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ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE / CALGARY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

106 - 6 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/10/16

Odd Fellows Temple / Calgary Chamber of Commerce Provincial Historic Resource, Calgary (March 2006); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2006
South and east elevations
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Other Name(s)

ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE / CALGARY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
I. O. Olf. Building
Alberta Odd Fellows Temple
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/02/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Odd Fellows Temple/Calgary Chamber of Commerce is a four-storey, red brick and sandstone commercial building in the Edwardian Classical style of the pre-First World War era. It is located on five city lots in Calgary's downtown business district.

Heritage Value

The Odd Fellows Temple/Calgary Chamber of Commerce is significant as a rare surviving example of the Edwardian Classical style in downtown Calgary. It also represents the significant role played by fraternal organizations such as the Old Fellows in Calgary's community life in the early to mid twentieth century.

The Odd Fellows Temple/Calgary Chamber of Commerce was designed by David McIlroy, who was also responsible for such prominent Calgary landmarks as the Lougheed Building and First Baptist Church. As with the Grain Exchange and the Palliser Hotel, the application of the classical style to the "tall building" demonstrated the city's confidence during its boom period. The Odd Fellows Temple/Calgary Chamber of Commerce is a landmark and retains an excellent degree of architectural integrity.

The International Order of the Odd Fellows was introduced to Alberta by Calgary's first mayor, George Murdock, with the founding of Lodge No. 1 in 1884. Such fraternal organizations were a community response to the turbulent experience of urbanization and industrialization. The Odd Fellows represented an important source of social and financial support, and identity and status, for the influx of immigrants to Calgary. The Odd Fellows Temple served as the headquarters for the provincial lodge and a variety of men's and women's (or Rebekah) lodges. The fourth floor was used for Odd Fellows ceremonies and functions; other social and fraternal organizations (such as trade unions, public health and religious organizations) occupied the third floor. The Odd Fellows Temple was built in part in response to the newly independent Alberta Odd Fellows, who gained autonomy from the Manitoba Grand Lodge in 1905, and thus reflects the nascent provincial identities emerging within the old North West Territories.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 740)

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Odd Fellows Temple / Calgary Chamber of Commerce include such features as:

Exterior and structural:
- unusual degree of load-bearing structural capacity in steel frame and poured concrete;
- red-brick facade;
- fenestration pattern;
- marble covered piers on ground floor with Ionic capitals; sandstone pilasters on the upper three floors, with three on south facade carved with Corinthian capitals;
- 2 ornate capitals on south facade;
- metal string course (between the ground and first floors) and a sandstone string course (between the third and fourth floors) dividing the building visually into three sections that approximate the different original uses; (retail/office/Order meeting space);
- sandstone lintels;
- recessed doors on the east facade;
- re-created street level storefronts of double glazed display windows, and overhead transom panels in patterned glass;
- stained glass windows;
- broad stone cornice and round-arched windows on fourth floor;

Interior:
- partially restored woodwork;
- tiled floor in the entrance and lobby; tile forming "IOOF" insignia;
- fourth floor layout, including main hall and adjacent regalia room;
- interior features of fourth floor including plaster pilasters, decorative mouldings, wooden cornice, and large panelled sliding doors;
- original interior doors and transoms.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date

1987/10/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Community
Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Architect / Designer

David McIlroy

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

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. 740)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0559

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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