Louise Block


1018 Macleod Tr SE

Built in 1910, as strip development began to intensify along Macleod Trail, this combined commercial /residential block is a strong point of refrence within the community of Victoria Park, and the building is a distinctive part os a significant historic grouping.

Developed by Frank Fairey, a Calgary contractor, the building is named after his wife, Louise. Fairey was an important personality in the early development of Calgary's Victoria community. With his real estate associate, F.W. Mopson, and the backing of Oscar Devenish's Alberta Land Company, ne was responsible for initiating a variety of projects including Fairey Terrace Apartment at 1111 - 3 Street SE. Realizing the viability of 2 Street SE as a commercial link, particularly follwing the opening of street car service to Victoria Park, Fairey constructed a typical Edwardian Commercial structure, with caharacteristic storefronts to serve pedestrian traffic. Fifteen residential suites provided affordable accommodation, a commodity in high demand by 1910.

One of the most notable occupants of the second-floor suites was Thomas Arthur Presswood "Tappy" Frost (1865-1927), one of the most colorful alderman in Calgary's history. During his four year tenure on City Council, the English -born Baptist minister kept a gun in his City Hall office, threw an opponent out a window, and faced a sanction for taking a pickaxe to a 17 Avenue sidewalk to expose a contractor's shoddy work. When oil was discovered at nearby Turner Valley in 1914, Alderman Frost went on a one-man, two-city (Winnipeg and Toronto) to promote Calgary and its new source of wealth. In Toronto, Frost stood on the street ladling crude from a wood bucket. He resigned from the council in 1916 to fight in World War I.

A dentilled cornice and stone window retailing add to the well excecuted facade. Largely unaltered, the block is an excellent example of Calgary's boomtime commercial architecture. The building also reflects the nature of the two streets it is located on - Macleod Trail was commercial, and 11 Avenue was Warehousing. Situated at the intersection, the Macleod Trail facade is entirely commercial storefronts, but this shifts to loading bays and warehouse offices along the 11 Avenue facade.