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Firm: William G. Milne

Address: 4732 Britannia Drive SW

Date: 1957

Status: demolished in 2002

Of all the architectural losses in Calgary, that of the Switzer House is one of the most unforgivable. After it was demolished in 2002, this space-age masterpiece was replaced with a nondescript bungalow that could have been built in any new subdivision.

Sam Switzer's house on Britannia Drive was based on Milne's design for Auto Mile Service on Macleod, of which Switzer was a part-owner. The house acquired the nickname "the boat house." During their stop in Calgary on 9 July 1959, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip drove along Britannia Drive to inspect the new modernist neighbourhood. The Switzer House of was especial interest, and the royal couple stopped to admire it and talk with the Switzers.

In 1963, Cohos Delesalle designed an addition to the right side of the house (see plans here).

In her biography of Switzer, Seeking the Summit, Sydney Sharpe cites Bill Milne as the architect. Curiously, Milne's archive at the Provincial Archives doesn't contain any of his early work. The house was demolished in 2002 and Mr Switzer died in 2018 (see obituary).



Sam Switzer (1926–2018)

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