Jackson House reborn

It’s not haunted, but the Jackson House is said to be watched-over by its famous late owner.

It’s not haunted, but the Jackson House is said to be watched-over by its famous late owner.

Billy Cowsill of the Partridge Family-inspiring group The Cowsills, was only one of the many who once lived in this turn-of-the-century home.

“I think he keeps an eye on things,” said architect and current homeowner Shawn Burstyn.

Nominated for a Lion Award in the category of Building Restoration, the Jackson House has been rebuilt to reflect the original structure while integrating modern comfort.

Burstyn was inspired to restore the home after noticing its interesting architecture and central location just off 17th Avenue.

“I was always drawn towards it and the timing was right, so away we went,” he said.

The outer red-brick walls and inside staircase are the only remaining parts of the house. “We started from scratch,” said Burstyn. “We sucked the guts right out.”

Old photographs and archives provided the only blueprint for the historic home, and pieces of the former décor were included in the new home.

“But we really were feeling our way through the dark,” said Burstyn.

The biannual Lion Awards recognizes heritage conservation efforts of Calgarians at any scale.

Not limited to restorations, the award also recognizes community revitalization initiatives.

“We want people to get out in their communities, walk through and see the heritage,” said city heritage planner David Plouffe.

“The key is to bring pride to these homes and neighbourhoods. When people see (the restorations) they might consider fixing up their homes.”

The Jackson House restoration has been met with great support from the neighborhood, said Burstyn.

“Not a day goes by without people stopping to say thanks,” he said.

 
 
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