Edmonton's historic El Mirador apartments, built in 1935, and expanded upon in 1953, will soon face demolition in order to make way for an ambitious two-tower proposal by Pangman Development Corp. Known for now simply as "Jasper & 108," the residential mega-project will force the complete removal of what has long been celebrated as one of Edmonton's most architecturally unique structures. 

El Mirador Apartments, looking north on 108th St, c. 1980s, image via the City of Edmonton Archives

Spanish for "The Lookout," the El Mirador, along with its adjacent Patricia Annex, has been a downtown fixture for nearly a century. Distinctive in its white stucco exterior, capped in red terra cotta tiles, and outfitted with stylistically Spanish Mission-esque window openings and doorways, Edmonton's "Casita on the Prairie" has served the city well. 

El Mirador (left), courtyard (centre), and Patricia Annex (right), image via Google Maps

It is thus with a heavy heart for the significant loss of heritage and local history that the El Mirador's imminent destruction represents, that this editor, along with countless heritage enthusiasts across the city, bids farewell to a truly one of a kind structure. 

El Mirador Apartments as viewed today, image via Google Maps

For while one may rightly point to the dilapidated state of the block, and to the shining beacon of progress and urban renewal that will come in its wake, the fact remains that there is no turning back once a city begins to abandon its architectural past. 

Sad to see it go? Glad for change? Share your memories and views on the El Mirador's upcoming date with the wrecker's ball in the comments section below!

Related Companies:  DIALOG, Hariri Pontarini Architects, John Day Developments, Maclab Development Group, Pangman Development Corp.