Thread updated June 6, 2014
-----------------------------Deal to preserve 118-year-old McHugh House signed
Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary giving city until June 30 to move the rare Queen Anne Revival-style house
CBC News Posted: Mar 10, 2014 1:17 PM MThttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/d ... -1.2567100
A deal has been finalized to save the historic McHugh House — the sixth oldest residence in Calgary.
The city has signed an agreement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, which owns the property at 18th Avenue S.W. and Centre Street, to move the building to a piece of land nearby. Historic McHugh House to be moved to nearby Calgary park
The Queen Anne Revival-style house was built in 1896 for John Joseph McHugh, one of three brothers from Ottawa who came to Calgary as pioneers and became prominent ranchers.
The diocese initially told the city the house would have to be demolished or removed from the site by April 6 so its developer could begin a new project on the property.
But the diocese has now agreed to extend that deadline to June 30, which will allow city officials to set up a competitive bidding process to pick a contractor to move the house.
Mayor praises diocese for co-operation
Mayor Naheed Nenshi praised the church for its co-operation.
"The diocese was put in a very difficult position given the timing and the difficulty of moving forward on this and they have been extraordinarily helpful and extraordinarily generous in moving this forward," he said.
City council voted last month to approve up to $450,000 in funding to relocate the house to Humpy Hollow Park at 17th Avenue and Centre Street, beside the Catholic Pastoral Centre.
The McHugh House is worth saving because of its architectural uniqueness — including a gabled roof and a tower topped with a steep turret — and its historical significance to the community, according to the city's historic resources department.
It is also the oldest known house in its original location in the Rouleauville area of the Mission district.
The house was bought by the Catholic Church in 1960, which used it as a group home and for other social agencies in the ensuing years. The house was put on the city's heritage inventory in 1982.
"It is an honour to give McHugh House to the citizens of Calgary,” said Bishop Henry in a written release.
“The Catholic Church has been a part of Calgary’s history since before the city even existed, and we’re proud to play a role in preserving that history.”Historic McHugh House saved from demolition
By Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald February 24, 2014http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calga ... story.html
Council approved a plan Monday to literally pick up a 118-year-old inner-city mansion for about $450,000.
The city will pick up the house next month, keep it in storage, then move it to a little-used park a block away.
The McHugh House, the city’s sixth-oldest residence, was unwanted by the Catholic Diocese, which owned it and would soon have demolished it to sell the 18th Avenue property for development.
The city isn’t paying to buy the 1896 house. The costs are for getting it out of the church’s way.
“They’re happy to give us the house, as long as we get it off their land,” said Coun. Evan Woolley, who led council’s late efforts to save the home.
Heritage groups had been cheering on the attempt, lest one of the few pre-1900 homes left in Calgary be turned to rubble.
The doomsday clock for McHugh House had been ticking for more than a year, after the diocese first applied for a demolition permit. The diocese had planned knocking it down on April 6, but has told the city it was free to remove the three-storey brick home from the land before then.
After council’s unanimous decision Monday to save the home, a new race begins: to get the turreted Queen Anne-style mansion off the property in the next six weeks.
It will cost more than normal moving costs, because the ground isn’t thawed, Woolley said.
Council has set aside $300,000 from its fiscal reserves to save McHugh House, and the other $150,000 is coming from a Beltline improvement fund that comes from local development charges.
Eventually, the house will be refurbished and moved to Humpy Hollow Park, an obscure and aging playground site along 17th Avenue at Centre Street. The city plans to let a tenant occupy the heritage home. but isn’t sure whom.
“It’s one step at a time. We’ve got to get it off the site,” Woolley said.
The diocese had said the mansion had fallen into disrepair over the years, and a potential purchaser of the land wasn’t interested in keeping it. The bishop had also stated that getting provincial heritage restoration funds was a non-starter, because they come from gambling proceeds.
A lawyer working on the development deal for the McHugh House site declined to comment after council’s decision Monday.
Council will use proceeds from the refurbished McHugh House to replenish the city reserves, and possibly also buy up some parkland to replace the green space being lost at Humpy Hollow, Woolley said.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald