Printed verso: "Greetings from Calgary…The Stampede City. This magnificent structure, with an acoustically perfect auditorium seating 2760 people, is unique to the North American continent. It was a gift to the city from the Province in commemoration of Alberta's 50th Jubilee. It is situated high on a hill overlooking the panorama of the downtown core by the Bow River backdropped by the Rocky Mountains.
“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared August 2, 1998.
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
• 1415 14 Avenue N.W.
• Built: 1955 - 1957
• Architect and Contractor: Provincial Department of Public Works. Under the direction of A. Arnold, Deputy Minister of Public Works, the architectural design was prepared and co-ordinated with the structural, mechanical and electrical requirements, under the supervision of the department's Chief Architect, R. Clarke, assisted by Arnold Steinbrecher.
• Original cost: $4,500,000
• Construction materials: Reinforced concrete and steel and brick. 1,400 tonnes of structural steel and 500 tonnes of reinforcing rods were used in the construction of the auditorium. "The steel structure is enclosed in clay tiles and lightweight cellular building stone, and most of its exterior is faced with large precast concrete panels with weather resistant granite pebbles polished to a smooth velvet finish. The remainder of the exterior is red brick, with the exception of the main entrance, where polished Italian travertine is used. Architectural stone surrounds frame the huge windows of the handsome front elevation."
• Original interior details: 2,700 seat auditorium. "The stage is one of the largest on the continent. It is 120 feet wide and 48 feet deep. The depth can be increased to 65 feet by using the covered orchestra pit as the forestage." Behind, below and above the stage are a multitude of rooms and accommodations to cope with the needs of performers. "Dressing rooms, workshops, designers' studios, scenery docks, storage rooms, service rooms and offices for stage manager auditorium manager and a studio for the conductor, are all provided for." "Altogether, including the main floor, the lower level, the grand circle and balcony lobbies, the auditorium boasts a total of 57,000 square feet of promenade area, of which approximately 35,000 square feet may be used for exhibits and displays."
• On May 4, 1954, Premier Ernest Manning announced the government's decision to build two large auditoriums, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary, in commemoration of the province's fiftieth anniversary in 1955.
• 26 acres on the grounds of the Provincial School of Technology and Art was chosen as the Calgary site.
• A cabinet committee studied and visited world-class facilities from Zurich to Buffalo, including New York's Radio City Music Hall and London's Royal Festival Hall, before deciding on the final design.
• Erection of the first structural steel began in the summer of 1955, but work was delayed by a nation - wide steel strike in the United States where the large steel sections for the main structure had to be milled. It was not until late spring of 1956 that a full schedule of construction work got under way.
• April 28, 1957 the Jubilee Auditorium was officially dedicated.
• In 1979, escalators were installed, washrooms enlarged, and new lobby entrance added.
• In 1982, the lower rooms were renovated to accommodate the new 250 seat Dr. Betty Mitchell Theatre.
• After 28 years of performing at the Jubilee, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra moved to the new Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts.
• $2.4 million exterior rehabilitation completed in 1985.
• The multi - purpose hall has been a venue for concerts, opera, plays, ballet, high school, graduations and the Olympic Arts Festival. Harry Belafonte, Louis Armstrong, New Christy Minstrels, B.B.King, Elvis Costello, Phantom of the Opera and Camelot have appeared at the Jube.
Calgary Public Library, Central Library, Local History Room
Postcards from the Past
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