MacLean Block

The decorative brickwork on this building is some of the most elaborate in Edmonton.

The MacLean Block, on the northwest corner of 107 Street and Jasper Avenue, was designed by James E. Wize and constructed in 1909 by Pheasey & Batson for physician and surgeon Dr. J. D. MacLean. At the time it was the westernmost commercial building  in Edmonton.

The three-storey building cost $35,000 to construct and was designed with retail stores at the ground level, offices on the second floor, and "rooming apartments" on the third floor. Built of brick and trimmed with precast concrete and rusticated stone, the MacLean Block is an excellent example of Edwardian-era commercial style in Edmonton. Key components of the building's architecture include its flat roof, a simple wood cantileverd cornice supported by paired brackets at the roof's edge, dentil courses, brick arches with rusticated keystones on the main and third storeys, stone sill and lintel courses, stone string courses, and ashlar masonry and rusticated stone at the east entrances. The brick parapet steps up above the cornice at the corners of the building as well as in the middle of the north façade, where the date stone is located.

The most distinctive feature of the building is its elaborate brickwork, which includes detailing outlining the arches on the main-and third-storey windows, brick pilasters with projecting brick courses separating windows on the second and third storeys, corbelling below the third storey windows, and a complex herringbone pattern on the spandrels separating the second- and third-storey windows.

The building changed hands several times over the years and its condition had deteriorated considerably by the mid-1970s, when it was being used as a rooming house with "barely livable" conditions, according to an Edmonton Journal article at the time. It was purchased by Doan Development Corporation, which restored the exterior and completely renovated the interior in 1977. The corporation was recognized in 1983 by the Edmonton Historical Board for their restoration work on the building.

Details

Type

Commercial

Designation Status

Municipal Historic Inventory

Neighbourhood

Downtown

Year Built

1909

Architectural Styles

Edwardian

Character Defining Elements

Arched entrance , Brick structure , Corbelling , Cornice , Date stone , Decorative brick , Dentil , Flat roof , Keystone , Pilaster , Precast concrete structure , Rectangular footprint , Rusticated stone , Stepped parapet , String course , Three storeys or more

Gallery

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