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Historic Deane House closes for 2019 after extensive water damage

Failure of a sprinkler valve at Calgary’s Deane House has forced the building’s closure due to extensive water damage throughout the historic home. 

A sprinkler valve located in the attic failed on Sept. 8 as staff were closing for the evening. As a result, all four floors of the home flooded, impacting the dining, kitchen, mechanical and storage areas. 

“I think there were a few people left enjoying the evening. The sprinkler head in the kitchen activated and as a life saving system, it did what it was supposed to do,” said Sal Howell, Deane House proprietor.

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“It detected some heat build up but there wasn’t a fire. But if there was, after the fact, perhaps something that would lead us to believe that there might have been a fire, if that was all that had happened, we would have been open for lunch.”

Deane House has been on a number of Calgary’s best restaurant and event venues list throughout the years. Now, repairs are underway and the restaurant will be closed for the rest of the year. 

Not the first time dealing with water damage: Howell

This isn’t the first time Howell has had to deal with water damage. During the 2013 floods, River Cafe, which Howell also founded, experienced extensive water damage. 

That prior experience is helping Howell figure out what needs to get done for them to be back up and running.

Meanwhile, a number of weddings scheduled to take place at the Deane House are looking for new venues.  Howell said she’s working with guests on alternatives – like the River Cafe. 

“We were busy that first week moving along with the emergency response to the site. There’s always lots to do. And our first thought was to everybody on our team and everybody who we had commitments to our guests on reservations,” Howell said,

“Everybody has sent us such kind words of support. So that that part is, and has always been present. In all of these instances, I think everybody really identifies with with unexpected disasters.”

A historic landmark, Deane House was originally built in 1906 for a captain of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. Redevelopment of the Deane House garden, grounds and historic house was completed by Fort Calgary Preservation Society in 2015. The restaurant interiors, kitchens and garden patio were also redesigned and renovated in 2016 under Howell.