Calgary’s ‘iconic’ building has been carefully relocated to make room for Eau Claire’s renovation

A building that dates back to Calgary’s early days has been temporarily moved from its original location to make way for a major overhaul of the Eau Claire Plaza in the heart of the city.

The Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Company building, built in 1903, was hoisted from its foundation, placed on five beams, and moved early Thursday morning from 187 Barclay Parade SW to a nearby temporary location at 381 Second Ave. SW

The city plans to move it to a new, larger location in the plaza as the redevelopment draws to a close.

The redesign of Eau Claire Plaza includes site upgrading to improve flood resistance, a new bridge from Jaipur over the lagoon to Prince’s Island Park as well as the construction of flood barriers and the improvement of the promenade. river.

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“The move reinforces the heritage factor of the building by bringing it closer to the central operational area of ​​Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Co. The building’s heritage will be more closely linked to the history of Eau Claire while making it more visible. and accessible to visitors, “said Josh Traptow, executive director of Heritage Calgary, in a statement.

A six-person team from Wade’s House Moving and Heavy Hauling Ltd. was hired to move the 36-ton structure.

“As the sawmill is such an iconic part of Calgary’s history, they have been very careful to help maintain the historic integrity of the building,” company spokeswoman Jaylene LaRose said in an email. .

The building was the second office built by Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Co., a company founded in 1886 by logging contractors from the town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The Eau Claire & Bow River Lumber Co. building was constructed in 1903-04. (Glenbow Archives)

The company’s mill operated for many years along the Bow River between Third and Fourth Streets as the company became the largest supplier of lumber in what was then the Territories. northwest, the city said in a statement.

“The building has undergone some changes – the original flat roof was raised to a cross-gable roof with dormers and an all-concrete basement was developed – but the building retains its character as a small commercial frame building. wood from the turn of the century, “the statement read.

The sawmill closed in 1945 and the logging company abandoned the building in 1951.

The 1886 Buffalo Cafe operated outside the building for about 40 years until its lease ended earlier this year.

The building will be temporarily located at 381 Second Ave. SW until its new location is ready in the Eau Claire Plaza redevelopment. (Dave Gilson / CBC)



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