Pieces of Edmonton’s history are up for sale.
A local business that buys and sells used building materials is offering the historic sandstone artifacts from a building that was demolished four decades ago.
“We have managed to acquire them from the City of Edmonton archives — so they’ve been archived for 40 years,” Home Reusables owner Sherry Galan said.
Once upon a time, the pieces were part of the old Tegler Building in the downtown core.
It was built in 1912 and, at the time, was the tallest structure in Edmonton.
Once an eight-storey addition was built, it was the tallest commercial building in western Canada.
The Tegler building was demolished in 1982 and its demise was not without controversy.
“It was a historical building and a lot of people didn’t want to see the building go down,” Galan explained.
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The Bank of Montreal bought the building in 1978 with the goal to level it.
“At that time, the city considered intervening to prevent the demolition, going as far, I understand, to designate and legally protect the building from demolition, but ultimately decided to rescind that designation in 1982, and ultimately allow for the demolition,” explained Scott Ashe, the principal heritage planner for the City of Edmonton.
“This was a watershed moment for Edmonton as it relates to built heritage management.”
Ashe said losing the Tegler building was tragic but some positives did come out of it.
“It resulted in the city developing a heritage management program in which we now have 170 legally protected designated buildings in the city and we’re adding to that every year,” Ashe said.
As for the the artifacts, there are more than 100 pieces available to buy.
“Own a piece of Edmonton’s history and have a connection to Edmonton’s past,” Ashe said.
Galan looks forward to seeing these pieces find a new purpose.
“We are real proponents of reusing materials already made.
“There’s so much history in these. If they could talk to you, it would be super cool,” she said.
“If you can acquire or preserve some of the materials and use them elsewhere, it really just perpetuates the reuse value of them, the historic value of them.”