Pilkington Paint & Glass Warehouse



402 11 Avenue SE

One of the later warehouse developments built prior to World War I, the building was constructed in 1913 by the British glass manufacturer, Pilkington Brothers. Th company and it's divisions used the structure until 1967, sharing occupancy with the McNab Young Seed Co. (1923-1926), the Winnipeg Casket Co. (1924-1946), and the International Varnish Co., a subsidiary aquired by Pilkington in 1941. In 1970, DeFehr & Sons, a furniture company, aquired the premises signifying a trend towards the use of the wholesale district as a centre for Calgary's furniture industry.

Designed by the Winnipeg engineering consortium of Carter, Hall & Aldingerm the warehouse has the appearance of being three seperate storefronts combined in one facade. The building entrance and display floor windows are contained in an elaborate carved Tyndall stone facade. Two storeys high, it contains a classical cornice with dentils and is typical of Edwardian commercial storefronts. This is set against the main warehouse facade constructed of brick and designed with a very simplified facade lacking any ornate detail, while its large closely spaced windows reflect advances in technology and the resultant stylistic changes.

In 1995, after years of vacancy, developer began converting the two-story brick warehouse into residential and commercial lofts. The project eventually stalled, and in 2000 the building was transformed as the state-of-the-art home of the website design firm Critical Mass. The interior was stripped of its bare floor covers all electrical wiring and computer cables, and modular furniture forms partitions that can be easily changed.




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