Throwback Thursdays: The Simmons Building

Simmons Building in the East Village

Today’s Throwback Thursday photograph comes from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and the Collection of the Glenbow Museum Archives, and it’s of the Simmons Building located in Calgary’s historic East Village.

 

Also known as the Simmons Factory Warehouse, it was built in 1912 for the Alaska Bedding Company of Winnipeg.  It originally was a factory that produced pillows, mattresses, sofa beds and hospital beds, and during World War II, production from the building exclusively went to provide bedding for military overseas.  After the war, Simmons Canada used the building to produce bedding materials until 1966, where the building had sat mostly unused and unmaintained for years until the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) took ownership of the building and refurbished it to use as their base of operations in 2007.

Simmons Building Now

CMLC repaired windows and mechanical systems, refinished the the flooring and installed new doors and fire protection.  The lower section of the building functions as office space for CMLC, along with a beautiful multipurpose area that can host presentations and special events.

The upper level of the building acts as the main library and storage space, and while the beam and support structure mimics the layout of the lower level, most of the flooring on the second level remains unfinished.

This year, CMLC will relocate their head office to the restored Hillier Block, and the Simmons Building will be repurposed by a variety of vendors that will be able to leverage the venue and its beautiful backdrop of the RiverWalk pathway and Bow River to give Calgarians a wonderful experience.

Here are some additional photos of the building’s interior:

Simmons Building Interior

The presentation section of the main level is a beautiful and versatile space that can accommodate a variety of activities.

While plumbing, electrical and other infrastructure have been upgraded or repaired, and while most of the original structure in terms of beam layout has been maintained, the flooring remains unfinished on the second level of the building.

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.

Do you have any photos of downtown Calgary from the past that you’d like to share with us?  If so, send us an e-mail [email protected] and it may appear in our weekly segment!