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McLeod Building


Other Names:
McLeod Block

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The McLeod Building is a nine-storey brick and terra cotta building in the Chicago School style on a prominent corner in downtown Edmonton.

Heritage Value
As the only terra cotta-clad building in the city, this massive Chicago School style building is valued for its landmark status, its architecture and its unique decoration, which reflects the height of Edwardian-era architectural influences in Edmonton. Noted as the best local example of its kind, its style reflects a refined neo-classicism that was reinvented at the Chicago World's fair of 1893 and came into popular use in American cities in the early part of the twentieth century. It was designed by J.K. Dow, a Spokane architect who practiced from 1889 - 1937, who was very familiar with the Chicago school of architecture and its stylistic influences.

In its association with the development of Edmonton's downtown, the significance of the McLeod Building was also that it was constructed in a prestigious office location in the heart of Edmonton's commercial core, and this was reflected in both its exterior and interior finishes. Its proximity to the former downtown post office, land titles office, courthouse and city hall attracted doctors, lawyers, insurance and grain companies, and many other prominent tenants.

The McLeod Building is also significant because it represents the culmination of McLeod's success as a construction contractor and real estate speculator. He was one of Edmonton's pioneers, arriving in 1881, and became an alderman and public school trustee. Having achieved financial success, he sought to build Edmonton's greatest commercial structure that would bear his name. The building's prominence remained until the 1960's when new, modern office buildings attracted the city's elite clientele.

Source: City of Edmonton (Bylaw 12564)

Character-Defining Elements
The building's Chicago School style and distinction among other buildings in Edmonton are exemplified by the following elements:

- prominent corner location and orientation toward Edmonton's city hall and plaza;
- form, scale and massing;
- Chicago School style, as exemplified by the tripartite facade articulation, regularly-spaced fenestration consisting of one over one equally divided double-hung windows, ivory terra cotta cladding on the two principal facades and matching glazed brick cladding on the side facades, polychrome friezes and a highly decorated projecting cornice;
- "MCLEOD BVILDING" name band along the east-facing storefront frieze, and "JOHN K. DOW ARCHITECT 1913" inscription above the north-facing storefront cornice.

- terrazzo corridor floors;
- marble corridor wainscots and main lobby ceiling;
- solid oak doors and window trim.


Street Address: 10134 - 100 Street NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Units 1 to 99, Condominium Plan 032 2757
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel


Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.542020 -113.490913 Secondary Source NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2001/05/22

Historical Information

Built: 1913 To 1915
Significant Date(s) 1915 To 1954
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Bank or Stock Exchange
Commerce / Commercial Services : Office or Office Building
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Eating or Drinking Establishment
Residence : Multiple Dwelling
Architect: John K. Dow
Context: Kenneth McLeod, a former Edmonton alderman, contractor and real estate speculator, announced the construction of the McLeod Building in 1912, claiming it would be the highest in the city, 25 feet taller than the Tegler. Construction of the nine-storey structure began in 1913 and was completed in 1915. Twelve hundred tons of steel was required mainly because McLeod ordered footings to be 11 square feet, large enough for a 50-storey building. It was also the first building in Edmonton to be wired with conduit. The contractors of the $600,000 building were Olsen and Johnson, and the steel contractors were McPhee and Nicodemus. With the Polson Building in Spokane, Washington as the model, McLeod commissioned the architect, John K. Dow to build a duplicate in Edmonton

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0109
Designation File:
Related Listing(s): 4665-0521
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/planning_development/historic-resources.aspx
Data Source: City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department, 10250 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4 (Digital File: 990375 )
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