“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared May 18, 1997.
• 801 11th Street S.W.
• Built: 1915-1918
• Architect: T.W.Fuller (Department of Public Works Architect). Project supervised locally by Calgary architect Leo Dowler
• Contractor: A.G.Creelman Co. of Vancouver
• Original cost: $282,051
• Construction materials: Cut stone foundation. Structure - red brick (common bond with steel reinforcement) and sandstone. The drill hall is significant for the large uninterrupted span of its steel trusses.
• Architectural style: Tudor/Gothic Revival. Excellent example of armoury architectural design with features which deliberately reflect the medieval fortress or castle. Four square corner towers. Four smaller six sided towers. Buttresses with turrets and a crenellated roofline.
• Original interior details: original design featured a large central drill hall with 117 rooms (two storeys of soldiers quarters) arranged around its perimeter. Basement included bowling alleys and shooting galleries. Facility also included officer's and sergeant's billiard rooms. Barracks have been altered to serve as offices and storage space. Catwalk around the drill hall has been enclosed.
• Two unconfirmed rumours; that a swimming pool was filled in to accommodate a rifle range and at the time of construction no doors were mounted on rooms off the main hall because of the lack of oak.
• Mewata is a Cree word meaning "O Be Joyful"
• construction began September 24, 1915 and according to some sources was held up by lack of bricks. Two brick factories, one in Redcliffe and one in Montgomery were built for the specific purpose of providing the bricks to complete the project.
• originally built to house ten local militia units based in Calgary but when the war broke out the armoury was needed to quarter the regular force
• units based at Mewata include Southern Alberta Light Horse, 19th Alberta Dragoon, King's Own Calgary Regiment and the Calgary Highlanders.
• during WWI Mewata used served as an induction and training centre and a demobilization depot for returning soldiers.
• in addition to military uses, other groups and organizations have used the armoury including a military ball for the Prince of Wales in 1919, the scene of a verbal confrontation between William Aberhart and Major Douglas founder of Social Credit. The Calgary City Police have used it for training purposes. In 1975 prior to the Grey Cup parade twenty marching bands were marshalled in the drill hall.
• declared a Provincial Historic Resource November 11,1979.
• declared National Historic Site May 11, 1991, only the fourth building in Calgary to receive a national designation.
• Cunniffe, Richard. Scarlet, Riflegreen and Khaki: the Military in Calgary. Calgary: Century Calgary Publications, c1975. p. 281.
• Uncatalogued Clippings File in Local History
• Calgary-Buildings-Mewata Armoury