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Lougheed House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lougheed House
Beaulieu National Historic Site of Canada
Lougheed House Calgary
LocationCalgary, Alberta, Canada
Coordinates51°02′26″N 114°04′38″W / 51.040591°N 114.07715°W / 51.040591; -114.07715
Built forSenator James Alexander Lougheed
ArchitectJames R. Bowes
Architectural style(s)Queen Anne[1]
Governing bodyLougheed House Conservation Society
WebsiteLougheed House
Official nameBeaulieu National Historic Site of Canada
DesignatedJune 10, 1992
Official nameSenator Lougheed Residence
DesignatedNovember 29, 1977

Lougheed House, or as it was originally known Beaulieu, (French meaning "beautiful place") is a National Historic Site located in the Beltline district of Calgary, Alberta. Originally constructed in 1891 as a home for Senator James Alexander Lougheed KCMG PC KC and his spouse Isabella Clarke Hardisty, the structure has since become an iconic heritage building in Calgary. Lougheed House is operated by Lougheed House Conservation Society, an independent, non-profit society devoted to the restoration and public enjoyment of the historic house and its Gardens.[2]

Over its long history, Lougheed House served many roles, has been a family residence, a training centre for young women, a women's military barracks and a Red Cross blood donor clinic. Then, for many years, it sat empty — cared for, but unused until its restoration started in 2000.


Detail of the east wall of Lougheed House.
Detail of the east wall of Lougheed House.

Lougheed House is a 1,300 square metre (14,000 square foot) mansion[3] designed by James C. Bowes to incorporate High Victorian aesthetics and is influenced by Queen Anne Revival style. This is evident through the rough-faced sandstone exterior, asymmetrical massing, and corner towers. Influences of Romanesque Revival is found with the steep roof, and the cone shaped towers emanate French Chateau architecture. The mansion was constructed with what was considered at the time "modern luxuries" including running hot water and electricity.[4] The interior of the 48-room house is decorated with Spanish mahogany, Italian marble, stained glass windows and doors, and hand-painted images of Alberta flora and fauna.[5]

The mansion was built of sandstone per the municipal building code as a result of the Calgary Fire of 1886.[6] Upon the homes completion it included a billiards room, smoking room, drawing room, four large bedrooms on the second floor, and six large rooms on the third floor. Following completion of construction the Calgary Herald described the Lougheed House as "In design, solidity, accommodation and furnishings it leaves nothing to be desired."[7]

Beaulieu Gardens

The Beaulieu Gardens which surround Lougheed House and were part of the original formal garden of the mansion are operated as a municipal park by the City of Calgary Parks Department.[8]

Historic site status

On November 29, 1977, Lougheed House was designated the "Senator Lougheed Residence", an Alberta Provincial Historic Resource, due in part to the mansion's association with James Lougheed, and its representation of upper-class sandstone architecture from the period.[9]

On June 10, 1992, Lougheed House was designated "Beaulieu National Historic Site of Canada", a National Historic Site. This was due in part to the mansion being a rare example of an upper-middle class eclectic mansion on the Canadian Prairies.[10]


James Lougheed was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1889 by Sir John A. Macdonald, Lougheed was appointed to replace the diseased Richard Charles Hardisty, Lougheed's wife's uncle,[11] James Alexander Lougheed commissioned a new mansion on the outskirts of Calgary for his wife, Isabella Hardisty Lougheed, and their two sons, Clarence and Norman. Following the move to the large mansion, the Lougheeds had four more children: Edgar, Dorothy, Douglas and Marjorie and the house was enlarged in 1907 to accommodate the family and their large social calendar.[5] The mansion quickly became the center of the Calgary social scene, hosting a number of parties and galas. The Lougheeds hosted Governor General Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, his wife Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia and daughter Princess Patricia; and in 1919 Edward, Prince of Wales was the guest of honour at garden party held in the mansion.[5]

Post-Lougheed era

The Lougheed estate continued to own the property following James Lougheed's death in 1925[12] until 1934 when the estate was unable to pay the municipal property taxes and the City of Calgary took possession of the home. The City allowed Lougheed's widow and children to continue to live in the house until Isabella's death in 1936, and finally Norman A. Lougheed moved his family out in 1938.[5]

Lougheed House was used during the Second World War, the upper floors were as a barracks for the Canadian Women's Army Corps and basement was used by the Canadian Red Cross as a blood donor clinic. Following the war, Lougheed House was used as an annex for the YMCA. In 1978, following the Alberta Provincial Historic Resource designation, the Province of Alberta took possession of the house and began restoring the property.[13] The provincial government designation and purchase occurred during the Premiership of Peter Lougheed, James Lougheed's grandson.[5] Despite the purchase, Peter Lougheed was reluctant to see public funds spent on restoring the house while he was premier.[5]

The Lougheed House Conservation Society was created in 1995 after local lobbying began to see the mansion and grounds restored to their former glory.[14] The City of Calgary purchased surrounding areas in the early 1990s with the intention of creating an outdoor public space, and construction began in 1997 to rebuild the Beaulieu Gardens, and restore the mansion.[14]


  1. ^ "Senator Lougheed Residence". Alberta Heritage Survey Program. Government of Alberta. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  2. ^ Senator Lougheed Residence. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "Plan Your Visit". Lougheed House Conservation Society. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  4. ^ Farooqui, Salmaan (July 25, 2016). "Five things about the 125-year-old Lougheed House". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Bly, David (December 30, 2001). "Roots of a Legacy: The Lougheed Story". Calgary Herald. p. A10.
  6. ^ Shiels, Bob (1974). Calgary: a not too solemn look at Calgary's first 100 years. Calgary: Calgary Herald. p. 69.
  7. ^ "Buildings of 1891: Senator Lougheed's Residence". Calgary Weekly Herald (Vol. 10 No, 11). January 6, 1892. p. 2.
  8. ^ "Beaulieu Gardens". City of Calgary. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Senator Lougheed Residence (Provincial Designation)". Canada's Historic Places. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Beaulieu National Historic Site of Canada (Federal Designation)". Canada's Historic Places. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  11. ^ MacKinnon, Doris Jeanne (2017). "Metis Matriarchs". Canada's History. 97 (6): 38–43. ISSN 1920-9894.
  12. ^ MacEwan, Grant (1975). Calgary cavalcade from Fort to fortune. Saskatoon, Canada: Western Producer Book Service. pp. 77–80. ISBN 978-0-91930-650-9. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Lougheed House". The National Trust for Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  14. ^ a b Brennan, Brian (September 14, 1997). "Lougheed: The estate is slowly returning to the days when princes visited". Calgary Herald. p. C2.


  • Cook Bobrovitz, Jennifer and Cowan, Trudy (2006). Lougheed House: More than a century of stories....Calgary: McCallum Printing Group Inc. ISBN 0-9780544-1-5

External links

This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 04:37
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