Calgary Tower’s construction crew marks building’s 50th anniversary

Click to play video: 'Calgary Tower celebrates 50th anniversary' Calgary Tower celebrates 50th anniversary
The Calgary Tower marked its 50th anniversary on Wednesday with a sky high celebration. Sarah Offin reports – Jun 27, 2018

About a dozen men that helped bring the Calgary Tower — known then as Husky Tower — to fruition 50 years ago met at the top of the iconic landmark Wednesday morning.

The group of construction workers, most of them in the 80s, joined dignitaries, CEOs and top city officials to mark the anniversary of the tower’s completion back in 1968.

Ray Degagne, for example, lead Burnco’s team, who supplied the concrete for the massive $3.5-million undertaking.

READ MORE: CN Tower unveils its biggest renovation for 42nd birthday

The walls of the tower were constructed in one continual pour – called slipforming – that lasted 24 days.

“It was 24 hours a day. It never stopped… until it was at the top,” recalled Degagne.

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“It was something new, of course, for Calgary. There were very few jobs that were slipformed like this tower. It was more common in chimneys in coal-fired plants.”

Joseph Gruber, meanwhile, was a crane operator for the project. He mostly worked on the top deck and did the last couple of concrete pours. At that time, it was the tallest structure west of Toronto.

“There was one guy that I took up in the man basket and as soon as I got up about 10 feet in the basket, he was so scared, he laid down in the basket. So I brought him back down,” Gruber said.

While the 191-metre high view didn’t bother him much, he admitted: “You were more careful up here than you were walking on the sidewalk, eh?”

The Calgary Tower will host a 60s drive-in themed block party on Saturday, June 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to mark the anniversary. Admission to the tower will be 50 per cent off all day.

WATCH: City of Calgary archivist Bryan Bance joins Global News Morning Calgary with details on how the Calgary Tower came to be.

Click to play video: 'How the Calgary Tower came to be' How the Calgary Tower came to be
How the Calgary Tower came to be – Jun 25, 2018

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