PIONEER MEAT MARKET BUILDING
117 - 8 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P, Canada
Calgary Cattle Company Building
PIONEER MEAT MARKET BUILDING
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Pioneer Meat Market Building, built in 1903, is a two-storey, red-brick building of Romanesque Revival style influence. It features sandstone detailing, a heavily corbelled brick cornice and a first-storey storefront. The Pioneer Meat Market is located in downtown Calgary along the Stephen Avenue Mall, a National Historic District. The property was protected as a Municipal Historic Resource in 1999 and as a Provincial Historic Resource in 2001.
The Pioneer Meat Market Building, originally known as the Calgary Cattle Company Building, is of heritage value as the location of the prominent early Calgary firm of the same name. The Calgary Cattle Company was established in 1902 by some of Calgary's most influential citizens including rancher Charles Knight, Senator James Lougheed and the lawyer and future Prime Minister of Canada, R.B. Bennett. The company had hoped to compete with legendary cattleman Pat Burns by emulating his integrated system of livestock-raising, processing, and marketing. The company erected this building as its offices as well as a retail outlet for their products. This retail outlet was initially known as the Calgary Meat Market. In 1905 Pat Burns acquired the Calgary Cattle Company and its store, though the firm's business continued from this location until 1908. From 1908 to 1920 Pat Burns operated his well-known Pioneer Meat Market from the main floor of the building while renting out the second-storey office space to a variety of tenants. Later the building housed the Robinson and Co. Ltd dry goods store (1920-23); Alex Martin Sporting Goods Co. (1923-31); and a series of china and gift shops before becoming part of the neighbouring Silk-O-Lina clothing and fabric store in 1967, a long-time business which operated from 1931 to 1991.
The Pioneer Meat Market Building is architecturally significant for its Edwardian-era design and its red-brick facade - a feature that differentiated it from the many sandstone structures that dominated Stephen Avenue in the early twentieth century. The high-quality pressed brick that defines the exterior is heavily corbelled to form a distinctive roofline cornice and recalls the popularity of the Romanesque Revival style at the time. Contrasting rock-faced sandstone from Calgary quarries highlight the window sills, window lintels and first-storey piers of the building and compliments local construction practices.
The Pioneer Meat Market Building is also significant for its contribution and central position amidst the late nineteenth and early twentieth century brick and sandstone commercial buildings which comprise the Stephen Avenue National Historic District.
Source: City of Calgary Heritage Planning File 01-125
The exterior character-defining elements of the Pioneer Meat Market Building include such features as its:
- long rectangular plan with an asymmetrical short facade three-and-one-half bays in width and a two-storey, flat roof form;
- brick and timber construction;
- red, pressed-brick second storey (facade) including corbel tables and pedimented parapet;
- rock-faced sandstone detailing such as the first-storey piers, the second-storey window sills and lintels, the parapet roundel, and rear elevation sills and lintels;
- first-storey storefront opening with secondary, second-storey access doorway;
- pressed-metal storefront cornice of period ornamental design;
- rear facade featuring a hand-painted 'PIONEER MARKET' sign;
- second-storey fenestration with rectangular, single-pane, wooden-sash windows and multi-pane transom lights.
Local Governments (AB)
Historical Resources Act
Municipal Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Calgary Heritage Planning File 01-125
Cross-Reference to Collection
CALGARY CATTLE COMPANY BUILDING
The Calgary Cattle Company Building is an early twentieth-century, two-storey brick and sandstone building featuring a corbelled brick cornice, parapet, and central pediment. It…