financed the completion of the project.
• Construction began on the "Beveridge, Travis and Alberta Loan and Investment Block" in May 1911.
• Travis was a stipendiary magistrate appointed for the North West Territories in 1885 and located in Calgary. Known as the "teetotaller" judge, he became famous for an incident in which he jailed most of town council. Travis retired in 1887 and by his death in 1911 had accumulated extensive real estate holdings in Calgary.
• The Beveridge brothers were Calgary real estate developers, partners in the Southeast Land Company which owned 7,000 acres of suburban property in Calgary including Harvetta Heights and Fairmont, owners of the Mount Pleasant subdivision and investors in the Alberta Suburban Railway Company. The Beveridges were involved in a number of Calgary's commercial buildings including the Flat Iron Building, Harvetta Block and the South East Land Company Building.
• The six storey Beveridge (five storeys and a basement) was built on a large corner lot with a frontage of 175 feet on Seventh Avenue and 135 feet on First Street East.
• When it opened in February 1912 it housed small businesses, lawyers, physicians, real estate and mortgage companies, the Allan Line Steamship Company, Western Supply and Equipment Limited, Canadian Western Natural Gas, the Canadian Importing and Distributing Company and Riley and McCormick Ltd. Topley, Davidson and Company of Calgary were the rental agents.
• Calgary's first self-serve cafe opened in the basement in 1912. A local newspaper published a lengthy article explaining the foreign concept of a self service eatery. "This new style cafe has been much in vogue in the large cities along the coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver."
• Street level storefronts sported awnings unfurled over huge plate glass display windows.
• The exterior area under the sidewalk was fitted with prismatic lights and the entire perimeter of the building was lit.
• By the 1970s stores occupied the main floor. The upper floors were converted to low cost rental rooms called the Beveridge Apartments.
• In the early hours of March 27, 1983, two tons of brick, metal and stone from the parapet of the aging building crashed onto the 7th Avenue, snapping wires on the LRT line and disrupting service.
• 1985 a $500,000 fire in the Beveridge Building forced residents out of their living quarters.
• December 7, 1986, a $3 million fire broke out on the second floor of the Commercial Block above the Saan Department store and spread east to the Beveridge Block, destroying both buildings which were empty at the time except for the Saan store.
• In 1987, following a lengthy dialogue with city officials, the Beveridge Block was demolished.
• A parking lot and a building which houses the Calgary Urban Project Society now occupy the corner property where the Beveridge Building once stood.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared September 3, 2002.
Beveridge Block/ CUPS Community Health Centre
128 7th Avenue S.E.
• The six-storey Beveridge, Travis and Alberta Loan and Investment Block was built in 1911 and named for owners and real estate developers Stephen and Francis Beveridge and Judge Jeremiah Travis, who died before the project was completed. Calgary's first self-service cafe opened in the basement in 1912.
In the 1970s, the upper floors were converted from offices to low cost rental rooms called the Beveridge Apartments. Although a $3- million fire destroyed the building in 1986, it took the owner and city council a year to negotiate the demolition of the ruins, located kitty corner from Olympic Plaza, where the medal ceremonies were held for the 1988 Winter Olympics.
A two-storey nightclub and strip joint called the Calgarian was built on the site shortly after the 1987 demolition.
• Supported by volunteers and donations, the Calgary Urban Project Society bought the former nightclub in 1994 and converted it for use as a community health centre for inner-city people.
CUPS provides a wide range of services, including emergency dental care, counselling, referrals, health care, a needle exchange program, food and clothing, showers, educational programs and a family resource centre.