Let me take you back to the Edmonton of the early 1950s, a city on the brink of the future.
It was just a few years after the Leduc No. 1 oil strike of 1947. Edmonton was in the grip of a boom, filling up with postwar immigrant and refugees streaming into Alberta, looking for a new life.
Between 1946 and 1953, Edmonton’s population exploded, growing almost 60 per cent. It was a time the city felt bold, creative, ready to take a risk on modernity.
And so, in 1951, Alberta Government Telephones commissioned a remarkable new building as its headquarters: sleek, futuristic, avant-garde.
Designed by H.W.R. (Hugh) MacMillan for the Edmonton firm of Rule Wynn and Rule, it was the first curtain-wall building in the city, and one of the first in Western Canada.
The former AGT Building was radically avant-garde, when it opened in 1953. Now it needs a new vision. KIRSTEN HOFBAUER / EDMONTON JOURNAL
The structurally independent exteriors walls were made of green Aklo glass, set between plate glass windows. It was also the first building in Alberta that was built upon poured concrete pilings instead of structural steel — though that was less a design choice than a necessity of postwar steel shortages.
Full Story (Edmonton Journal)