Dec 17, 2010

Prairie Expansion

No, I'm not pregnant. And no, I haven't decided to sell Little MCM and move into a McMansion. (the horror!)

This blog is almost one years old - awww, a little toddler blog. 2011 is going to be a year of change and growth for LMCMHP (now that's a mouthful). I'm in the process of redesigning my blog header with the lovely Jessica who owns Very Designs. And in between restorations and updates to the house and when it's too cold to sand down a door in our garage, I will be filling in with some new features:

Prairie Tours: A little sampling from my last post. Tours of mid century buildings spattered with the occasional interior tour of well-known MCM houses and buildings in the City (and beyond).

Prairie Shopping (working title): Interviews and tours of stores, trades and products tried and tested in the Prairie House.

MCM Nerd Out (working title): Geeky posts on the history of the MCM movement in the city. I have loads of info in my sweet little head and I think hubs is starting to get annoyed with nerdy MCM outbursts.

Even the occasional giveaway! Ooo la la.

Naturally we will be busy with restorations throughout 2011 as well. Our plans for next year include restoring El Pinko (once I find a sink - grrrr), restoring all interior doors, finishing the window restoration, changing out the front and back hallway floors, making a much needed mudroom at the back entryway plus many exterior projects such as a new fence, exterior paint and doors and some landscaping. And since our entire budget for 2011 will be spent on updating the house, prepare to see plenty of new posts for 2011.

I really have appreciated all of your comments and value every precious minute you spend reading my postings through this first year. Thank you to all of the readers & lovers of MCM.

Happy holidays!


Dec 14, 2010

In the Spirit of Modern Calgary

With Christmas quickly approaching and my Christmas shopping nearly almost started, I thought it would be festive to share a few gems from Calgary's modern spiritual built heritage. Calgary, to my pleasant surprise, has an impressive stock of top tier modern sites throughout the city. And the churches are no exception.

To give a bit of background, Calgary blossomed into a major city after the Second World War. With the Leduc Oil Boom of 1947, Calgary positioned itself early on as the administrative and management centre of the oil industry in Canada. Oil companies from across Canada and the US set up their headquarters in shiny new modern towers in an area that became to be known as the 'Oil Patch' on the northwest side of downtown. The city was alive with optimism, a massive population explosion and a bustling economy. This is reflected in a number of churches that were built during this period. Many churches were playful, experimental and possessed a high quality of modern design similar to what is found in Palm Springs.

Here a little sampling*:

This one looks like a UFO
St. Cecilia's Catholic Church (321 90 Ave SE)

Interesting exposed whalebone butresses
St Anthony's Catholic Church (5340 4 St NW)

Sadly this one is demolished
Westminster United Church

Maori Inspired
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (924 Heritage Dr SW)

Anglican Church of Canada (629 49 Ave SW)

Modern Tipi?
Our Lady Queen of Poland Roman Catholic Church

One of my favourites
Centre Spiritual Enrichment (1702 17 Ave SW) 1959-62 (W.G. Milne Architect)

Shaarey Tzedec Synagogue (103 17 Ave SW) Built 1959 (Abugov & Sunderland Architect)

A little Asian Tiki inspired
Parkdale Grace Fellowship (2608 1 Ave NW)

All images courtesy of Canadian Architectural Archives at the University of Calgary: Calgary Civic Trust, Calgary Modern

Need more churches? Here's a link to more unusual churches. Some modern jems...

Happy Holidays!


*I haven't driven by many of these - so here's hoping that Google Maps reflects their current state.

Dec 9, 2010

Dear Santa...

I've been such a good girl this year. I moved to Calgary away from family and friends. In the dead of winter. And smack dab in the middle of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. So much for that collective memory...

I've pulled plastic bags out of garbage cans to recycle and shooshed spiders out the door instead of squishing them. Santa - this has undoubtedly been one of my better years. Maybe even one of the best.

So in light of double gold stars for 2010, here is a few items that would make my days a little brighter:

1. KnollStudio Saarinen Womb Chair & Ottoman. In the exact colour shown below (Aubergine).
Santa, you are totally welcome to throw in that bunny soft rug i too. I would be ok with that.

2. Poufs to replace the dated leather ottoman in my living room. I'm obsessed with them and have not found one local source. Santa, you seem like a guy who knows where to get these kinds of things.
The poufs below his feet are cute.

Any of these (except the floral one) from the Mah Jong collection from Roche Bobois would bring nothing but pure joy to my life.

3. This colour in my bedroom.

4. And while you have a paintbrush in your hand, this scheme for the outside of my house.
Thank you to the kind folks at Redneck Modern for the inspiration

5. A sink for my upstairs bathroom. And not one that is rusted out, not period appropriate, or one that turns out to be a wall hung that is glued to the counter after I take it to the shop to be painted. Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh!

Just like this little beauty pictured here. (Courtesy Retro Renovation)

6. One of these smoke grey globe lights for my kitchen.

Interior of one of many nearly original modern interiors at the University of Calgary. This space is in the University Theatre. Tour of these buildings set for a future post.

7. This vacation.

Thank you Santa. I am looking forward to Christmas morning.

Yours truly and forever.


ps. I have a big chimney.