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Harold Hanen fonds

1935-2000, predominant 1955-2000

Physical Description:
8.54 m of textual records and photographs. -- 1511 architectural drawings

Harold Arnold Hanen, 1935-2000, was born in Calgary, Alberta to Sam and Lena Hanen. His mother Lena (Smolensky) ran the successful women's clothing stores, the Betty Shops, from 1950 to 1979, and his maternal grandfather, Simon Smolensky, was Calgary's first rabbi. In 1954 and 1955 he studied Liberal Arts at McGill University in Montreal. He apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin North in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Taliesin West, near Scottsdale, Arizona from 1955 to 1957. The experience had a profound and lasting influence on his career and his views on architecture. Hanen married Marsha Pearlman, 1936- , and their first daughter, Amy, was born in 1955. In 1957 they moved to Boston, where he attended the Boston Architectural Centre in the evening. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1961, lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 3 years, then earned his Master's Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston in 1964. His second daughter, Sharon, was born in 1965. In 1966 Hanen returned to Calgary and worked as a city planner, developing the Plus 15 overhead pedestrian walkway systems that link downtown buildings. In 1970 he won the Vincent Massey Award for Merit in Urban Planning for this concept. He also advocated revitalisation and historic restoration of buildings on Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue) Mall. He was fired from the city in 1969 and successfully sued for wrongful dismissal. In 1970 Hanen formed P.A.R.D. (Planning, Architecture, Research and Design) Associates Ltd. and did projects through the firm until 1983 and from the 1980s-2000 through Harold Hanen and Associates and Harold Hanen Architect. In 1975 he became a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design and later was an adjunct professor. In 1978 and 1979, Hanen undertook award-winning renovation projects for Calgary's Clarence block and Lancaster building, both on Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue) Mall. Partnering with Toronto architect Ray Moriyama in 1979-1980, he designed an unrealized Calgary Civic Centre complex. He also did building and planning projects in Canada, the United States and China and private home design and renovation. Beginning in 1985, Hanen was involved in the Winter Cities Association by contributing to and publishing the magazine, attending and presenting at conferences, promoting the organization and eventually becoming president and later chairman of the board until 1996. He embraced concepts of seasonal awareness in architecture and planning independently as well, and undertook a number of projects, writings and proposals based on these theories. A strong advocate for quality of life in Calgary, Hanen was on several committees involving community development, natural and heritage conservation and culture. Hanen and his first wife Marsha divorced in the 1980s and in 1996 he married Maria Eriksen, 1939-2008. For more information see Alberta Originals : Stories of Albertans who made a Difference / Brian Brennan. -- Calgary : Fifth House, 2001 pp. 190-193.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of professional files related to various architectural and planning projects; the Winter Cities Association; the Plus 15 pedestrian walkways and various writings, proposals and studies including a small amount related to the University of Calgary. There are files and drawings for projects related to the development of Calgary, especially downtown, including projects both realized (the Clarence block; Lancaster building and the Plus15 pedestrian walkway system) and unrealized (Calgary Civic Centre and Stephen Square, for which there is an architectural model in the collection). Other architecture projects are varied and include work done in China, Canada, the United States, his own home in Calgary and an extensive amount on the Kleiner residence in Bragg Creek, his last architecture project. There is a large collection of material related to Frank Lloyd Wright and Hanen's Taliesin experiences. Winter Cities Association files include a nearly complete set of publications, conference and workshop material. Harold Hanen developed theories of planning, public space, community development, pedestrian movement and seasonal responsiveness in architecture which were not always realized in built form, but many building, planning, writings and reference files contain reflections on these theories in the form of articles, handwritten notes, photographs, slides and newsclippings. He was also involved in the development of the Plus 15 system and wrote on its history and cultural potential. There is a small amount of personal material including the proceeding from his lawsuit against the City of Calgary. Arranged into fourteen series: Personal and Family; Awards and Recognition; Community Involvement; Frank Lloyd Wright; Writings and Correspondence; Promotional Material; Plus 15 Pedestrian Walkway; Climatic Adaptability and Planning; Winter Cities Association; Building Projects; Planning Projects; Drawings; and Reference Material, including texts, slides and photographs and books.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of Dr. Maria Eriksen, 2002.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)

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