Oliver’s West End Telephone Exchange building receives heritage designation
A 106-year-old Edwardian-style building in Edmonton’s Oliver neighbourhood now has assurances its character will be preserved and protected after receiving a heritage designation.
On Tuesday, Edmonton city councillors designated the West End Telephone Exchange building as a Municipal Heritage Resource.
The building, located at 12019A 102 Avenue, was designed by Alberta architect Allan Merrick Jeffers, whose career included early 20th-century stints as Alberta’s provincial architect and Edmonton’s city architect.
Jeffers also designed the Alberta legislature, Athabasca Hall at the University of Alberta and Government House in Edmonton.
“Typical of Edwardian-style architecture, the building has modest ornamentation and strong symmetry,” the city said in a news release. “Other distinctive features include the raised parapet at the north gable, the multi-paned semicircular attic window.”
The West End Telephone Exchange building was one of two Edmonton-area buildings constructed in 1912 to help meet the needs of Edmonton’s growing population.
“These exchanges housed some of the first automatic switching stations in Canada, a major technological advancement over the standard manual switching systems,” the city said.
Beljan Development is turning the building into what it calls “a collaborative mixed-use office, retail and workshop hub for inter-business activity and commerce in the heart of Oliver,” called Oliver Exchange.
Edmonton’s Historic Resource Management Plan is aimed at identifying, protecting and promoting the preservation of historic resources.
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