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Trend House


Other Names:
Calgary Trend House

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Trend House is a modest wood frame, single family residence with a detached single garage, located on an irregularly-shaped lot in the Elboya neighbourhood of Calgary. From the street, the house presents a low profile, but at the back it is one and one-half storeys tall. The house was built to feature wood in many aspects of the design, including the exterior siding and interior panelling, exposed ceiling beams and built-in cabinetry. Stylistically, the house is a sophisticated, if small, expression of mid-20th century Modern architecture.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Trend House lies in its excellent representation of mid-20th century Alberta residential architecture in the Modern style and its association with prominent Alberta architect Peter Leitch Rule, of the Alberta architectural firm Rule, Wynn and Rule.

The Trend House, constructed in 1953-1954, is an excellent example of a modest mid-century Modern single-family home that foreshadows design elements which later became common in Alberta. Though it appeared at the intersection between the boxy one-and-one-half storey houses common in Alberta immediately after World War II and the ranch type bungalows that became popular in the late 1950s, the Trend House incorporates features seen a decade later in 1960s split-level houses. Ideas of contemporary living typical of the Modern style are apparent in the Trend House in its open-plan layout, the technological innovation in its remote control electrical system, and the forward-thinking aesthetics evident in its form, massing, materials and interior decoration. The high level of design integrity and original materials make the Trend House an excellent example of mid-century Modern design in Alberta.

The Trend House is an excellent example of the work of architect Peter Leitch Rule (1913-1964), a principal in one of Alberta’s most notable and longest-operating architectural firms, Rule, Wynn and Rule. The firm was known for producing cutting-edge Modern style works, such as the AGT Building (1953) in Edmonton and the Elveden Centre (1959-1964) in Calgary. The Trend House is a prime example of contemporary taste in residential architectural design as featured in architectural journals and building trades magazines of the day. It also reflects prevalent social ideas in its emphasis on technological innovation and modern materials. These aspects of the Trend House design were in perfect harmony with the aims of the group of British Columbia wood industry asociations that commissioned the house to promote their products. Peter Rule’s forward-thinking design for the Trend House provided an ideal means not only to showcase B.C. woods, but to demonstrate his skill as an architect in creating an elegant design that was both contemporary and affordable.

Source: Alberta Culture and Tourism, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2356)

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage value of the Trend House include such elements as:

Exterior features:
- original location on a trapezoidal sloped lot on the northeast corner of Elbow Drive SW and 47 Avenue SW;
- siting in a residential context with views of downtown Calgary;
- form, scale and massing as expressed by its: T-shaped split-level plan, with a one-storey portion at the front with a monocline roof, a two-storey side-gabled pavilion at the rear connected by a glazed hallway, and a garage under the main roof separated from the house by a breezeway with unglazed skylight;
- wood-frame construction, including Red Cedar vertical siding and Douglas Fir glulam structural beams, wood (board) soffits, and vertical wood siding;
- Claybank red-brick interior/exterior chimney;
- parging on foundation textured to resemble random coursed stone;
- balcony off master bedroom at rear of house;
- variety of original wood frame and fixed sash double-glazed windows including ribbon and clerestory windows with operable awning sashes on lower portion, and glazed wall of windows with hopper sashes on northwest side of house;
- exterior light fixtures;

Interior features:
- high ceilings in the living room where the vaulted ceiling follows the roofline;
- original plan/layout;
- original bannisters on staircase;
- some original doors and hardware;
- a variety of BC softwood products such as Douglas Fir exposed ceiling beams, grooved and etched plywood paneling in kitchen and dining room, knotty Red Cedar panelling in the front entry and living room on the walls and ceiling, Douglas Fir plywood walls in basement hallway;
- prominent fireplace, faced in Claybank brick, separating the entrance hall from the living room;
- built-in Douglas Fir sideboard in dining room incorporating a zinc-lined planter;
- lighting valence with recessed fixtures extending above the diningroom sideboard across the hallway, supported by three wooden columns, to the living room wall; and
- built-in dressing room dressers, Arborite and laminate powder room walls and dresser tops with Modern-style patterns.

Landscape features:
- mature trees;
- exterior spaces aligned with window placement and doors; and
- concrete terraces outside kitchen and outside living room on the north side of the house.


Street Address: 730 - 47 Avenue SW
Community: Calgary
Boundaries: Lot 9, Block 23, Plan 544GQ
Contributing Resources: Building
Landscape(s) or Landscape Feature(s)

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

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

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.011564 -114.080520

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type
704789 5655167


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2018/02/05

Historical Information

Built: 1953 to 1954
Period of Significance: 1954 to 1954
Theme(s): Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-1384
Designation File: DES 2356
Related Listing(s): 4664-0333
Heritage Survey File:
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. 2356)
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