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Firm: J. M. Stevenson Cawston and Stevenson

Address: 701 Hillcrest Avenue SW

Date of final plans: 1949

Status: altered beyond recognition

King Houston's first house was built at the top of Hope Street facing Hillcrest Avenue. It is a simple bungalow with a walk-out basement and a basement garage that enters from the alley. The living room protrudes from the front and includes a corner fireplace. Inside it is a fairly tight three-bedroom design. It's interesting that in the 1950s someone with Houston's wealth built such a modest home on this coveted property. In 1955 Houston sold the house to Henri de Cizancourt, who that year had been sent to Calgary by the Compagnie française de pétroles to set up its Canadian subsidiary, the French Petroleum Company of Canada. (See the French Petroleum Building.) Houston then built a new house across the street (see here).

In 2003 the house was alterered beyond recognition, although the original form is still visible. I can't tell whether the owners demolished the house down to the foundation or just added a second floor. Regardless, none of the original features or details are visible today.



King Henderson Houston (1897-1965) was born on 15 December 1897 in Petrolia, Ontario to King Houston (1843–1913) and Annabelle Henderson (1865–1951). In 1923 he went to Iran to work as an oil driller and then worked in Negritos, Peru with the International Petroleum Company. In 1938 he came to Turner Valley to work as a production superintendent for Royalite Oil Company. He later became Vice President of Royalite and settled in Calgary. In 1955 he formed Petrolia Drilling Company with Fred Cameron before retiring in 1959. Houston was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church and the Calgary Petroleum Club.

In 1925 Houston married Beatrice Ellen Blythe (1903–1966) in London, Ontario. They had one daughter, Patricia.

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