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At any given moment the most inaccessible period is that which is just within living memory. Too much material is still in private hands, too many axes are still being ground; the recent past is always on the move. – Rosemary Hill

Welcome to Calgary Modern, a website celebrating Calgary architecture from 1945 to 1970.

The purpose of this project is to catalogue and display architecture from Calgary's modern period. Writing in the early 2020s, many important works from the post-war era have been demolished or are now at risk of being lost. It is my hope that by furthering awareness of this body of architecture I might bring about a greater appreciation for it, which in turn might compel people to protect what remains.


The object of Calgary Modern is to display buildings from the period in question using digital models. To make these models I've had to locate their original drawings. It is my contention that 3d models are the ideal way to view a work of architecture, as they allow the observer to see the work a) in isolation b) from an omnipotent perspective and c) in its original form without alterations. Many of the buildings on this website have vanished from public consciousness and memory; photographs of them may or may not exist. Thus, the models I have built are a means of bringing them to life again.

This project is also a work of archaeology. A small number of books and articles have been written about mid-century Calgary architecture, including Robert Stamp's Suburban Modern and the exhibition catalogue Calgary Modern, 1947–1967. These works have focused on a select few works that have become canonical, such as the Barron Building, Petro-Chemical Building, Fina Building, Mire Katchen House, and Trend House. My goal here is to uncover as many other mid-century buildings as I can, both extant and demolished, and exhibit them.

Each entry in the catalogue lists a work's relevant background information, including the architect, the address, the date of the plans, and current status. For residential works I also provide a biographical sketch of the client who commissioned the work. Together, these biographical sketches create a portrait of the Calgary establishment in quarter-century after the War. Entries include several images of the building's digital model.


The buildings I highlight in this catalogue are primarily houses and offices. I've never liked the modernist aesthetic in a religious setting, and thus exclude churches and synagogues. I also exclude apartments, schools, bank branches, and grocery stores, given their abundance and repetitiveness.

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