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Key Number: HS 80543
Site Name: Rutledge Hangar
Other Names: Municipal Airport No. 1
Site Type: 1003 - Transportation - Air Facility: Hangar

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
23 1 5


Address: 731 - 13 Avenue NE
Number: 31
Street: 7 NE
Avenue: 13 NE
Other:
Town: Calgary
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape:
Storeys:
Foundation:
Superstructure:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Vaulted or Arched
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: Timber framed arched roof providing clear span of 80 feet.
New shingles within last five years. Original buttress and roof framing intact. Arched roof creates much of the north and south walls. West and east and remaining walls are painted concrete block.
Interior: N/A
Environment: N/A
Condition:
Alterations: New shingles. Additions to west and east sides of Hangar, the latest being in 1965, when the Junior League added the space on the west end of the Hangar.

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Constructed
1929/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Stanley Jones Airport
Calgary Aero Club / Boys' and Girls' Club / Renfrew Educ. Serv.


Owner: Owner Date:
City of Calgary
1929/01/01
Architect: N/A
Builder: City of Calgary
Craftsman: N/A
History: Heritage Character Statement
Calgary 's first publicly operated airport, it was also the first airport in Canada with state of the art illumination allowing night flying. The first regional air mail service operated here until 1932 when it was canceled due to the Depression. The hangar is an early example (i.e. possibly the earliest remaining example in Calgary) of a light weight arched roof system providing a clear space of 80 feet. Some of the original airfield context remains intact in the large open playing fields on the grounds of the adjacent recreational fields.

Summary History
The Rutledge Hangar, built in 1929, is the only remaining building from the original Calgary Municipal Airport. Commonly known as the Stanley Jones Airport, this facility was Calgary's third airfield, but the first with substantial improvements and the first to be publicly operated. It was used for an experimental prairie air mail service in 1928, and for regular prairie air mail from 1930 to 1932. The airport comprised only a few small buildings and grass-covered runways, but had the distinction of being Canada's first airport with suitable illumination for night flights. Its development was limited by the Great Depression and the deterring public view of air travel as "experimental". Functions at the airport included scheduled and charter passenger service, sight-seeing trips, air shows, and flying instruction. By 1937, the federal government maintained a meteorological office that issued daily weather reports. Scheduled passenger flights were sometimes unreliable, and depressed conditions bankrupted several firms in those years. Rather than build and operate hangars at its own expense, the City leased airport space to companies, on which they could build their own hangars. Three or four were eventually built, but the only substantial one was the hangar built by Rutledge Air Services. Sod was turned on October 19, 1929, and construction took about three weeks. The company leased space in its hangar to other carriers. Rutledge encountered financial problems and ceased operations in 1931. The Edmonton Credit Corporation acquired the hanger, which it leased to The City.
The building became known as the City Hangar, and the large letters on the roof spelling "Rutledge" were painted out. Aviation companies that used the building were charged a hangar fee. A new airport with longer runways was needed for Calgary to be included in Trans-Canada Airlines' national passenger and mail service, which began in the late 1930s. The new airport opened at McCall Field in 1939. The Calgary Aero Club rented the old airport from The City, and purchased the hangar from the Edmonton Credit Corporation.
During World War II, the club briefly trained pilots for the Royal Canadian Air Force at the old airport, but in 1940 this elementary flying school moved to Lethbridge. For the duration of the war, the federal government operated the hangar and several purpose-built buildings surrounding it as a technical school for training airplane mechanics and other skilled tradesmen. In 1945, Ottawa established the Canadian Vocational Training Institute, which operated in the hangar and surrounding buildings. Ottawa purchased the hangar and rented the surrounding site from The City.
The Alberta government took over the institute in 1949; both the lease of the site and the ownership of the buildings were transferred to the province. Postwar housing and a new school were developed on the rest of the old airport site, in what is now the district of Renfrew. The vocation institute closed by 1962. The hangar was transferred to The City, and the outlying buildings demolished. The concrete foundation of the largest building became a tennis court. In 1962, the Calgary Boys' Club entered a long-term lease with The City, and renovated the hangar to become the Renfrew Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Calgary. After its founding in the 1970s, the Renfrew Sixty Plus Club, a seniors' centre, occupied part of the hangar until its present quarters in an adjacent building opened in 1980.
The hangar building is the only remaining structure from Calgary's first public airport; it is also it's most significant structure. It is an industrial building and is an early example of a light weight timber framed arched roof. It provides a clear span of 80 feet. All of the roof framing and concrete buttresses are intact. This hangar building was located at the terminus of the main east west runway (i.e. now converted to 12th Ave. NE) and was visually the most prominent structure at the airport. Known as the Stanley Jones airport it was an important landmark in Calgary particularly in regards to the development of the city.

D-1959 - RUTLEDGE HANGAR, CALGARY HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
Among the veterans returning to Alberta from World War I were certain flyers, whose skills demonstrated abroad were soon to be applied at home. As the commercial use of airplanes was more applicable in the North, it was natural that Edmonton would soon outdistance Calgary in the number of planes and the extent of flying. Calgary did however produce several noted flyers, such as Freddie McCall, who performed barnstorming acts and undertook occasional commercial flights. Makeshift airports were created at several locations on the City's outskirts. With the prosperity of the late 1920's, the demand for commercial aviation was such that the City of Calgary undertook to establish a regular airport in the north-east part of the City, near present day Renfrew Park. Here, in 1928, open fields were cleared for dirt runways, and hangars constructed.
As the facility was intended strictly for private, commercial use, the City itself did not undertake to construct any buildings, but instead leased space on which private companies could build their own hangars. Of these, the most substantial would be the one for Rutledge Air Service, which was built in three weeks during October and November, 1929. The large hangar came to serve not only Rutledge, but other carriers to whom Rutledge sub-leased space. Rutledge maintained its air service only until November 1931, when the depression forced it to cease operation. During these years, the air field and hangar were used to serve a short-lived air mail service which then operated on the prairies, but ceased in 1932. During this time, the airport became the first in Canada to feature lighting on its runways for twilight flying. With the closure of Rutledge, the hangar was taken over by the Edmonton Credit Corporation, which leased it to the City of Calgary. It was then renamed the City Hangar. As with Rutledge, space was leased within the facility to various air companies. When Trans-Canada Airline's regular passenger and mail service was begun during the late 1930's, it was evident that larger runways were needed than those on the field at Renfrew, which was now enclosed by residential suburns. McCall Field was thus opened for service in 1939. The old airport was then rented by the Calgary Aero Club, which also purchased the City Hangar from the Edmonton Credit Corporation.
In 1940, the facility was used briefly to train RCAF flyers, after which the federal government used it to train airplane mechanics and other tradesmen. In 1945, Ottawa established a Canadian Vocational Institute in Calgary, which operated out of the hangar and adjacent buildings. This was taken over by the province in 1949. With the post war boom, much of the air field was given over to new housing development. In 1962, the hangar was transferred to the City, and the outlying buildings demolished. In 1962, the building was leased to the Renfrew Boys' Club, and was renovated to serve their purpose. In later years, it came to serve the Renfrew Sixty Plus Club for senior citizens.
The historical significance of the Rutledge Hangar lies in its association with the development of commercial aviation in Calgary during the late 1920's, and its more limited service as an air hangar during the 1930's. Its use for training during World War I was important as well.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active

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

2003/05/21
Register: 07-162
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2000/10/27

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0833
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