Throwback Thursdays: Clarence and Tribune Blocks

Today’s Throwback Thursday looks at two more historic buildings in Downtown Calgary’s Stephen Avenue Walk, located right next to each other: Clarence Block and Tribune Block.

Clarence Block, located at 120 – 8 Avenue SW, was originally built in 1890 and named after building owner Senator James Lougheed’s son Clarence, but a fire on Christmas Day in 1899 razed the building.  The current incarnation of Clarence Block was rebuilt and opened in February 1901, and was designed by William Dodd, designer of Calgary’s City Hall.

At one time, it housed the law office of Lougheed and his partner R.B. Bennett, who eventually became Prime Minister of Canada, as well as Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook) and John E. Brownlee, premier of Alberta from 1925-1935.  It has also housed a McNally Robinson Booksellers location, and most recently is the downtown location of Sport Chek.

Tribune Block, located at 118 – 8 Avenue SW, was built in 1892 and is named after having briefly served as the home of one of Alberta’s first newspapers, the Calgary Tribune (a forerunner of The Albertan and the Calgary Sun).

From 1907-1919, Charles Traunweiser owned the building and ran it as the Hub Cigar Store, Billiards Room and Traunweiser’s Bowling Alley.  In recent days, it has housed restaurants such as Ben Venuto, the Tribune Restaurant & Bar, and most recently, the TRIB Steakhouse.

That’s it for this week’s Throwback Thursday.  Tune in next week and every week in 2012 for more glimpses into the past of Downtown Calgary.

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