659 3 Avenue Northwest, Calgary

640484-659-3AveNW-2004-front

659 – 3 Avenue, NW
(Section 21, Plan 1948P, Block 24, Lot 6)
Originally 5 bedrooms, cement basement, timber construction, mainly fir, with shingle exterior. The construction was described as “Fair”

1914 – This lot, and possibly a partially completed building or just a hut was owned by S. Waklyn who lived on this site. The lot/building was valued at $275.
1915 Whatever was on this lot was sold to Arthur Bennett, a property developer, whose address was in downtown.
1919 Sold to D.J. King who lived at 657, and this house was occupied by J. Goldin. The lot is worth $250; building $550.
1921-25. D.J. King seems to have lived here himself.
1925 King moved, and probably rented it out, but no tenant name.
1927-31 (June) Miss Merrill Power bought the house and moved in.
1931-45 Bought by P.G. Brock, who shifts the support to the Separate School Board. The house at this point is worth $50 more than houses on either side. The house was rented, but we have no tenant names.
1946 Elsie Vera Story buys the house and switches support back to Public School. The house is worth $800.
1947.William E. Burk and Laura Burk buy the house. It is now worth only $700
1947-1996 William Burk, his wife Laura, then his girl friend Rose (who become 2nd wife) own the house continuously until 1996, when I bought it. The house value increased to $1380. I bought it for $130,000!
This is considered one of Arthur Bennett’s usual houses, “The Bennett Bath Houses.” This phrase, presumably, is a bad translation of the English Bathing Huts (day rooms to rent at the seaside) pictured below. The Bennet Bath Houses flooded regularly until the Bear’s Paw Dam was finished in 1953, which is part of the joke in the name.
Current House
The name on the sign, “St Audrey Cottage” is a linguistic joke. St. Audrey was the patron of a fair in Ely, England, where lace was sold. By the 17th century the lace was cheap and nasty, and was called St. Audrey lace, mean rubbish. The word “tawdry” is a corruption of St. Audrey – and when I bought this house it was certainly tawdry!

In 2004 the interior was completely redesigned, in sympathy with the original, by Paul Gary.