DR. ARTHUR HAIG RESIDENCE
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dr. Arthur Haig Residence is a two-storey wood frame residential building faced with a smooth white stucco finish. The residence is situated on four city lots on a prominent corner in the historic London Road neighbourhood in Lethbridge. Significant landscape elements include a retaining wall and flagstone walk.
The heritage value of the Dr. Arthur Haig Residence lies primarily in its architectural value as a rare pre-1940 example in Alberta of a Streamline Moderne style residence.
The Dr. Arthur Haig Residence was designed and constructed in 1937 by Calgary architects Fordyce and Stevenson for Dr. Arthur Haig, a prominent Lethbridge physician. The design of the building was influenced by the modernist enthusiasm for progress through science, technology, and the machine. This emphasis dictated a style distinct from the historical or "revival" styles popular prior to the First World War. The influence of the Streamline Moderne style is embodied in the building's asymmetrical but balanced massing, its lack of ornamentation, the contrast between its white stucco and black windows and metal flashing, and the combination of cubic, angular and curved forms. The futuristic focus of the style is also evident in such interior features as the chrome light fixtures featuring geometric designs, the curvilinear walls and door openings, and the colorful Vitrolite cladding on main floor and second floor bathrooms. There was a major concentration of Moderne buildings in Lethbridge; the Dr. Arthur Haig Residence is one of the few that remains. The integrity of the building and landscaping is very high, and it remains a landmark in this older neighbourhood.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 200)
The character-defining elements for the Dr. Arthur Haig Residence include:
- original mature landscaping with unimpeded views of the front elevation, with a retaining wall, flagstone walk and other landscape details of the era.
- Streamline Moderne stylistic influences represented in the building's asymmetrical but balanced massing, combination of cubic, angular and curved forms modeled in smooth white stucco, contrast of vertical and horizontal elements, use of sharp stucco profiles to articulate form against the white exterior through cast shadows, delineation of form through contrasting elements like black windows, metal flashings, and black steel railings, interplay of solids and voids through the arrangement of window openings, and expression of interior function through strip windows of stairway;
- industrial inspiration evident in the fenestration comprised variously of strip windows and glass block units; metal balcony handrails; porthole window.
- main floor plan converging on a central stairway with flowing, curvilinear walls and door openings;
- prominent, floor-to-ceiling living room fireplace with low-relief fluting and Art Deco styling;
- stained plywood paneling, sitting nook and fireplace in the den;
- interior features such as the decorative octagonal door knobs, streamlined main stair railing, original faucets and related bathroom fixtures, and built-in elements such as the dining room china cabinets and second floor linen closet;
- interior lighting, including original chrome and other light fixtures featuring geometric designs as well as recessed niches for indirect illumination in the living room;
- interior finishes including the varnished wood floors, painted lath and plaster walls and ceilings, hand-painted living room wallpaper (1940s), and colorful Vitrolite cladding on main floor and second floor bathrooms;
- wall painting of north bedroom depicting a bomber squadron.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Fordyce and Stevenson
Location of Supporting Documentation
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 200)
Cross-Reference to Collection