Edmonton – Historic buildings
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  Posted November 16th, 2016 by Zdenko  in Edmonton | 3 comments

Edmonton heritage

Source: C2E Forum

As promised long time ago, here’s round 3 of Edmonton’s downtown core and area.
Thanks to Sonic Death Monkey and Green Grovenor, I have been made aware of another source of historical information: Lawrence Herzog’s collection of ‘It’s Our Heritage’ columns which are available online.  

Edmonton Historic Building Tour – Downtown Core
The majority of surviving heritage structures were born at about the same time as Edmonton itself. This means that most have just reached, or are about to reach their centenary soon. As you may notice from the following photos, the building material of choice in those days was plain red brick, however, there are a few structures which incorporate larger masonry blocks in whole or in part.

Kelly-Ramsey Block
Address: 10040 and 10048 101A Ave.
Year: 1915 and 1927
The Kelly-Ramsey Block is actually two buildings, the 1915 Kelly Building and the 1927 Ramsey Building. Seems originally the Ramsey was supposed to look just like the Kelly, and make the two indistinguishable. Clearly this wasn’t realized. Originally holding WCB offices, both buildings hold artist studios, offices, and retail/service establishments at ground level. The Ramsey Building in particular holds several restaurants and lounges. Sadly, on March 24 a fire was deliberately set in the Kelly building. Hopefully the building will be rehabilitated soon, as Edmonton residents do not want to see another debacle like The Arlington. 


The Kelly-Ramsey block has been sitting vacant and derelict ever since it was damaged in an arson fire last March.
  Ramsey Building

Kelly Building fire damage

The Kelly-Ramsey block has been sitting vacant and derelict ever since it was damaged in an arson fire last March.
Ramsey Building

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Address: 10120? Jasper Ave.
Year: 1929
 Opened just a few months before the stock market crash that led to the great depression, this building is another great example of classical detailing. The building sits on the northwest corner of Jasper Ave. and 101 Street, which puts it at the very epicenter of Edmonton itself. Around 1994 talk began about replacing the aging structure with a modern design, but fortunately, CIBC put up over eight million dollars to give the building a second life.
Alberta College and Conservatory of Music
Address: 10000 block 101 Street.
Year: 1903
This portion of the entry facade is all that’s left of the original building. Alberta College predates the city, and indeed the province, and is the oldest post-secondary school still operating in the province. The new building, built in the 1980s, has a MacDonald Drive address, and can be seen in the background.

McDougall United Church
Address: 100086 101 Street.
Year: 1910

The namesake of Methodist Reverend George McDougall, this is the third such ‘McDougall Church’, as the congregation quickly outgrew the first two churches. This space was the first home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Edmonton Opera Company. The church holds small, intimate concerts to this day, as well as the usual Sunday services.


The Old Citadel
Address: 10030 102 Street.
Year: 1925 
Built for the Salvation Army, and later occupied by a live theatre troupe who took the name from the building. After the Citadel Theatre moved to its new digs, the building housed a series of live music vanues and bars: The Bronx, The Rev, Lush, and now The Starlite Room. Music afficionados may be interested to know that Nirvana once performed here for about 20 warm bodies in the early 1990s before they broke big. No, I wasn’t there (still a minor at the time), but my brother still has a ticket stub. He tells me that he and his friends payed the $7 cover because they wanted to drink there. 
Freemasons’ Hall
Address: 10318 100 Avenue.
Year: 1931 
One of the few gothic inspired buildings in Edmonton, this was to be a functional and inspirational structure for the Masonic Order. The brick and stone is local product. The building holds an auditorium, kitchen, banquet room, offices, and lodge rooms. 

Gariepy House
Address: 9947 104 Street.
Year: 1902

Joseph Gariepy moved to Edmonton from Montreal in 1893 and made his fortune in retail and real estate. He served a short time as alderman and school board trustee. He built and lived in this house from 1902 til 1923. In 1926 a large east wing called Rosary Hall was constructed and the building was used as a convent.

 Closeup of turret
  McKay Avenue School
Address: 10425 99 Avenue.
Year: 1904

Note to stone carvers: Double check your spelling. The man and road this school was named for was William MacKay. Attempts to correct the mistake have been disallowed for heritage reasons. This is Edmonton’s oldest remaining brick school, and now houses the Edmonton Public School’s museum and archives. A visit inside is recommended, there are classrooms done up in period detail for several different decades. The top floor also has period detail for the first Alberta Legislative Assembly, which took place here from 1905-07 while the Legislature Building (To be featured later) was under construction.

   I hope you liked this round of pictures taken in Edmonton’s downtown core and surrounding area. One more tour is forthcoming very soon…

Have a good and healthy year. 

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