Mid-Century Modern is a new trend in home décor. What’s old is new again or at least, has a new spin. The same holds true for homes constructed mid-century in Calgary. You take that design, renovate and model and you have a modern, Mid-Century home.
The 1950’s building boom in Calgary occurred after the government’s scramble to put up good but cheap housing for returning war heroes. It was the 1950s when the concept of the car-centric suburb really took hold. Homes had front driveways or garages off the lane. Homes were larger, most often with three bedrooms with large front and back yards. Shopping plazas had plenty of space out front to park cars and the corner-store concept started to die. New communities popped up faster than the city could pave roads or string phone lines and extend bus service.
Here are five beautiful Calgary communities built during the 1950s:
This North neighbourhood on the door step of Nose Hill was constructed in the 1950s but has undergone a transformation in recent times.
Some of the original, custom built homes which were already large and luxurious have been renovated and expanded to create beautiful executive-style homes in Charleswood. Many homes either face or back onto some of Calgary’s favourite urban parks such as Canmore Park and Confederation Park. Close to the University of Calgary, SAIT and Foothills Hospital, Charleswood offers some Mid-Century Modern WOW.
There were a few communities on the west side of the city constructed during the 1950s. Glamorgan, Glenbrook and Glendale, all located on the east side of Sarcee Trail. Glendale is located between 17 Ave SW and 26 Ave SW, west of 37 Street. What makes Glendale real estate special are the custom-built homes in this community that have stood the test of time. Some of the bungalows and four-level homes are larger than many of the models constructed in this era.
There has been some redevelopment in this area with larger, luxury homes constructed among the mature trees and along the natural slope of the area. There’s a good chance you can still find an original home in Glendale. There’s a hill running east to west through the community which is a popular sledding site in the winter with a community centre and rinks at the base. Optimist Park, one of the city’s most used baseball parks is in Glendale. It’s also not far to downtown.
Cute is a word to describe Meadowlark Park, a very small community made up entirely of bungalows. It’s located right behind Chinook Centre between Glenmore Trail and 58 Ave SW on the east side of Elbow Drive. For those that love the two and three-bedroom bungalow design, this is a lovely community. There are no schools in the Meadowlark Park neighbourhood, but there is a much-loved community hall and a children’s park.
Some of the homes were removed on the south end of the community to make way for Glenmore Trail expansion and new infills constructed, but other than that the neighbourhood looks nearly the same as it did in 1955. Close to transit, shopping and easy to get in and out of.
Across Glenmore Trail from Meadowlark Park is Kingsland, built in the late 1950s. There are a number of schools in Kingsland including a senior high school, Henry Wise Wood. This neighbourhood features bungalows and three-level split homes and was considered a more affordable neighbourhood in its time. With Macleod Trail running along the eastern edge of the community, Kingsland is close to the farmer’s market, great restaurants and shopping.
There are town houses and condos in Kingsland, built after 1965 or so. It’s a great neighbourhood to find a roomy family home in ready-to-renovate condition to put your Mid-Century Modern stamp on.
Looking for Mid-Century Modestly Priced Modern? Fairview might be a good bet for you. This area was annexed to the City of Calgary in 1956 and was constructed next to a light-industrial area. Bungalows and three-level splits in this neighbourhood weren’t super-deluxe when they were constructed, but functional and on lots that were considered wide – from 50 to 60 feet across. Most likely the kitchen cabinets and flooring were not considered top of the line and homes in original shape may or may not have hardwood flooring.
When homes were constructed in this era, wall-to-wall carpeting was considered high class and hardwood was almost poor-man’s flooring. Fairview today has wonderful large trees and is close to grocery stores, great schools and has access to dependable transit.