“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared October 12, 1997.
Calgary Herald Building (Greyhound)
• 130 - 7th Avenue S.W. (Northeast corner.)
• Built: 1912 - 1913
• Demolished: 1972
• Architect: Brown and Vallance of Montreal (also designed the Greyhound and the Canada Life Assurance buildings).
• Contractor: Fysche, Martin Company Ltd. of Calgary.
• Original cost: $750,000
• Construction materials: Reinforced concrete and steel frame faced with brown kitanning brick and ornamental terracotta. Four entrances built of granite.
• Architectural style: Architects claimed it was the "one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture adapted for a business building in North America." Ground floor - seven tall, rounded arches along the main facades. Each facade divided into perpendicular bays rising from the third storey, terminating in round headed windows at the eighth floor and topped with decorative shields moulded in white terra cotta.
• Original interior details: Corridors with terrazzo floors and marble base. Main vestibule done in marble. Two pairs of ornate wrought iron and brass elevators. This "thoroughly fireproof" building was advertised to doctors and dentists (1913) as having "safety deposit boxes, mail chute service and vacuum cleaning systems on each floor." "Offices outfitted with running water, piped for gas and supplied with compressed air."
• First Baptist church demolished to clear lot for Herald Building.
• excavation began in the summer of 1912.
• first Calgary building to exceed six storeys and certainly one of the most visually unique.
• 10 storey Herald building financed by the Southams. As home to the Calgary Herald 1913 to 1932 it was originally known as the Herald Building. Subsequently called the Southam Building and finally the Greyhound Building.
• the Southams commissioned the Royal Doulton Company (famous English ceramics and pottery company) to design and make 44 figures and masks to decorate the exterior of the building. The decorative terracotta figures included reptiles, birds, fish, monkeys, heraldic shields, vegetation and a series of caricatures based on personalities from the newspaper world ; the editor, the stenographer, the typesetter and others. The gargoyles were the work of well - known sculptor Mark Villars Marshall (1879 - 1912), who died shortly after the gargoyles were installed in 1912. Marshall had been a stone carver working on Victorian Gothic Revival churches before his employment with Royal Doulton's Lambeth Studios in the late 1870s. His work was often depicted the fanciful, grotesque and impish.
• the Herald moved into the new premises December 13, 1913 (its seventh location since August 1883) occupied about 15,000 square feet of the new structure.
• the first paper was printed December 15, 1913 in the basement pressroom on the new 250 ton Hoe presses.
• Herald business and executive offices on the main floor, editorial offices - second floor, composing and steno departments - third floor.
• D.E. Black jewellers (later Birks) had a new jewellery store on the ground floor.
• built at the end of Calgary's real estate boom. World War One and the resulting depression meant that the building was not as profitable as predicted. In November 1914 the 10 storey Herald building had a revenue of $60,000 from $105,000 of rentable space.
• in 1915 there were 10 dentists and 10 physicians listed as tenants. There still seven vacant offices. Over the years it provided accommodation for a variety of realtors, lawyers, financial organizations and oil companies and geologists.
• by 1930 the " Herald owned and operated Herald Broadcasting Studio with the "Tapestry Studio" and the call letters CFAC was located on the 8th floor."
• June 18, 1932 the Herald needed larger facilities and moved across the street from the 1913 structure into the "Southam Building" which had been built in 1912 and was also decorated with gargoyles. (these gargoyles were removed during remodelling in 1966 - 1967) ! by 1933 the 1913 Herald Building (now called the Southam building) housed 17 physicians and 31 surgeons.
• Southam's sold the building to Greyhound who gutted the main floor to build a drive -through bus station with an attached coffee shop and ticket office.
• May 1972 gargoyles carefully removed from exterior. Some of the figures are currently on public view at the Alberta Hotel Building, Colonel Walker Park, and the University of Calgary.
• "Greyhound Building" purchased by AGT and in the fall of 1972 demolished to make way for the Len Werry building.
• in 1973 the City of Calgary acquired 200-300 decorative terracotta pieces from AGT. The City maintained a representative collection of the gargoyles and in 1994 the remaining figures were put up for public auction with the proceeds going to the Calgary Historic Preservation Fund.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared June 11, 2002.
Building/Len Werry Building
622 1st St. S.W.
THEN: Herald Building circa 1914
• Built by the Southams in 1913 for $750,000, this Gothic 10-storey structure was home to the Calgary Herald until 1932, when it was sold to Greyhound. Forty years later, Alberta Government Telephones bought the building for
$1 million. Hundreds of the original terra cotta figures and caricatures of newspaper personalities, designed by England's Royal Doulton Co., were salvaged from the exterior during the 1972 demolition.
NOW: Len Werry Building (Telus)
• The Len Werry building, named in memory of the provincial Conservatives' first minister of telephones and utilities (1971 to 1973), was officially opened in September 1975 by Premier Peter Lougheed. Alberta Government Telephones built the 17-storey tower as a local and long distance telecommunications centre at a cost of $14.5 million. The building is currently owned by Telus.