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Cecil Burgess Residence

Edmonton

Other Names:
Mr. and Mrs. P. S. Warren Home
Percival Sidney Warren Residence
Cecil S. Burgess Residence

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place


Heritage Value


Character-Defining Elements


Location



Street Address: 10958 - 89 Avenue NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Plan 7723 S, Block 150, Lot 12
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
24
52
29
13 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
7723 S
150
12


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.525043 -113.514797 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2003/01/23

Historical Information

Built: 1911 to 1911
Significant Date(s)
Theme(s)
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

When the cities of Edmonton and Strathcona were amalgamated in 1912, both were in the throes of a massive wave of development. Several new subdivisions were in the state of formation, while others were rapidly being filled up with new dwellings. Whereas several newer subdivisions, like Glenora and the Highlands, intended for upper class people, featured sixty-six foot lots, the older ones closer to the urban core of both Edmonton and Strathcona were intended to facilitate greater density, and so were surveyed into thirty-three foot lots. This was the case with the eastern edge of the Garneau Estate, in the district now known as Garneau. Here, residential lots mainly thirty-three foot in width were subdivided during 1910 to fill in the gap between the west end of Strathcona and the campus of the yet to be developed for the University of Alberta. To the west of the University, Windsor Park would soon feature sixty-six foot lots to accommodate the more affluent of the University elite.

The construction of new residences in the in Garneau district became intense during 1911-12, just as the first buildings of the University were being constructed. One of the homes to survive was situated on a corner lot on 600 - 7 Avenue, Strathcona, soon to be known as 10958 - 89 Avenue, Edmonton. Here, a district farmer named Frank Michlet constructed a two and one-half storey balloon frame dwelling. Michlet may have felt the crunch of the World War One recession in Edmonton however, for he vacated the property in 1917, and it sat vacant for over a year before being acquired by John Watson in 1919. Four other occupants then succeeded Watson before the property was acquired by a geologist from the University named Percival Sidney Warren. Warren was a specialist on the Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks of western Canada, and would build up an extensive collection of biostratigraphic material for the University. He would later provide much valuable insight into the exploration for oil in Alberta following World War Two.

Warren and his family lived at 10958 - 89 Avenue until 1940. Following a brief residency by a Mrs. A.W. McFarlane, the dwelling was then acquired by one of Alberta's best known architects, Cecil Scott Burgess. Burgess was born in India in 1870 and had studied architecture in Scotland. He immigrated to Canada in 1903, and taught architecture at McGill under the noted architect Percy Nobbs, who would go on to become the first architect for the University of Alberta. With Nobbs' recommendation, Burgess was appointed professor of architecture at the University of Alberta in 1913, and would soon be placed in charge of the Department of Architecture within the Faculty of Applied Science.

Burgess would serve as both a teacher and superintending architect at the U of A before his retirement in 1940, shortly after the Department of Architecture was dissolved. During this time, he designed Pembina Hall and the Ring Houses, and collaborated with other architects in the design of the Arts Building and several other structures on campus. Students of his would design the Rutherford Library and the old Students Union Building. Off campus, Burgess designed the provincial Administration Building (later the Natural Resources Building and now the Bowker Building) as well as the Birks Building. He was also Chair of the Edmonton Town Planning Commission for many years. By the time he moved into 10958 - 89 Avenue in 1941, he had left the University, but continued in private practice, including a stint with Parks Canada, with whom he helped in the urban design of Banff and Jasper. He would pass away in 1971 at age 101.


HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The historical significance of the Burgess Residence lies primarily in its direct association with the noted architect, Cecil Burgess. It should be noted however that Burgess did not move into this dwelling until after his retirement from the University of Alberta, and after the greater extent of his work as an architect had been completed. He was a bachelor, and from 1914 to 1941 he had lived in Assiniboia Hall on campus. Interestingly though, he chose as a retirement home a relatively nondescript dwelling, but one close to the campus where so much of his creative energies had been exercised. He also lived in this house for thirty years. The residence is also important in serving as the home of the noted geologist, Percival Warren, for fourteen years. It is furthermore significant in being one of the original dwellings in the eastern Garneau Estate, conceived in 1910 to provide high-density living space for people affiliated with the University.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0822
Designation File: DES 2124
Related Listing(s): 4664-0111
Heritage Survey File: HS 53153
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 2124)
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