Lacey Court J. Stevenson & Associates

 

1956

344 12 Avenue SW

Lacey Court is a two-storey Modern block constructed in 1956 to house the architectural firm J. Stevenson & Associates.  The original structure on the site was the frame and brick veneer home of pioneer druggist Wendell MacLean, built as early as 1906, and demolished in 1955.  The initial, single-storey phase of the building was designed by J. Stevenson & Associates and built by contractors McTavish, McKay & Co. Ltd.  Archival records indicate that the second storey, constructed in 1968, was part of the original design concept.  The building was owned by JDS Buildings Ltd. and occupied by the Stevenson architectural firm until about 1968.

James M. Stevenson (1887-1963) was a significant architect in twentieth-century Alberta. Born in Slamenen, Stirlingshire, Scotland, Stevenson was educated in Glasgow and moved to Calgary with his wife Mary in 1911.  He worked with Leo Dowler from 1912-1915, then served with the First Pioneer Battalion during World War I, and was wounded at the Battle of Ypres.  From 1919-1928, Stevenson served as the Resident Architect in Alberta for the Dominion Department of Public Works, and his responsibilities included supervising the construction and maintenance work for all federal buildings in Alberta.  In 1928, Stevenson, along with architect George Fordyce, formed the partnership of Fordyce Stevenson.  This long-lived firm later went through a series of name changes, including J. Stevenson & Associates and Stevenson Raines.  The firm’s many significant commissions in Calgary included the Barron Building (1949), the Stampede Corral (1950), and the Petro-Chemical Building (1958).  During the Great Depression, Stevenson designed hotels and residences in smaller Alberta centres.

 

 

From about 1968 to 1979, the building was occupied by the National Film Board of Canada.  Stevenson Raines designed a second storey addition, built in 1968 by Burns and Dutton Construction, which included a custom-designed theatre for the National Film Board.  The next owner/occupant, from about 1979 to 1990, was the Law Society of Alberta.  Since 1990, it has housed John R. Lacey International, an international consulting firm that advises foreign governments.  Concurrent occupants have included PGA Architectural Group and the Thai consulate.  The building is now known as Lacey Court.

 

(Calgary Heritage Authority, Building Summary 05-203)