"First Church of Christ, Scientist. Weeping birch and blue spruce trees."
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared October 28, 2003.
Then: First Church of Christ, Scientist
• The first Christian Science family settled in the city around 1895 and, by 1898, regular services were being held in private homes. Following the amalgamation of the Christian Science Society and the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Calgary, in 1911, the first permanent church was built at 1719 5th St. S.W. and remained in use until 1924. The congregation built its second church on this 14th Avenue S.W. site in 1927, according to plans by local architect George Fordyce. As a result of the Depression, only the first floor of the two-storey red brick structure was ever constructed, at a cost of $50,000. In 1954, the basement was excavated and four years later a barrel-vaulted ceiling, designed by church member and architect Alton Bowers, was installed. Distinguished members of the congregation have included Alice Jukes Jamieson, the first woman judge in the British Empire, and her husband, Reuben Rupert Jamieson, Calgary mayor from 1909-1910. Mary and Catherine Barclay, founders of the first youth hostel in North America, and Art Dixon, former Social Credit MLA and speaker of the Alberta Legislature, were also members.
Now: Vacant Lot
• In the early morning hours of June 13, 2002, a massive fire destroyed the church building and contents, including a collection of historical records. The irreparably damaged building has been demolished and the lot sits vacant while the congregation considers its options.