National Geographic : 1984 Mar
Dressing up an old neighborhood, owners of a row of turn-of-the-century Edwardianhomes being converted to apartments (below) chose boldly unconventional color schemes. The initial reactionwas decidedly mixed, recalls property manager Tom Squires. "As I began paintingthe first one, someone called the police and said I was vandalizingthe property." Now affectionately called the "painted ladies," the houses have inspired similar paintjobs in nearby areas. For "purely sentimental reasons" Sam Mahood (right)is restoringhis boyhood home, an 1890 log house, now covered with siding,just west of town. Nine Mahood childrengrew up there, on the farm bought by theirparents after emigratingfrom Ireland in 1912. Despite nearby suburbangrowth, Mahood and his sisters, Kathleen and Harriet,refuse to sell their 135-acre dairy operation.Developers have made lucrativeoffers, Mahood said, so "there must be a stubborn streak in us." Pushingtoward a seemingly limitless expanse, Calgary'ssuburbsgrew to accommodate an influx that took the cityfrom 243,000 in 1960 to 620,000 today. With the oil market slumping and constructiondown, the city looks for an economic boost when Calgary hosts theXV Olympic Winter Games in 1988.