Built History of the University of Calgary | Archives and Special Collections

Built History of the University of Calgary - Archives and Special Collections

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Built History of the University of Calgary

Universities evoke a sense of place that each person shapes to fit their own experience of the institution and its physical spaces. At the University of Calgary, the built environment frames and influences the academic, research, and social lives of all members of the campus community.  For the wider Calgary community, the University campus and its buildings provide a physical presence and visual reminder of the sense of learning, excitement, and opportunity that is at the core of a university’s identity.  The university is also a public resource and is frequented by members of the broader community who participate in continuing education courses, cultural events such as theatre and concerts, social and professional events and as a pleasant place to volunteer, exercise and socialize.

These pages provide an overview of the University of Calgary’s physical buildings on its various campuses, as well as those which were planned but never realized — their history, use, location, cost, and their context in terms of the greater whole. The individual pages provide a narrative, map location, photographs and links to archival documents.  From the oldest buildings on campus, described as “kleenex boxes”, to the most recent technologically advanced buildings that consistently win LEED awards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), come and explore the built history of the University.

Using this site: Narrow your search using the Timeline feature, or find a specific building within the alphabetical listing. Explore digitized records focusing on the planning and development of campus and of individual buildings, including vision statements, conceptual design plans, artist’s renderings, photographs, official opening programmes, news releases and much more.  Additional information may be available on the Facilities site.

Administration

Previously known as the Arts and Education Building, Administration is the first of the two original buildings constructed on campus.   Built in conjunction with the Science and En …

Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA)

The Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) facility is “the only fully integrated, fully contained university research facility in the world located within an operating indust …

Art Building and Parkade

Beginning in the 1960s, parking on campus (or the lack thereof) was a constant topic of conversation, both for students and as an agenda item in numerous committees.  Although the …

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Aurora Hall

Initially called “the Upper Year Undergraduate Residence Hall”, one of the newest residences on campus is designed for 269 3rd or 4th year students.  The residence is nine stories …

Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  The original station was built in 1902 as the final link in the British Empire’s telegraph sy …

Banff School of Fine Arts

The Banff School of Drama began in 1933 as a result of an Andrew Carnegie Corporation grant to the University of Alberta for a fine arts extension program.  The Banff School became …

Barrier Lake Field Station

In August 1965, the University of Alberta’s Board of Governors reviewed tentative plans “for a proposed Biological Station at Kananaskis, on a proposed 7-acre site of a former pris …

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Biological Sciences

The Detailed Design Proposal for the Biological Sciences Building 1968 outlined a “multidisciplinary approach to Biological Sciences,” which the university, a “vigorous, new instit …

Bow River Pump Station

Constructed in 1966 at a cost of $518,550, the Bow River Pump Station provides water for the air conditioning systems at both the University of Calgary and the Foothills Hospital c …

Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology (CCIT)

In November 1998, the Calgary Herald reported that the university had received a provincial grant of $14 million to build the Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology.  Planning fo …

Cascade Hall

Housing IV, the next phase for residences on campus following Glacier Hall in 1987, was conceived in late 1997/early 1998 as a 400-bed expansion to campus housing.   Cascade Hall o …

Cenovus Spo’pi Solar House

In 2011, students from the Schulich School of Engineering, the Faculty of Environmental Design, and the Haskayne School of Business entered a project into the US Department of Ener …

Central Heating and Cooling Plant (CHCP)

The university commissioned an engineering report in 1963 on the need for central power and heating facilities, and again in 1965 given the unprecedented growth rate of new buildin …

Child Care Centre

In 1974, the Board of Governors “approved in principle the establishment of a day care centre on campus.”  Grant money and temporary space in MacEwan Hall were allocated and in 197 …

Child Development Centre

In the June 2005 Capital Projects Report, the university outlined its plans to construct a Child Development Centre (CDC) in partnership with the then Calgary Health Region.  Locat …

Craigie Hall

Calgary Hall, now Craigie Hall, is one of the oldest set of buildings on campus.  Designed by the Department of Public Works, the Hall was initially meant to form a square around a …

Crowsnest Hall

Built at the same time as the undergraduate residence Aurora Hall, Crowsnest Hall houses 390 graduate students in a mix of suites and apartments.  Although originally slated for th …

Demonstration School

Alberta transferred responsibility for all teacher training to the Normal Schools in 1945; the Calgary Normal School became the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta, Faculty …

Dining Centre

Prior to autonomy in 1966, many of the university’s buildings were designed by the Department of Public Works.  Three of these buildings (Rundle and Kananaskis Halls, and the Dinin …

Downtown Campus

In the fall of 1979, several faculties proposed an “interdisciplinary University downtown presence.”  The then Faculty of Social Welfare had approached the faculties of Environment …

 

Funding for this project provided by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.