. kipling square

 

 

1914

601 10 Avenue SW

 

This building served for many years as a wholesale grocery house. The two-storey portion was built in 1914 for the Simington Company, and the two-bay, three-storey addition to the west was erected shortly afterwards. Western Grocers took over the building in 1930 and remained for forty years. Other grocery businesses shared space here from time to time. Polychromed flat-arched windows heads, cut stone doorways, and stone string courses enliven the otherwise utilitarian design. The building was rehabilitated in 1979 by architects Pual Tarjan & Associates, who acted as trail-blazers in the upgrading of Calgary's warehouse district. The third-storey, glass-walled penthouse, the plate glass windows, and the glass-enclosed staircase to the right of the building are external indications of this work. They have altered the character of the building, but in a manner that is appropriate to new use. (1982)

(Calgary Heritage Authority, Building Summary 2-119)       .

  

  

The prime tenant, and arguably the driving force behind the Kipling Square transformation in 1979, was Kipling's Restaurant. The idea was spearheaded by local entrepreneur and developer, Peter Ruben, who assembled an investment consortium of local business people and professionals to finance this nostalgic recreation of the glory of the British Empire.  The theme drew from Peter's experience traveling in Asia. The water pump activated, twin, cocktail dumbwaiter was replicated from archival photos by Calgary investor and oil patch pioneer John MacKenzie with his good friend Eddie Baldwin. Kiplings succumbed to the oil patch recession after only a few years.

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The Simington Company, a wholesale grocery business, built this two-story warehouse in 1914 and soon added a three-story annex.  The raised courtyard to the west was once a street-level loading are designed for horse-drawn vehicles; west-facing bay windows now cover the former loading bays.  Between 1930 and 1979, the building housed Western Grocers Ltd., a wholesale house that supplied the Red & White Stores, a chain of stores that were once ubiquitous in small town Alberta.

In 1979, architects Paul Tarjan and Associates transformed the Siminton warehouse into Kipling Square, a retail complex and the first of many adaptive reuse projects in the warehouse district.  It housed the Polo Club restaurant, which featured a bar purchased from a San Francisco hotel and a brass dumbwaiter that carried drinks between the restaurant’s two levels.

 

(Historic Walks of Calgary, Harry Sanders, 2005, Red Deer: Red Deer Press, pp.276-277)

 

 

 

 

the courtyard of the kipling square building.