“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared June 29, 1997.
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer
• 218 7th Avenue S.E.
• Built: 1904
John Charles Malcolm Keith of Victoria, B.C. (also designed Cathedral Church of Christ in Victoria).
• Contractor: Alberta Building Company
• Original cost: $35,000
• Original owner: Anglican Diocese of Calgary
• Construction materials: rough cut Paskapoo sandstone. One of the earliest extant tin roofs in Calgary.
• Architectural style: Gothic Revival (Gothic characteristics on corners and side, modified tri-windows).
Original interior details:
• Cruciform plan. Pine ceiling. Original structure 145 feet long and 70 feet wide, height from floor to ceiling in the nave, 45 feet. Carved oak altar was the work of Cushing Brothers from a design by the late Bishop Hale of Cairo, United States. The columns which marked the panel were an exact reproduction of a pillar in Westminster Abbey in London, England. Exquisite stain glass windows from McCausland of Toronto - the same company which supplied the windows for the Lougheed House (Beaulieu) in 1891.
• Alterations: 1936 - Lady Chapel constructed adjoining the main church at the right of the chancel. A gift of Henry and Eleanor Tompkins. In its tower hangs a bell dedicated to Corporal W.H.T. Lowry who had died at the battle of Cut Knife Creek during the Riel Rebellion. This bell originally hung in the tower of the first wooden church.
• 1952 - wood panelling placed along the lower walls and pilars of the church and the doors were remodelled.
• 1970 - interior and exterior renovation. Extensive landscaping and development of park area.
• 1972 - glassed-in lobby and meeting room built at the back of the church
• the first Anglican church in Calgary was a wooden structure located to the east of the present day Cathedral. This building was torn down in 1907 to make way for a parish hall (Paget Hall) built in 1911 for $22,000. Paget Hall was torn down in the 1970s.
• November 1902 the church bought four lots from Dr. N.J. Lindsay for $3,000 and in the architect was hired in 1903.
• the congregation raised $18,000 and excavation began August 1904. By May 1910 the entire amount of $35,000 had been paid.
• the Governor-General of Canada, the Earl of Minto, laid the cornerstone on Tuesday September 13, 1904. The Bishop of Calgary officiated. Rev. J.W. Tims, who had conducted the first Anglican service at the barracks (Fort Calgary) in November 1883 also attended. A crowd of 2,000 people gathered to watch, "many standing on piles of lumber which were lying around and on the scaffolding for a better view." On the arrival of the official party the fire brigade band played. The Governor-General then proceeded to 17th Avenue S.W. and laid the cornerstone for Western Canada College.
• the first service was held at the new church July 30, 1905. Bishop Pinkham and Bishop.
• 1919 - elaborately carved wooden rood screen (separating the nave and choir) was constructed across the front of the sanctuary in memory of the men who died in the first World War. The September 14th dedication was attended by the visiting Prince of Wales.
• Morrison of Iowa assisted Dean Paget.
• 1949 the Pro-Cathedral is officially declared a Cathedral.
• members of the congregation have included many well-known Calgarians; Prime Minister R.B. Bennett, William Pearce (pioneer of irrigation), William Roper Hull, Senator Patrick Burns and Colonel Macleod's grandaughter, Mary Dover.
• in 1953 a stained glass window depicting St. Luke the Physician was dedicated in memory of Walter Beaver-Jones who died in 1916, a well-known Calgarian and member of the Herald editorial staff for 17 years. Mr. Beaver-Jones widow, Mrs. Ho Lem made the presentation in the Lady Chapel on the south side of the church.
• in 1973 the Cathedral was one of the first three registered historic sites in the province and was officially designated as an Historic Resource in 1977.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared January 14, 2003.
Then: Pro-Cathedral of the Redeemer, 218 7th Ave. S.E.
• The city's first Anglican church was erected just east of this site in 1884 and, four years later, declared a pro-cathedral or temporary church of the bishop. The little wooden church was demolished around 1904 and replaced with this massive Gothic revival structure. The new church, designed by Victoria architect Charles Malcolm Keith, cost $35,000 and was faced with rusticated Paskapoo sandstone. Canada's governor general, the Earl of Minto, laid the cornerstone in 1904 and inaugural services were held in July 1905, only two months before Alberta became a province. In 1949, it was declared the Anglican Cathedral of Calgary.
Now: Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, 218 7th Ave. S.E.
• In 1977, the cathedral was designated a provincial historic resource. It currently serves a diverse community, offering four Sunday services, including those for speakers of Chinese and Dinko. Music at noon on Wednesdays is one of many innovative programs offered by the church. As Calgary has grown, the cathedral has risen to the challenge of change in a dynamic downtown environment. Care and preservation of the historic fabric of this nearly 100-year-old structure is an ongoing financial concern. In recent years, the tin roof, one of the first in Calgary, has been repaired. Plans are now underway for preservation of the historic stained glass windows.