2009.06.30 Retro 124 Street

I've mentioned 124 Street before. Its history goes back to the early part of the 20th century, with it really taking off around 1908. In spite of that, and in spite of the fact that it is flanked by neighbourhoods that are very old by Edmonton standards the street itself has very little historic architecture. Just a handful of buildings remain, all basically within a stone's throw from the intersection of the former Edward Street and Athabasca Avenue.

What 124 Street does have a lot of is Modernism, but because these buildings are old without being "historic" they are often overlooked. If they were any other medium though, they would be praised for their quirks as kitsch or vintage, and so here is a quick tour of Retro 124 Street:



2009.06.27 Two Concerts - No Waiting

Jazz in the Park in Louise Mckinney park. Part of the Edmonton International Jazz Festival:

Ongoing entertainment in Churchill Square as pat of The Works Art and Design Festival:

Some miscellany:


Saskatchewan Drive

The Manhattan and Strathcona House

Capital View Tower and Riverwind

Waterford House, Tower on the Hill and Lord Strathcona Manor

Kennedy Towers, Cranleigh Towers, and the Water's Edge

Parkside Towers and One River Park

9929 Saskatchewan Drive and Riverview Manor

My first models on the south side of the river, and from west-to-east this mostly completes the skyline along Saskatchewan Drive.

There are a couple of really nice building along here - notably One River Park and Riverwind. There is also the funky modernism of Kennedy Towers and Capital View Tower, and the cold precision of the Water's Edge.

Too many of these buildings - notably One River Park and Riverwind - make the mistake of thinking that people only want views of the river and that everything else secondary. This is a problem throughout Edmonton resulting in many forgotten north walls, although in the case of Saskatchewan drive it is the south wall that is ignored.

A rail right-of-way runs behind several of these buildings and beyond that is heritage neighbourhood, so while there is no such thing as a guaranteed view the one south from these towers is pretty close. I haven't spent much time on low-low floors, but from 6 or 8 storeys up almost any view will look good, and at 10 or 20 storeys the view out to the distant Alberta horizon can be spectacular. Maybe one day Edmonton will figure that out, but after more than 50 years of high-rise construction it hasn't happened yet.


The Uptown and Grosvenor House

Model and Building information

These could have been bundled in with one of my previous posts of apartment buildings, but I thought the deserved their own post.

The Uptown is - as of this moment - the newest completed condo in central Edmonton. Edmonton didn't see all that much high-rise construction in the recent worldwide real estate boom, but the Uptown is definitely one of the better ones. It's not as flashy as what you would find in other cities, but I think that is partly a reasonable approach given our climate, and partly due to the limitations of what a "high-rise" can be because of the airport.

Grosvenor House is just a supercool artifact from the 1970's. It is located just off the river valley, but if it was half a block south and rotated 90 degrees it would be the building in Edmonton. It's still a great building, although the model doesn't convey that at all, unfortunately:


2009.06.20 A Random Walk