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These are the Lorraine apartments. They were built in 1912 on land that was sold by Senator James Lougheed to Omar H. Patrick. Patrick was a local physician turned businessman, as well as the founder of the Calgary Zoological Society. He named the apartments after his son Lorraine. He had also intended to build a second set of apartments to be named after his daughter Lenore, but the real estate boom went bust in 1913 and the Lenore was never built. The Lorraine was just around the corner from the Ranchmen's Club in a prestigious neighbourhood. It attracted some very well-to-do tenants they included Robert C. Marshall who lived here during his term as Calgary's mayor from 1918 to 1921. Omar Patrick himself lived in the building before moving to Mount Royal with his wife Lulu. Now you probably recognize the pattern, Lulu, Lenore, and Lorraine. Like the nearby Ranchmen's Club, the Lorraine is an ornate brick structure that features a large amount of white terracotta detail. While other apartment buildings of the time featured balconies made of wood, Lorraine is notable for its impressive brick balconies. The brick itself is unique - notice the herringbone pattern. Then there's all that wonderful terracotta. Some of it is ornamental like in the busts and medallions over the window. Some of it is geometrical and adds fine detail to the brick. Probably most impressive though is a large name block over the front entrance.

Lorraine Aparetments, 2010

Lorraine Aparetments, 2010

Hi I'm Bob van Wegen with the Calgary Heritage Initiative. In 1998, a fire caused by careless smoking destroyed the roof and 4th floor of the Lorraine Apartments and gutted the 3rd floor as well. Many people were displaced and the building was left exposed to the elements for a couple of years, but fortunately the impressive exterior survived. The entire building interior was completely redone when it was converted into an office block in 2001. Coincidentally, the company that rehabilitated the Lorraine was the same company that rehabilitated the Lougheed Building downtown, which was Senator Lougheed's flagship office building.


Image Sources(Click to expand)

ju_20100318133054, Judith Umbach Collection, Calgary Public Library