Anne Piskolti was a friend and colleague of Alison Jackson. She enjoyed a 40 year career with the Calgary Public Library.
“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared July 26, 1998.
Knox United (Presbyterian) Church
• 506 4th Street S.W.
• Built: 1911 - 1913
• Architect: Francis James Lawson of Calgary, a Scottish trained architect. He also designed Braemar Lodge, Simmons residence and portions of the General Hospital
• Contractor: Fish and Martin
• Original cost: $185,000 - $200,000
• Construction materials: Sandstone from Bone and LeBlanc's Shaganappi quarry was cut into polygonal blocks of various sizes and smooth - dressed for the facade.
• Architectural style: Gothic Revival. Built on a cathedral - like plan with a long nave, deep choir, and distinct transept crossing, Gothic arch doorways, massive square bell tower, buttresses and stained glass windows decorated with tracery.
• Original interior details: Seating for 1,200. Casavant organ.
• The first Presbyterian service in Calgary, conducted in June 1883 at the I.G. Baker and Company store, was the result of Colonel James Walker's petition to the Presbyterian Superintendent of Missions.
• During the summer, meetings were held at the North West Mounted Police Barracks and in a tent shared with the Methodists. The "Knox" congregation, formally organized in October 1883, built a small wooden church with lumber donated by Walker.
• By 1911 the 743 member congregation had outgrown their third home, a sandstone church located at 120 7th Avenue S.W. on the present day site of the York Hotel. When this building was sold to pay for construction of the new church, services were held in Lougheed's new Sherman Grand Theatre.
• Property at the corner of 6th Avenue and 4th Street S.W. was purchased from James Grierson in 1911.
• In April 1911, the plans for the fourth Knox church, originally drawn up by an architectural firm from Boston, Massachusetts, were rejected by the congregation who preferred F.J. Lawson's design.
• September 21, 1912, the cornerstone was laid. "The singing of the hymn, The Church's One Foundation immediately preceded the ceremony of the laying of the stone, Colonel Walker depositing in the box an historical statement and scroll of Knox church and other articles, including a copy of the Herald."
• Although not completed, the church was officially dedicated September 14, 1913.
• The original guarantors of the mortgage were R.J. Hutchings, John C. McNeill, T.J.S.Skinner, A.M.Terrill, John A. Langlands, J.T.MacDonald and O.G. Devenish. A number of other men put up life insurance policies as further guarantee. By 1917 the debt load had increased to $210,453 and in 1927 a debt reduction drive was launched. The mortgage was finally burned in 1954.
• In 1925 Knox Presbyterian congregation voted in favor of union with the United Church of Canada becoming Knox United Church.
• On January 2, 1921 a Memorial Window composed of 9,982 pieces of stained glass was dedicated to the Knox men who died in World War I. It was designed by A.J. Larschild of the Pittsburgh Glass Company in Minneapolis. The following year, ten stain glass windows were installed on the east and west sides of the church and dedicated by Reverend George Dickson.
• September 25, 1960 was the dedication of the $235,000 Christian Education Wing built adjacent to the church. The addition which was called Knox Hall included a large auditorium - gymnasium, offices, kitchen, washrooms, lounge and choir rooms.
• In 1979 a program to refurbish the physical plant began with the installation of new boilers and replacement of old wiring.
• A June 22, 1980 fire gutted the Sunday School classroom and hallway of the Christian Education Building. The main sanctuary and general offices suffered heavy smoke damage.
• July 4, 1980, Knox Church was designated a Provincial Historic Resource.
• Local organ builder John Bolton completed the restoration of the 1913 Casavant organ. A 1989 concert series called Pipe Dreams reintroduced the 4,500 pipe organ to the community.
• For one hundred and fifteen years, the dedicated parishioners of Knox United have worked together to ensure that Knox remains responsive to the changing needs of the community and its challenging role as a vital component of the inner city.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared May 27, 2003.
Knox Presbyterian Church
506 4th St. S.W.
Then: Knox Presbyterian Church, 506 4th Street S.W.
•In 1911, the congregation bought the property at the corner of 6th Avenue and 4th Street S.W. from James Grierson to build the fourth Knox church, having outgrown the 1885 structure located where the York Hotel now stands. The cornerstone for the Gothic revival- style church, designed by local architect Frances James Lawson, was laid Sept. 21, 1912. In 1925, the congregation voted in favour of union with the United Church of Canada, becoming Knox United Church. In 1921, a memorial window comprised of 9,982 pieces of stained glass was dedicated to the Knox men who died in the First World War. The following year, 10 stained glass windows were installed on the east and west sides of the church and dedicated by Rev. George Dickson.
Now: Knox United Church
•In 1960, the $235,000 construction of the Christian education wing added a large auditorium, gymnasium, offices, kitchen, washrooms, lounge and choir rooms to the facility. Knox was designated a provincial historic resource July 4, 1980. The dedicated parishioners of Knox United continue to work to ensure that Knox remains responsive to the changing needs of the community and its challenging role as a vital component of the inner city.