. jacques funeral home


1937

1205 14 Avenue SW

In 1930, fifty after his father, G.E. Jacques, settled in Calgary and opened its first jewlery store, George L. Jacques (1894-1937) purchesed Mrs. Alice Powers' boarding house and converted it into Jacques Funeral Home, billed as "The Little Chapel on the Corner." When that proved to be too small, he demolished the house and built what is believed to be Calgary's first architecturally designed mortuary (as opposed to a pattern book or contractor-designed building). Architect John Stevenson created the planar white stucco walls with linear geometric ornament which are characteristic of the Modern style. The building also shows the influence of California Mission-style architecture, likely a result of Jacques having lived in Los Angeles in the 1920s, and traditional forms of the Gothic Revival in its gabled profile and "butresses". The interior was remodeled in 1972 by Stevenson Raines Barrett Hutton, but the exterior, which is in excellent condition, retains its original appearance.

After Jacques' death, his widow Vera (1898-1999) was left to run the busuness and raise their thirteen-year-old son Murray. For many years, Vera Ireland (as she became after remarrying in 1950) produced a Sunday afternoon musical program, "Chapel Chimes," on CFAC radio. Vera and Murray continued to own and operate the businesses until 1981, and later owners continued to operate it as Jacques Funeral Home until the 1990s, when it became First Memorial Funeral Services. Members of the Jacques family remain in the industry as owners of Heritage Funeral Services.

 

. to offer comments, corrections, or improvements to this article, email us at:  heritage@beltline.ca