The Federal Building

Building Information:

9820-107th Street NW
10 stories, 36m/120', 17,000 to 22,000 sqft floorplates, 256,000sqft total.

The Federal Building was designed by Edmonton architect George Heath MacDonald in 1939, however it was not built until the late 1950's following World War II. In 1988 the Federal government moved its offices to Canada Place, and the Federal Building has been vacant ever since.

(Source: Real Estate Weekly)

Model Commentary:

I love the Federal Building. It's possibly my favorite building in Edmonton.

My mother worked there when I was young, and so I have a mish-mash of fond half-memories of visiting her there, and of being awed by all the tiny little people and cars ten stories below.

The Federal Building is also something of an underdog because it has been abandoned since 1988. There have been several proposals to revive it over the last two decades, but they have all fallen through. You have to keep hoping though, that one day the right one will come along, and that the building will be revived as something amazing.

Honestly though, the main reason that I love the Federal Building is this:

Is there anything that conveys the concept of blandness better than the three words "Canadian Federal Government?" And yet once upon a time the Federal Government had a building with lightning bolt door handles.

That. Is. Awesome.

The Federal Building is great because it is art deco, and because Edmonton has very few art deco buildings. I can think of only six others - two hospitals, two schools and two theatres. I'm not sure why there are so few, but it is probably because when art deco was at its peak the prairies were at a low point.

As for the model itself, when I made it I still didn't know what I was doing, but I do think that it turned out well. If I were building it today I would do many things differently, but I'm in no rush to "fix" it.

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