. grant brothers store
614 17 Avenue SW
This building was built in 1913 as commercial space. Since then it has contained a number of chick hatcheries that made the building a landmark to the children of the area from the 1930’s-1950’s, and the location that helped start out two of Calgary’s most prolific artists.
614 on 17th avenue was originally constructed by R.C. Tait as commercial retail space in 1913. It was first rented to Herbert A. Golden in 1913. The building features a “stretcher bond” brickwork outer wall, with “entablature” and “plain parapet” wall details. It also has metal corbelling eaves supporting the roof. The windows feature moulded lintel and continuous trim above windows, and continuous window sills throughout.
In 1914, the building was then used by the Grant Brothers, who operated their plumbing company “Grant Brothers Ltd” here, giving the building it’s name. Out of the back of the building, Mrs. Edna Eaman ran Eamans’ Marmalade factory (later Eamans Ltd) from 1923-1929.
In 1929, a notable Calgary business, Calgary Tent & Awning opened up in the building. Begun by Charles and Thomas Dowling, Calgary Tent & Awning was responsible for many of the commercial awnings found throughout the city. Many of the awnings were painted by 2 artists who worked for the company, and went on to become well known artists: Doug Stevens, known as the “Original Cowboy Artist” and for his western bronze statues; and Roland Gissing, Alberta’s most well known landscape artist.
Calgary Tent & Awning went on to have numerous commissions for tents from the major oil companies to produce tents for their work camps. They were also asked to produce the first flag for Heritage Park. The company moved out in 1958, but continues in the city to this day.
During roughly the same time as this, the building also held a number of hatcheries: from 1932-1934 it held the Provincial Hatcheries, from 1936-1946 it was home of the Kwality Chick Hatchery, from 1947-1948 Bliss Kwality Hatchery, and finally Agnew Chicks Ltd from 1949-1951.
From 1952 until 1957 the building was used for the Homemakers Shop (interior decoration). Today it contains Quorra Apothecary and a Mission Snowboards.
Roland Gissing: The People’s Painter, official website
City of Calgary Heritage Evaluation Form
History of Calgary Tent & Awning
Glenbow Archives: Sheilagh S. Jameson Fonds – M8119/160 (Dowling)
Alberta Provincial Resources Site Form
Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts: Doug Stephens Biography
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