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Key Number: HS 32521
Site Name: McDougall Elementary School (Southern Government Offices)
Other Names:
Site Type: 0314 - Educational: School


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
23 1 5

Address: 455 - 6 Street SW
Number: 55
Street: 6 SW
Avenue: 4 SW
Town: Calgary
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Style: Classical Revival
Plan Shape: U
Storeys: Storeys: 3 1/2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Stone
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Wall Design and Detail: Ionic Capital
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Voussoirs
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Keystone
Window - Special Types: Round
Window - Special Types: Semi-Circular
Exterior: Foundation: sandstone blocks; even coursed with natural finish.
Structure: sandstone blocks; even coursed with smooth finish, some of south elevation additions sandstone blocks; others metal frame.
Covering: none on original building; metal and glass on some of west elevation additions.
Entablature with parapet; east elevation has half storey with: circular windows and keystones above them, decorative stone string courses; east elevation: 4 columns, fist storey windows have fan transoms; all elevations: first storey windows have semicircular head surrounds with stone arches and keystones; second and third storeys have flat arches with keystones above windows; north and south elevation entrances have decorative arches and brackets above first storey door.
Ionic columns, circular windows on upper central portion of building, semi-circular windows with voussoir and keystones on first floor, rusticated quoins, distinctive entablature with boxed cornice. Granite entrance steps, triple-arched entrance, copper cornice. Plan was originally U-shaped. Sandstone exterior and foundation.
Huge entrance dominated by ionic and Corinthian capitalson Tuscan columns, the capitals are cut from single stone. Additional carved stonework and vaulted arches.
Granite entrance steps; tripple-arched entrance; copper cornice; attic storey has circular windows.
Interior: Originally, buildings finished throughout in white plaster, oak and fir woods, classrooms, halls and corridors originally finished in panelled oak and all floors of maple. Once had a fine suite on the top floor which is no longer in use due to fire regulations. Wood with lino, plaster, oak throughout the stairs and doors; additional carved storework and vaulted arches and oak wood woodwork.
Environment: Lot size: 999.99' x 140'. Located in middle of block surrounded by playing fields. Older residential area which is being taken over by modern apartment and commercial buildings. In downtown Calgary amongst high rises.
Condition: Structure: Good. Repair: Good. 21 AUG 1978. Structure: Good. Repair: Good. 3 APR 1979. Structure: Good. Repair: Good. 18 JAN 1980.
Alterations: 1935 - Office partitioning. 1936 - Plumbing and heating modifications. 1953 - Gym added.


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction begun
Usage: Usage Date:
Normal School (Teacher's College)
Administrative Centre for School System.
Owner: Owner Date:
Province of Alberta
Calgary Public School District No. 19 of the Province of Alberta.
Province of Alberta, Ministry of Housing and Public Works.
Architect: A.M. Jeffers
Builder: Provincial Department of Public Works.
Craftsman: N/A
History: Named in honour of Reverend G. McDougall. One of the earliest major public buildings to be constructed in the newly formed province of Alberta. Built partially to counter the University of Alberta going to Edmonton. The first Normal School in Alberta. Normal schools were solely responsible for the training of teachers in Alberta until 1945.
* * *
- McDougall School was Calgary's First Normal School for teacher training - it was built in 1906 and opened in 1907 - In 1922, it was acquired by the Calgary Public School Board and renamed in honour of the early Alberta ministers, Rev. George McDougall and his sons David and Rev. John.
- The school was designed at the same time as some of the parliament buildings in Edmonton - it was built of sandstone from a quarry to the south east - in 1906, the land cost $15,000 - it originally had 14 rooms - the Calgary Public School is currently attempting to redevelop the site and demolish the school (1979)
* * *
- 1906-8 - Initial construction. Used as a teacher college until 1945 - 1922 - purchased by Calgary Board of Education from Province - 1935 - office partitioning - 1936 - plumbing and heating modifications - 1953 - gym added - 1958-69 - used as an Administrative Centre for school system
Normal schools were solely responsible for the training of teachers in Alberta until 1945.
* * *

Draft Release Edmonton Alberta
It was announced today by the Honourable Mary J. LeMessurier, Minister of Culture, that the McDougall School in Calgary has been designated a Provincial Historic Resource.

Built in 1906-1908, this three storey 'Renaissance Revival' sandstone structure was Alberta's first Normal School or Teachers' College. Its establishment in Calgary complemented the simultaneous establishment of Alberta's first university in Edmonton, both significant achievements in the educational history of the province. The structure was later purchased by the Calgary Board of Education and renamed the McDougall School in honour of the Methodist missionaries George and John McDougall.

In 1981, the Provincial Government acquired the McDougall School site from the Calgary Board of Education on the understanding that the original building would be retained and that a major portion of the surrounding land would be developed as open public space. Alberta Housing and Public Works is currently renovating the structure which will eventually house a Calgary office for the Provincial Premier and other government personnel. Meeting and board rooms are also being planned to accommodate government meetings and conferences.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal A List
Provincial Historic Resource

Register: 03-107
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/06/05


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0462
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