The Stovel Block, an Edwardian-style commercial building in The Quarters neighbourhood of downtown Edmonton, has been designated as a Municipal Historic Resource.
The brick building, currently undergoing a restoration, was named after its original owners who were active in the city’s burgeoning commercial industry in the early 1900s. James Stovel was one of the first hardware merchants in Edmonton and his wife Mary Stovel supervised the construction of the Stovel Block.
The Stovel Block was constructed in 1912 as two separate structures and housed various local businesses. The three-storey main building is located on the corner of 97 Street and 103A Avenue. The annex building to the south is two storeys.
“The Stovel Block is a somewhat rare example of commercial architecture in the Edwardian style in the The Quarters/Downtown,” said David Johnston, principal heritage planner with the City of Edmonton. “It’s tied to the early entrepreneurs who made their mark on Edmonton in the early 20th Century. The building has been an important part of The Quarters neighbourhood for over 100 years.”
The Stovel Block has a flat roof with a shallow parapet that originally had decorative brick dentilation and a matching arched pediment, most of which has been replaced by concrete. Building restoration is set to be completed in the last quarter of 2019 and will reintroduce these elements. The building’s original metal fire escape has been removed and replaced with small balconettes. A ghost Army and Navy sign is featured on the east elevation.
The Heritage Resources Reserve will provide a grant of $645,792 to assist in the rehabilitation of the historic elements of the building. The overall cost of the renovation totals about $1,356,000.
The City’s Historic Resource Management Plan outlines the City’s mission to identify, protect and promote the preservation and use of historic resources. The Plan contains 24 policies and 88 action items that direct how Edmonton’s heritage should be preserved and celebrated. Since the plan was initiated in 1985, 158 properties have been designated as legally-protected Municipal Historic Resources with more designations planned in the future.