We lost another one.
It was early on this cold Saturday morning when I saw the news start breaking on my Twitter feed. The historic Enoch Sales house in downtown Calgary was on fire. When something that old catches fire, there isn’t usually anything left to save afterwards.
The house had been abandoned for many years, other than for the occasional squatter or urban explorationist. My personal suspicion is that it was likely a squatter with a candle trying to stay warm during this latest cold snap that will eventually be determined to be the cause. That is pure speculation on my behalf, of course.
Regardless of the eventual cause, the house is just another example of demolition via neglect. There never seemed to be a solid plan as what to do with the house and the extremely valuable property it sat on in the heart of downtown Calgary. Like too many historic properties, if the owner simply does nothing the problem eventually solves itself.
For some history of the property and interior photos, check out this link to Avenue Magazine which did a story on the house a while back:
I don’t know what’s more frustrating, the loss of another great old structure or the lack of concern so many show for our historic sites. If you want to feel saddened about the fight to preserve history, one only needs to read some of the comments on the CBC news story (link near the top):
“Authorities estimate the fire may have caused as much as $1 million in area improvements.”
“Another building that should have been torn down years ago goes up and smoke. Move along… “
I understand not everyone is as into history as I am, but the blatant disregard for the loss of this structure is baffling to me.
Arson. Now the owner will have an easier time of getting planning permission for a condo tower on that “extremely high value land”. What a convenient “accident”. Too bad there are no CCTV cameras so we can’t see who was in the property this week.