It was only May 1st, in this year of early spring (and even earlier summer-like weather), but there was already a bit of activity on the North Saskatchewan River in central Edmonton on a lovely Sunday afternoon:
Last Saturday, my wanderings took me into Old Strathcona and by the Yardbird Suite. There in front of the iconic jazz venue is a statue commemorating the legendary blues singer Big Miller. I’ve seen the statue from a distance many times but finally decided to check it out up close:
The wonderfully emotive statue, created by world class Edmonton sculptor Danek Mozdzenski is BIG – but just a big head and big hand!
Miller was born in Sioux City, Iowa but settled in Edmonton in the early 70’s and lived here until his death in 1992. The statue was unveiled in September 2009.
The Muttart Conservatory with its 4 striking glass pyramids is one of my favorite Edmonton landmarks. It is wonderful to be inside the pyramids, each of which is a greenhouse featuring a different eco-system. I don’t get inside as often as I would like but I still enjoy the pyramids from the outside. They frequently appear in my photos of the river valley. Here are a few recent (April 2016) images:
Three in Formation
Muttart greenhouse (foreground) where plants are prepped for show and sale.
In recent posts I’ve featured images of various parts of downtown Edmonton – Jasper Avenue, Churchill Square, the convention center and Canada Place, all with their own beauty and architectural beauty.
In this post, we will look at another side of Edmonton, another part of downtown Jasper Avenue. This part is much less modern, classy and comfortable, but perhaps with a beauty of its own (if you will allow your mind to see things in that light).
I’m talking about a part of downtown that is across the street from Canada Place, kitty-corner from the convention center and right on the mighty and historic Jasper Avenue, but the block east of 97th street is in another world. The actual northeast corner of 97th Street and Jasper Avenue is home of one of Edmonton’s most renowned restaurants, the Hardware Grill (the name coming from the fact that the building was once home to the bustling old-time W.W. Arcade hardware store).
At the top right of the above photo is Jasper Avenue; turning the corner you enter another world:
This old bar, just east of the Goodridge Building is the last of the seedy old bars in Edmonton’s east end. Next to it, a vacant lot:
It has long bewildered me why this section of Jasper Avenue, with its proximity to the central core and with great views over the river valley, has not been redeveloped. It does however still retain some historic old buildings so I’d not like to see them lost.
Next to the east, is one of those historic old buildings, the Brighton (Ernest Brown) Block. This three story brick building and the one next to it are beautiful but have definitely seen better days. Fortunately, this property has been recognized as a Municipal Historic Resource:
The building seems to have been vacant for many years now – the doors and many windows boarded up:
Next to (east of) the Brighton Block is the old Lodge Hotel. This building has been undergoing some exciting renovation to turn it into the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum (UCAMA). Unfortunately,the project ran out of money so is currently on hold.
A stark contrast between the two ends of this half block of Jasper Avenue but coincidentally both bookends feature yellow.
Addendum: After posting this blog I took a photo (below) from across the river showing the Brighton (Ernest Brown) Block and Lodge Hotel / UCAMA renovation – quite a different look from the shots that were all taken from the sidewalk next to the buildings.
The same day that I took the photos of the last two blog posts in Churchill Square and the Convention Centre, I also passed by Edmonton’s Canada Place and a few interesting angles caught my attention.
Built into the bank of the North Saskatchewan river valley, the Edmonton’s convention center (or Shaw Conference Centre) is a landmark and architecturally interesting inside an out. Last Saturday as I made my way from the river valley to downtown I passed up by the building and stopped to capture a view things and views that caught my eye:
In Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton last Saturday (that would be 2016 April 2nd):