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Key Number: HS 28839
Site Name: Richards Block
Other Names:
Site Type: 0400 - Mercantile/Commercial: General and Mixed Use Commercial

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 24 4


Address: 10422-10424 - 82 Avenue
Number: 22-24
Street: 104
Avenue: 82
Other:
Town: Edmonton
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style: Classical Revival
Plan Shape: Rectangular Short Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 3
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Brick
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Row, Non-Related, End
Wings: Rear
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 2 Bays
Wall Design and Detail: Plain Panel
Wall Design and Detail: Entablature
Wall Design and Detail: Plain Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Decorative Brick
Wall Design and Detail: Balcony
Plain Eaves
Roof Trim - Verges: Not Applicable
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Right
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: None
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Segmental
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Voussoirs
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Brick
Window - Sill Type: Plain Lug Sill
Window - Sill Material: Stone
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Window - Special Types: None
Main Entrance - Location: 2 or More (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Metal
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: None
Main Stairs - Direction: None
Main Porch - Type: Recess
Main Porch - Special Features: None
Main Porch - Height: First Storey
Exterior: The foundation walls are approximately two feet thick and very solid.
Raised parapet, cornice with brackets, regular fences tration; 3 bay facade, lintels, raised brick in the plaster strips and quoins.
Interior: Pressed tin ceiling, stairwell with wood spindle railing. Original hand carved bannister on upper stairwell one storey brick flat roofed addition at back - possibly original.
Environment:
Condition:
Alterations:

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started
1910/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
2nd floor - dance hall
3rd fl.- Lodge Rooms for the Masons, Oddfellows
General store.
2 & 3 floor converted to apartments.
Mercantile/Commercial: Specialty Store or Shop


1910/01/01
1937/01/01
1971/06/22
Owner: Owner Date:
Joseph McDonald
WM. J.G. Dickson
John Jaskson
Arthur H. & Thos. Richard
A.H. Richards and Co.
Alex C. Rutherford
Lucy M. Hall
Samuel Wensel
Frederic Algar
Est. of F. Algar
Stephan Sinoski
Donald Fossum and Anne Fossum
1891/10/03
1893/03/28
1899/10/28
1904/10/19
1910/01/01
1925/11/03
1945/12/11
1946/06/04
1947/02/14
1965/10/26
1967/03/29
1974/08/20
Architect: N/A
Builder: Wolfe
Craftsman: Wolfe
History: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE: Completed in 1910, the Richards Block was built by A.E. Richards and Co., an early Strathcona merchant. The ground floor was used as a general store, the second floor as a dance hall, and the third floor as Lodge Rooms for the Masons and Oddfellows. In 1925, the property was purchased by A.C. Rutherford, who owned it until 1945. During 1937-38 the second and third floors were converted into twelve apartments.
The most significant heritage feature at the present time is its brick exterior, which is compatible with the concept and style of the Old Strathcona Conservation Area.
1909 - Plans prepared for building. Formal opening on March 12, 1910.
Original cost $ 30,000.
1957-58 Renovation to roof, wiring, piping, boiler room.
1971: David Sears Furniture; 1975: Knit and Stretch Fabrics.
Shown as a general store.
Present Owner: Donald Anne Fossum.
Registered Historic site.
* * * * Built in 1910 at a cost of $30,000 by A.H. Richards and Company, one of the early merchants of Strathcona as a general store and dance hall. The ground floor was used as the general store, the second floor as a dance hall and the third floor as Lodge Rooms for the Masons and Odd Fellows. In 1937-38 the second and third floor were converted into twelve apartments while renovations to the roof, wiring, piping, and boiler room were undertaken in 1957-58. The building is in generally good condition. It is currently used as a fabric shop, two offices, and ten apartments. Foundations walls are very solid being approximately two feet thick at the base. The exterior is of brick construction in solid condition while the interior also appears to be in good condition. A decorative feature is the original hand carved bannister at the upper stairwell.
* * * First occupant appearing in Henderson's Directory is the Richards Block.
Built for local merchant A.E. Richards at a cost of $30,000; it contained the Richards General store, a dance hall and Lodge Rooms for the masons and Odd Fellows.
* * * The official opening of the A.H. Richards and Company general store on March 12, 1910 was conducted with style. Special discounts were offered on all intems in the store, and an orchestra was in attendance for much of the day. The store, located on the ground floor of the Richards Block, sold a wide range of goods, including clothing, household items, and groceries. Originally, the upper floors housed offices and meeting rooms, but after 1925 these were converted to apartments.
The Richards family had come to Strathcona in 1893 and were among its earliest merchants. A.H. Richards served as a town councillor in 1906 and his son Thomas was, for some time, Strathcona's only contractor.
It is a measure of their success in the community that they could construct such a substantial building at the then considerable cost of $30,000. Small wonder they put on such a show for its opening.
The Richards Block is very solidly built; the foundation walls being two feet thick and the superstructure containing steel reinforcement.
Classical details embellish the facade and give it a distinguished appearance. The ground level was originally faced in regularly coursed, rusticated sandstone with decorative urns in the same material placed at each end. The two upper floors are finished with brick which has been laid to imitate coursed stone. Four pilasters included in the fancy brickwork pierce through a wide cornice to reach the top of the height-enhancing parapet. Taken together these details create a pleasing, balanced effect typical of Edwardian commerical buildings. The Richards Block was designated a Registered Historic Resource in 1976.
* * * PRESENT CONDITION: Generally good condition - foundation, walls are approximately two feet thick and very solid. The front red brick facade has been replaced on the ground floor by a light-colored facing which is incompatible with the upper part of the facade.
ARCHITECTURE/STRUCTURE CONTENTS: Brick exterior. The brick facade has been replaced by a modern facing on the main floor of the front of the building. The second and third floors maintain many of the original features (although none outstanding) dating from the 1937-38 conversion to apartments.
HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE: Built by A.E. Richards and Co., early Strathcona merchants. The main floor was used as a general store, the second floor as a dance hall, and the third floor contained Lodge Rooms for the Masons and Oddfellows. From 1925 until 1945 the property was owned by A.C. Rutherford, Alberta's first Premier.
SITE ENVIRONMENT: Located on Whyte Avenue, within the boundaries of the Old Strathcona Conservation Area. The building is, therefore, compatible with the propo historical conservation environment of Old Strathcona.
CONDITION OF SITE: Generally in good condition. The foundation walls are approximately two feet thick and very solid. The interior of the main floor has been modernized to serve the functions of a fabric retail store, while the second and third floors are apparently much the same as they have been since being converted to apartments in 1937-1938. The brick facing on the front of the building has been replaced with a modern incompatible material at the main floor level only.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active
Active

1993/09/28
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal B List
Registered Historic Resource

1976/07/14
Register: B197
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/06/09

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0466
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