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History Lesson - South Edmonton Post Office
Saturday December 27 , 2014
The South Edmonton Post Office building is also known as the Strathcona Public Building. It was constructed within the urban growth and building boom of 1905 to 1913. Actually constructed between 1911 and 1913, the architecture is an example of the classically inspired Edwardian classical free style supported by a steel framed structure, faced with red brick and limestone. This was a departure from the previously favored Romanesque Revival style often used for post offices. The building's designer, David Ewart, was, at the time, Chief Architect for the Canadian Department of Public Works.
Covering three lots, this two storey building has an impressive facade divided into five bays with the front corner bays forming a striking stone clad clock tower. The original tower was thought too short and was replaced between 1914 and 1915 by one that was ten feet taller. It houses the original four-faced English clock made in Derby, England topped with a seam sheet metal roof and finial.
The building was initially used as a post office and general federal government building and you can still see several original frieze inscribed signs, Post Office, A.D. 1991 and Customs on the east side of the building. In 1985 the building was listed as a Provincial Historic Resource of Alberta. The middle floor of the building became the location of the Chianti Cafe & Restaurant in the early 1990's and in 2010 the top floor became home to The Billiard Club, a pool hall and the basement turned into Squires Pub.
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