Sunday, September 6, 2009
These figures—from the cast of characters of newspaper newsrooms of old (i.e., even before I started my career)—were cast from the originals on the Calgary Herald Building that was demolished in 1972.
This trio is now located on the Alberta Hotel building on Stephen Avenue, but originally the Southams (then owners of the Herald) commissioned Royal Doulton in the U.K. to design and make 44 figures and masks for the exterior of the newspaper building.
According to information on a Calgary Public Library website, the gargoyles were the work of sculptor Mark Villars Marshall (1879 - 1912), who died shortly after the gargoyles were installed in 1912. Marshall had been a stone carver working on Victorian Gothic Revival churches before he went to work at Royal Doulton's Lambeth Studios in the late 1870s.
At the time of demolition, the Herald building was known as the Greyhound Building, and the gargoyles were scattered, including to other buildings including the Calgary Convention Centre and the University of Calgary.