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Ravina Apartments / McIntosh Residence

Edmonton

Other Names:
John McIntosh Residence
McIntosh Apartments
McIntosh Mansion/Ravina Apartments
Ravina Apartments

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The McIntosh Residence is a two and one half-storey building situated on a portion of two lots overlooking Groat Ravine in Edmonton's Westmount neighbourhood. Built in 1912, the red-brick home is an eclectic construction featuring robust square massing, a projecting entrance covered by a gable roof, and an irregular roofline with cross gables, dormers, and chimneys.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the McIntosh Residence lies in its association with Edmonton's pre-World War One building boom and in its eclectic architecture.

Born in Ontario in 1880, John R. McIntosh travelled west as a young man to seek his fortune. After working in the United States for a couple of years, McIntosh crossed the border and arrived in Edmonton in 1902. He held a number of positions in his adopted home before establishing in 1907 a general real estate and brokerage firm. Between the foundation of his firm and the onset of World War One, Edmonton experienced a massive housing boom, as an expanding economy attracted a crush of new citizens to the city. McIntosh was among the most successful real estate entrepreneurs in Edmonton and was a vital force in shaping the development of many of the city's new residential areas.

In 1911, McIntosh purchased a parcel of land situated within the Groat Estates area of Edmonton. The neighbourhood was among the most prestigious in the city at the time, home to several of the city's pre-eminent citizens. It was only natural that McIntosh commissioned prolific and well-respected Edmonton architect A. M. Calderon to design a stately residence suitable for such a distinguished environment. Calderon's design of the red-brick building is architecturally eclectic, with a rich variety of forms and details adorning its exterior, including a projecting front entrance covered by a gable roof, a half-round window on the front facade, and masonry corbelling, pilasters, and stringcourses. Perhaps the most conspicuous feature of the home is its irregular roofline composed of a hipped roof with dormers and cross gables. Situated in an exclusive neighbourhood overlooking the Groat Ravine and embodying a lively architectural vision, the McIntosh Residence served to both luxuriously house its owner and his family as well as project the social prominence and aesthetic sensibility of Mr. McIntosh.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 922)


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the McIntosh Residence include such features as:
- location and sightlines to Groat Ravine;
- mass, form, and scale;
- red-brick construction, including masonry details like corbelling, arches, stringcourses, pilasters, and other decorative elements;
- cast concrete sills;
- hipped roof with mansard and gable dormers and corbelled chimneys;
- splayed eaves in cross gables and side elevation bay;
- cedar-shingling in dormers;
- back porch and enclosed second storey balcony covered by gable roof;
- projecting, gabled entrance supported by simple square columns and featuring a visible barrel ceiling;
- fenestration pattern and style, including half-round window on front facade;
- original interior features, including flooring, trim, mouldings, wainscot, doors, staircases, brick fireplaces, brass light fixtures, fittings, and skylight.


Location



Street Address: 10325 Villa Avenue
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 6 and a Portion of Lot 5, Block A, Plan RN22B
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
24
53
53
53
53
53
53
53
53
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
03
04
05
06
11
12
13
14

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
RN22 B
RN22 B
A
A
6
5



Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.545452 -113.539988 Secondary Source NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1982/08/26

Historical Information

Built: 1912/01/01 To 1912/01/01
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Residence : Multiple Dwelling
Residence : Single Dwelling
Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Architect: Alfred M. Calderon
Builder:
Context: HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:

John R. McIntosh moved from Colorado to Edmonton in 1902 and held various positions such as clerk, bookkeeper, investor and real estate developer. He purchased two lots overlooking Groat Ravine in 1911. In 1912 he engaged A.M. Calderon, a local architect, to design a large residence for him to front on Villa Avenue. The structure contained some fifteen rooms and approximately 2,000 square feet. Its size and location befitted the community of land/real estate speculators that played such a large role in the physical development of the city prior to World War One.

The building remained in use as a private residence until 1920, when McIntosh had it converted into a revenue property, calling it the Ravina Apartments. The structure continued in this capacity until 1980 when it was purchased by the McPherson family. It was subsequently renovated and returned to use as a private residence.


ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE:

The designer of the McIntosh Residence, A.M. Calderon, was one of Edmonton's most prominent and prolific architects during the boom of 1908 to 1914. The McIntosh Residence is one of a series of luxurious homes that made this area one of Edmonton's most desirable residential enclaves. Calderon designed the house in an appropriately large and well-detailed manner and the result is a large, square, handsome red brick house constructed by local craftsmen of local materials. It remains as one of the larger and, architecturally, more interesting buildings in the Villa Avenue area.

Site Data Form (December 1981)

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0519
Designation File: DES 0922
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 16196
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 922)
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