A number of pieces of Edmonton’s past are back on full display along 124 Street.
A new apartment building called The MacLaren is now housed on the prominent 102 Avenue corner. The building incorporates numerous features from the former Buena Vista building which was previously there, dating back to 1912.
“I knew that it was going to be a tough slog at the beginning of this project,” said Henry Edgar with Edgar Development.
The company bought the site in 2013.
“That old building was tired. It had a lot of deferred maintenance,” Edgar explained.
Understanding community concerns about preserving history, the developer took multiple steps to incorporate as much of the facade of the old building in the new one.
A heritage consultant was brought in by the developer and elements for preservation were taken down and cataloged, including iron works, bricks and the restoration of the ghost signs.
“I think the rebuild has been done well,” said David Ridley, executive director with the Edmonton Heritage Council.
“Heritage preservation and the re-use of buildings is never a clear,” said Ridley, adding a re-creation can be a “different experience than the building that was there.”
The preservation work added about $900,000 in additional development expenses.
There was a small $5,000 grant from the city.
“We really took a lot of care and time to ensure that what we built looked natural,” Edgar said, “and looked like it belonged in the neighborhood.”