The restored Reader Rock Garden and Reader's Garden Cafe is open. Phone 245-3252 for the restaurant.
The City offers frequent tours of the site from April to October. Click on this link for more information:
http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/ ... Garden.htm
Also check out the Parks Program Guide at www.calgary.ca/parks.
Other websites of interest:
More information on Reader:
Date: Mon May 29 08:50:50 2006
Subject: Historic Reader Rock Garden is Reborn!
From: Bonnie Tucker
CITYSOURCE - CITY OF CALGARY NEWS SOURCE
CALGARY – It’s the official re-opening of Reader Rock Garden
– one of Calgary’s first cultural landscapes to be
rehabilitated in a significant way - and federal
representative Steve Windlinger, Western Economic
Diversification's Manager of Calgary Operations, MLA Alana
DeLong, Mayor Dave Bronconnier, Aldermen Joe Ceci and Barry
Erskine, members of the Reader family and other special
guests are on hand to formally re-open the historic gardens
to the public today.
“This is a significant event for The City of Calgary, our
citizens, and visitors to our city” explained Mayor Dave
Bronconnier. “Reader Rock Garden is fondly remembered as a
truly unique garden in Alberta, and today we are seeing the
rehabilitation of this garden to its original state so that
all of us, new and old, can once again enjoy the beauty and
magnificence of this place.”
"Through the Infrastructure Canada-Alberta Program (ICAP),
the Reader Rock Garden has been restored to its splendour,
providing Calgarians with a revitalized heritage site and
community gathering spot," said Carol Skelton, Minister of
National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic
Diversification. "This project is part of ICAP's goal to
ensure long-term economic growth and improved quality of life
for the citizens of Alberta."
Funding of approximately $2.6 million from the Infrastructure
Canada-Alberta Program, a partnership involving federal,
provincial and municipal governments, allowed for an intense
18 month rehabilitation of the gardens and reconstruction of
former city parks superintendent William Reader’s residence.
Located on the edge of the inner city at MacLeod Trail and 25
Avenue S.E., this heritage garden site is a tribute to one
man’s passion for plants and beauty. William Roland Reader
was the Superintendent for Calgary Parks from 1913-1942. He
transformed a bare hill-side into an international-acclaimed
garden around his City-supplied home on the north slopes of
Union Cemetery. He trialed over 4,000 plants in his 30 year
career, keeping meticulous records of the 30 plant beds
around his home recording plant characteristics and viability
for Calgary’s climate. If he deemed a plant hardy and
attractive, it was sent ’down the hill’ to the Parks
greenhouses for propagation and planting out in the City
Rehabilitated according to Reader’s original drawings and
diaries, this 3 acre garden will bloom from mid-March to mid
November. The structure of the garden, circulation, cobble
gutters, pathways, view sheds, landforms, ponds, garden beds
and woody materials were all found to be essentially intact.
While the groundwork has been laid and replanting begun,
establishment of the garden will continue over the next three
or four years in order to fully restore the site. Site
furnishings have been reconstructed from photographic
materials and the reconstructed Arts and Crafts style home
has been built based on the original architectural drawings.
The house will host new uses; providing an educational
classroom, washroom amenities for the public as well as
feature a cafe on the main floor with corporate rental space
available on the second floor.
The site is open to the public seven days a week from 5 a.m.
to 11 p.m., and is currently in review by the Province of
Alberta for designation as a Provincial Historic Site.