Some Edmontonians are worried about the fate of a unique apartment building that’s more than 80 years old.
“El Mirador… is one of a kind,” resident Stephanie Pierce said.
The El Mirador is located just north of Jasper Avenue, on 108 Street. The three-storey building has a Spanish influence not seen in other structures in the city. It has clay tile accents and a white-washed exterior.
“It’s kind of like a hidden gem… in the middle of downtown,” resident Zulfikar Kaba explained.
“It’s very different than everything else.”
However, the land is going through rezoning, leading to concerns about what might be lost.
“It is an interesting building and we’ve owned it for a really long time,” developer John Day said. “We’ve taken pretty good care of it for a long time and we appreciate the architecture and the design, but we also appreciate that it’s an extremely old building.”
The proposal covers two sites. The first site is the El Mirador and the small brick Rochester Apartments building. The second is located on Jasper Avenue, and is where the first stage of redevelopment will be focused.
“With the owners’ plans to phase the development, the El Mirador is not going anywhere for a long time,” Day said.
Still, residents want to bring attention to the unique history the building offers our young city.
“That’s why I think it’s important to maybe pay attention and acknowledge the historic buildings that we do have,” Pierce said.
She and Kaba will host a public awareness event on March 28 to bring attention to the issue.
“When people start talking about it or start to learn about it more, it might change people’s minds that, ‘hey, people live there, they enjoy it and it’s an important part of Edmonton,'” Kaba said.
Still, the developer is offering some reassurance.
“We’re looking at different alternatives with how to respect the history of it,” Day said. “Maybe we can keep a piece of the Rochester or the El Mirador. We’ve talked to the city a bit about that.”
Day is also the developer working on the Kelly Ramsey Building project. He is known for his preservation work.
The El Mirador does not have historic designation, but is on the city’s Historic Inventory List. The Rochester Apartments building is not.
With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News