Glenora Substation- Station 650

Located on Stony Plain Road, this substation is a prominent landmark in Glenora.

Designed by City Architect R. F. Duke, the Glenora Substation was constructed in 1956. The International style as seen in this building was used as a way to reject the more typical blockhouse design seen in local power stations. The most striking aspect of the Glenora Substation was the use of large plate glass windows, which allowed passersby an unobstructed view of the building’s interior. Unfortunately, while the plate glass surrounding the workroom still remains, it has since been covered, eliminating the visibility of the power equipment. Other International elements of the building include the overhanging flat roof and the cantilevered first floor, which hangs out over the brick clad foundation.

Not everyone was a fan of the new design. In May, 1957 the Mayor and City Council received a strongly worded letter from the Edmonton Property Owners’ Association, decrying the extravagance of the design and material used in the construction, particularly the use of plate glass, “fancy brick”, and terrazzo floors. The group felt that the building could have been constructed for much less money had they used concrete blocks, and regular poured concrete flooring. The Electric Light and Power Department responded by saying that although the exterior materials were in fact slightly more expensive, the cost would be recouped over time since glass and brick do not require regular painting. Furthermore, the Glenora Substation was the only one in the city to use plate glass and terrazzo floors, a design choice that reflected its intended use as a show room for domestic appliances, as well as an electrical substation. While this dual use may seem strange today, at the time the City installed hundreds of electric stoves each year, and was often called when citizens had issues with their appliances.

Details

Type

Commercial

Designation Status

Municipal Historic Inventory

Neighbourhood

Glenora

Year Built

1956

Architectural Styles

International

Character Defining Elements

One storey , Flat roof , Irregular footprint , Metal structure , Brick cladding , Cantilever projections

Gallery

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