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Dr. Terwillegar House


Other Names:
Dr. Norman Terwillegar House
Dr. Terwillegar House
Dr. Terwillegar Residence
Terwillegar House

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Heritage Value

Character-Defining Elements


Street Address: 10727 - 125 Street NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Plan RN22 B (XXII - B), Block 28, Lot 5
Contributing Resources:

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.551686 -113.537211 Secondary Source NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource Rescinded
Date of Designation: 2001/11/15

Historical Information

Built: 1912 to 1912
Significant Date(s)
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):

When the district of Glenora was subdivided into an exclusive residential neighbourhood by James B. Carruthers from 1910 to 1912, it was natural that land bordering this district would also be developed for high quality living. As land north of 107 Avenue and east of 121 Street still belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), the next phase of development in west Edmonton turned out to be west of 121 Street, which was part of the Groat Estate which Carruthers had purchased in 1910. It would eventually become the eastern portion of the Westmount district. As early as 1912, this area was incorporated within the Edmonton city limits, while portions of it were subdivided into blocks and lots. Its rapid development was assured when the city decided, in early 1913, to pave 124 Street north all the way to 111 Avenue, and make it part of the city's streetcar system.

As 124 Street quickly developed into a major commercial artery, properties close to it began to fill up with dwellings. Unlike the Glenora district, the properties here were often just 33-foot lots, and the dwellings were invariably wood frame. However, most of the first residents turned out to be either businessmen or trained professionals such as doctors, lawyers or engineers. One of the first properties to be developed was on Block 28, Lot 5, and now 10727-125 Street. The lot was owned by a realtor with Western Canadian Properties named Charles W. Coppock. On April 1, 1912, Coppock applied for a permit to build a gabled wood frame dwelling on it. The architect was listed as John Martland, who would go on to become the Edmonton City Architect. The contractor was identified as M. Hughes. The value of the building was estimated to be 3,600 dollars. In the 1913 Henderson's Directory, it was listed as a 'new house' yet to be occupied, but, in 1914, it began to serve as the residence of the lawyer, Arthur Mowat of the firm of Short, Wood, Biggar and Collinson. Both Oliver M. Biggar and Sydney Wood had just built mansions in Glenora overlooking the Groat Ravine.

In 1915, when Edmonton was in the second year of a massive recession, Coppock sold this property to the real estate agent Harry Helliwell, who was Vice-President of Western Realty. Helliwell also lived in it for about a year. In 1916, Helliwell sold it to an accountant with the HBC named John B. Wallace, and in 1919, it became the home of Dr. L.C. Harris, who was a physician with the Board of Pension Commissioners. In 1920, it was acquired by another physician, Dr. Norman L. Terwilliger, whose family would occupy it for the next 38 years. Terwilliger was a resident doctor at the Royal Alexander Hospital, but also maintained a private practice in the Tegler Building. He would later serve as President of the Edmonton Medical Academy and President of the Alberta Medical Society. When he passed away in 1948, his house continued to be occupied by his widow, Dorothy, who would reside in it until 1958, when she moved to another residence. In 1960, the house was acquired by a construction contractor named Gordon Brooks.

The historical significance of the Terwilliger House lies in its provision of structural evidence of the development of the east Westmount district of Edmonton, which sprang up as a less pretentious, but nonetheless elegant northern extension of the Glenora district of the city. Both districts were the result of the frantic real estate boom that occurred in Edmonton immediately prior to World War One. The Terwilliger House is on a comparatively large 66-foot lot and is surrounded by a number of other wood frame dwellings constructed during the same period. Although many were of American four-square design, the Terwilliger House is a gabled frame building. It is also important in its association with one of Edmonton's more prominent physicians over the years, Dr. Norman Terwilliger, who, with his family, occupied it from 1920 to 1948, his wife continuing to dwell in it until 1958. Evidence of Terwilliger's prestige lies in the fact that Terwilliger Heights was named in his memory in 1962. It is also important in its design by John Martland, the future Edmonton City Architect.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0989
Designation File: DES 2086
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 60606
Website Link: N/A
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. 2086)
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