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530 - 7 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 1977/03/15

Calgary Courthouse No. 2 Provincial Historic Resource (March 2006); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2006
South elevation
Calgary Courthouse No. 2 Provincial Historic Resource (date unknown); Provincial Archives of Alberta, P.96/1
Streetscape view
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)

Government House South
Glenbow Museum
Old Courthouse

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction

1912/01/01 à 1914/01/01

Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2008/03/14

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

Calgary Courthouse No. 2 is a large, rectangular two-storey building with an extensive basement. It has a steel frame superstructure and a sandstone facade. Built from 1912 to 1914, the building embodies the Neoclassical Revival style and features an ornate central entrance with an entablature flanked by relatively simple wings. Its main entry doors, with their elaborate fittings and bronze inlays have been reconstructed and its central flagpole has been replaced. Courthouse No. 2 is located in downtown Calgary at 530 - Seventh Avenue, SW.

Valeur patrimoniale

The heritage value of Calgary Courthouse No. 2 lies in its association with the development of Alberta's judicial system. It is the largest surviving courthouse from the first decade of Alberta's existence as a province and was used as the Calgary seat of the Supreme Court of Alberta and later as an appellate court. Calgary Courthouse No. 2 is also architecturally significant as one of the last major early buildings constructed by the Government of Alberta on a monumental scale.

Calgary has been a seat of the Supreme Court of Alberta since the late 1880s. The court was initially housed in temporary facilities; a permanent courthouse was built in 1888. The Calgary seat of the Supreme Court of Alberta has been located in this same city block since that time. After 1905, the provincial government assumed control of the building and purchased the site from the federal government. By 1910, a larger courthouse was needed and a new courthouse was commissioned. The new courthouse was designed by Provincial Architect Allan M. Jeffers and was intended to rival in size its previously built counterpart in Edmonton. Due to budgetary concerns, it was designed on a simpler plan and was considerably less elaborate. Upon completion of the plans, Jeffers resigned his position and his successor, Richard P. Blakey, revised the plans by changing the interior layout, the central staircase and most of the exterior facade while maintaining its generally austere appearance. Despite efforts to curtail expenses, rising costs resulted in the courthouse becoming one of the most expensive construction projects undertaken by the Alberta government, which resulted in a moratorium on the construction of new public buildings. Upon completion in 1914, the Supreme Court of Alberta moved into the new building. It would remain here until 1962 when it moved into a third, more spacious courthouse built on the site of the 1888 building. Courthouse No. 2 was again used as a courthouse, this time as an appellate court, from 1986 to 2001.

Calgary Courthouse No. 2 is an outstanding example of courthouse design in Alberta and represents one of the last monumental buildings built by the province in its early years of development. Designed in the Neoclassical Revival style during a period of budgetary restraint, Courthouse No. 2 has an elegant yet restrained appearance. Features of the style include the symmetrical facades, cornice with dentils and corbels, and embellished central portico. It has a steel frame superstructure supporting exterior walls of smooth-faced sandstone on a plinth of rough-hewn granite blocks. The sandstone used was mainly from local quarries supplemented with stone imported from Ohio. The courthouse was the last major building in Calgary to use local sandstone. The building's symmetrical front facade features two austere wings flanking an ornamented front portico. Above the front doorway is the provincial crest carved in sandstone. The interior of the courthouse is designed in a cross-axial pattern. Despite renovations, it retains some original elements, such as the front foyer, the central marble staircase, most interior doors and portions of the terrazzo floor.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 98)

Éléments caractéristiques

Key elements that define Calgary Courthouse No. 2's heritage value include its:

- location on the city block housing the continuous presence of judicial facilities since 1888;
- rectangular plan, low elevations, and symmetrical facades;
- horizontal lines accentuated by bands of regularly spaced window openings;
- steel frame supporting structure;
- use of smooth sandstone blocks on most of the exterior facade;
- plinth of rough-hewn granite blocks;
- austere appearance;
- moderately decorated centrally located portico accessed by wide stone staircase;
- cornice with dentils and corbels;
- continuous arch over front doorway;
- provincial crest in stone over the front doorway;
- twin Tuscan order columns;
- uncarved nameplate;
- parapet along entire roofline;
- wrought iron lampposts and door lamps.

- axial pattern layout;
- location and size of front foyer;
- original wooden interior doors;
- central marble grand staircase;
- portions of the original terrazzo floor.




Autorité de reconnaissance

Province de l'Alberta

Loi habilitante

Historical Resources Act

Type de reconnaissance

Ressource historique provinciale

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Exprimer la vie intellectuelle et culturelle
L'architecture et l'aménagement
Gouverner le Canada
La sécurité et la loi

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction



Palais de justice et/ou bureaux d'enregistrement

Architecte / Concepteur

Allan M. Jeffer



Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 98)

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




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