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MacKenzie Residence

Banff

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The MacKenzie Residence is a one and one-half storey, front-gabled, bottle-glass stucco-clad residence situated at the intersection of Beaver Street and Caribou Street (or 202 Beaver Street) in the Town of Banff. The residence is set back on a corner lot with large front and rear yards and a one-storey single car garage attached to the east facade of the house. The residence is identifiable by its bottle-glass stucco exterior; front-gabled roof with half-timbering in the front gable; front porch with front-gabled roof and centred recessed entry; single and multi-assembly wood windows; and bay window on the south facade.

Heritage Value
The MacKenzie Residence is highly significant as representative of multiple periods of residential development beginning with the establishment of some of the earliest homes in the Town of Banff. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the base of Cascade Mountain in October 1883 and the establishment of Siding 29 initiated early settlement in the area. A small collection of residences and businesses were erected at the Siding, which was renamed “Banff’ in November 1883. The Federal government created Canada’s first National Park in 1887, setting aside a 674-square kilometre block of land under the Rocky Mountains Park Act. The Act established the framework to facilitate the subdivision of a townsite, provide leaseholds to prospective residents and commercial entities, and regulate mining and livestock in the park. The Park’s first Superintendent, a Dominion Land Surveyor and architect, George A. Stewart, finalized the Banff townsite plan in 1887. Residences, amenities, and institutional buildings began to be constructed in the new townsite. The following year, three log cabins were constructed on this lot facing Caribou Street and represent the first outward push of residential development in Banff beyond the main street. Each cabin measured 19’x23’ and were accessible by Caribou Street which was then just a wagon road.

The owner of the cabins was unknown and the properties were leased for residents, seasonal workers and tourists. In 1922, the lease was transferred to Flora and George MacKenzie, who were the lot’s first long-term lessees, and later owners of the MacKenzie Residence. Flora (1881-1971) was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1890 with her family, settling in Red Deer. In 1902 she married her first husband, Charles E. Stenton (1866-1918), and the following year they settled in Banff where Charles owned and operated the Park Hotel and later managed the Alberta Hotel. Charles died in 1918 at the age of 52. Flora married George J. MacKenzie (1889-1977), a bellhop at the Alberta Hotel in 1921. George, who emigrated from Scotland in 1908, worked as a taxi driver after returning from World War I circa 1919. He held this position until he was 80 years old. Flora and George first leased the property in 1922 but did not build until 1945, at the end of Second World War when grants for returning military personnel and an overall increased sense of optimism ignited residential and commercial construction across the country. The home was built for $6,000. The MacKenzie’s occupied the house until shortly after Flora’s death in 1971. The MacKenzie Residence is further valued for its connection with the Luxton family; early settlers in Banff who contributed significantly to the development and spirit of the town. The residence was acquired by Eleanor Luxton in 1975 from George MacKenzie as a rental property. Eleanor was the daughter of legendary Banff couple, Norman and Georgina Luxton. By 1904, the Luxtons were settled in Banff and throughout their life there, owned and operated many prominent Banff businesses including the Banff Crag and Canyon newspaper and Norman’s passion, the Sign of the Goat Curio Company and Taxidermy Store. Eleanor Luxton, a noted historian and writer, operated the home as a rental investment property for over 20 years. The property was transferred to the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation, following her passing in 1995. The house is one of a collection of intact historic residences on Beaver Street owned by the Foundation. The MacKenzie Residence is further significant as a highly intact example of a modest bungalow with British Arts and Crafts detailing, representative of the dominant architectural style in Banff from the 1910s-1940s and the high concentration of British settlers and tourists in the town. The British Arts and Crafts style originated in the UK in the 1860s as a response to the mechanized blight as a byproduct of the Industrial Revolution. It called for a return to aesthetic architecture, high quality hand crafted materials and skilled tradespeople, resulting in well-crafted homes with palatial detailing, often in wood or stucco. The home’s one and one-half storey height, rectangular plan with front-gabled roof, enclosed front porch, half-timbering in the gable ends, and open soffits with exposed rafter tails, and multiple multi-light windows illustrate this architectural style. The bottle glass stucco ties the home into the modern period, and was a popular cladding type found throughout western Canada.


Character-Defining Elements
The key character-defining elements of the MacKenzie Residence include, but are not limited to:

- location on a corner lot at the intersection of Beaver Street and Caribou Street in the Town of Banff;
- position set back from the street with large rear and front yards; wooden picket fence;
- form, scale, and massing such as: one and one half storey height with full-height basement; rectangular plan; front-gabled roof; off-centre, one-storey front porch with front-gabled roof;
- wooden-frame construction including: parged foundation; bottle-glass stucco exterior;
- Arts and Crafts-style details including: bungalow form; single exterior cladding; half-timbering in front gable; open soffits with exposed rafter tails; plain wooden trim, bargeboards, fascia; abundance of single and multi-assembly windows;
- fenestration such as: single assembly multi-light wooden-sash windows at basement level; single light fixed wooden-sash window with wooden-sash storm window; single and double assembly 3-over-1 hung wooden-sash window with wooden-sash storm windows; bay window with 2-over-1 hung wooden-sash windows with wooden-sash storm windows on either side of a pair of 3-over-1 hung wooden-sash window with wooden-sash storm window; triple assembly 3-over-1 hung wooden-sash windows with wooden-sash storm windows on either side of a fixed wooden-sash window with multi-light wooden-sash storm window; double assembly 2-over-1 fixed wooden-sash window with wooden- sash storm window; single assembly 1-over-1 hung wooden-sash window with wooden-sash storm window; interior front door with three paneled wooden door with 8-light upper section and brass hardware; porch door with three paneled wooden door with 3-light upper section, brass hardware, and wooden transom; wooden side door with large single light in upper section and brass hardware; and
- interior elements such as: wooden floors; wooden baseboards, window and door trim; single panel wood doors with brass hardware; arched entryways; telephone nook with wooden trim and paneling.


Location



Street Address: 202 Beaver Street
Community: Banff
Boundaries: Lot 1, Block 8, Plan 6719BC
Contributing Resources:

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5
12
25
35
07

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
6719BC
8
1


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.176681 -115.568947 Digital Maps NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2019/09/23

Historical Information

Built: 1945 to 1945
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0437
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Town of Banff, Planning and Development Department, 111 Bear St, Banff, AB, T1L 1A1 (File: 19HD01 - MacKenzie Residence)
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