“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared June 15, 1997.
Lougheed House (Beaulieu)
• 707-13th Avenue S.W.
• Built: 1891
• Architect: James R. Bowes of Ottawa
• Contractor: Edward Hunt
• Original owner: Senator James Alexander Lougheed and his wife Isabelle Hardisty. James and Isabelle, the grandparents of former Premier Peter Lougheed played a key role in the history of Calgary and Alberta. James was one of Calgary's early lawyers in partnership with R.B.Bennett, land agent for the CPR and the Hudson's Bay Company, real estate developer, director of the Canada Life Assurance, founding member of the Ranchmen's Club and the Law Society of Alberta. Lougheed was a senator for 36 years and a federal cabinet minister. He was knighted by King George V in 1917, the only Albertan to ever receive that honour
• Construction materials: locally quarried (Butlin quarry), rough-cut sandstone
• Architectural style: predominantly Queen Anne Revival with some Romanesque Revival features such as the round headed, arched windows. House built on an asymmetrical plan with a large octagonal turret, steeply pitched roofs with shed dormers.
• Original interior details: Spanish mahogany, Italian marble, stained glass windows, doors and transoms featuring hand-painted images of Alberta's flora and fauna (from McCausland of Toronto) Electric lighting throughout. Two chandeliers in the drawing room (from Mitchell and Co. Montreal). Electric bells "communicating with every apartment." Hot and cold running water. Ornate plaster ceiling (carved cherubs) in the drawing room. Many of these features are still intact. Currently has 48 rooms and 9 fireplaces.
• house became known as Beaulieu, supposedly a reference to Lady Lougheed's lineage.
• when the Lougheeds moved into the two and one-half storey house in December 1891 it was outside the town boundaries and beyond the area of settlement.
• the Lougheeds subsequently expanded and renovated the house to accommodate a growing family (6 children) and their social role of entertaining distinguished visitors like the Prince of Wales (1919) and the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia (1912).
• Beaulieu hosted discussions to create the province of Alberta and was the meeting place for early Calgary groups; the IODE, Women's Hospital Aid Society, Calgary Children's Aid Society, Calgary Horticultural Society.
• The renovations included a basement billiard room, expanded dining room with domed skylight, morning room, pantry, kitchen, additional bedrooms on the second and third floors and a study panelled with carved oak for the Senator.
• a formal sunken garden was developed in the gully east of the house, creating a fairy-tale setting for garden parties. A swan sculptured fountain was the focal point of the terraced garden. Each of the two terraced levels was surrounded by balustrades, a feature that was repeated on the porches and balconies of the house.
• by 1914 the Lougheed property included the enlarged house surrounded by lawn, trees and flower beds, sandstone coach house, stables, formal sunken garden, prairie pasture and fenced backyard with vegetable and kitchen gardens. A low sandstone wall with two wrought iron entry gates for east and west driveways bordered the 13th Avenue side.
• James's died in 1925 but Lady Lougheed continued to live in Beaulieu until her death in 1936. The city of Calgary assumed title to Beaulieu in 1934.
• furnishings were auctioned in 1938.
• from 1939 to the late 1970s the house was occupied by various tenants including the Dominion Provincial Youth Training Centre, the Canadian Women's Auxiliary Army Corps.
• in 1948 the Canadian Red Cross Society bought the house for use as headquarters and a blood donor clinic. The Society subsequently built a functional but incompatible addition to the east end of the house.
• in 1979 Beaulieu was purchased by the Alberta government.
• February 18, 1992, ten Albertans were named by Order in Council to the Lougheed Residence Advisory Board "to recommend to the government an appropriate development and operational strategy for this most important building."
• In 1993 the city of Calgary purchased the former site of the garden and adjoining pasture for civic park purposes. Rehabilitation of this green space for public park use will begin summer 1997.
• the Lougheed House Conservation Society (a volunteer group formed in 1995) backed by the city and the province, recently embarked on a $4 million-plus project, scheduled for completion in 2005, to restore and refurbish the three storey mansion, re-build an attached coach house and recreate the terraced garden. Anyone wishing to contribute to the rehabilitation project contact Trudy Cowan at 244-6333.
• In 1977 Beaulieu was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource and in 1995 declared a National Historic Site.
“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared May 28, 2002.
Beaulieu -- the Lougheed House
707 13th Ave. S.W., 1914
• Beaulieu was built in 1891 by Senator James Lougheed and his wife Isabella Hardisty Lougheed, grandparents of former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed. Sold to the Canadian Red Cross Society in 1948 and renamed Red Cross House, Beaulieu was its local headquarters and a blood donor clinic until the late '70s.
• Owned by the province since 1979 and designated a national historic site in 1995, Beaulieu is undergoing restoration and will reopen in 2004.