Thursday, July 23, 2009

McNabb Wing of Holy Cross Hospital one step closer to historical designation

While Calgary may be a relatively young city, particularly when compared to European cities, we still have a number of historic buildings and sites that are protected under the Alberta Historical Resources Act.

Yesterday morning the Standing Policy Committee on Land Use Planning and Transportation took a step towards adding to this list in unanimously recommending that the McNabb Wing of The Holy Cross Hospital be designated a municipal historic resource. City Council will review this recommendation in September.

If it were to receive this designation, it would prohibit any alterations (other than routine preservation) without receiving written approval from City Council - essentially ensuring that the building's historic architecture will be preserved for years to come.

The Holy Cross Hospital was founded in 1891, a year after the first medical facility in Calgary - the Calgary General Hospital. The McNabb Wing was built between 1928 and 1929 as an extension to the original building that was built in 1906. Upon its completion, The McNabb Wing became the focal point of the facility as it served as the main entrance to the facility and contained many of its principal quarters.

According to Darryl Cariou, Senior Heritage Planner with The City, the McNabb Wing is of historic significance for a number of reasons, including its concrete and brick exterior, Ionic columns and its main staircase that features limestone treads and risers, iron balustrades, oak handrail, and mosaic tile stringers.

The City's Heritage Planning Department is dedicated to protecting and preserving Calgary's history and heritage resources and maintains the inventory of evaluated historic resources in Calgary.

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