Glenora Substation — 1956

Glenora Substation, Edmonton. Photo by James Dow.

Glenora Substation, Edmonton. Photo by James Dow.

10322 135 Street

Designed by: City Architect’s Office (R.F. Duke)
Built by: Walters Construction
Original Owner: City of Edmonton

This striking building is quite visible to west-bound traffic on Stony Plain Road and is a neighbourhood landmark in Glenora. Its open glass facade and landscaped surroundings belie the essentially industrial usage of the structure, fully integrating it into its residential environs. Glenora Substation 650, a unique design for Edmonton substations was designed in the Early Modern style with references to the International Style. It has a typical flat roof with clean horizontal lines, broad overhangs over large areas of glass that allow visibility into the workings of the building, a visible interior stair constructed from polished terrazzo, red/brown brick, clear anodized aluminum frames and entrance, a ‘floating’ concrete slab equipment floor and residential-type landscaped setting in a prominent public location.

Edmonton Archives EA-97-1110

Edmonton Archives EA-97-1110

This new style of substation was explained to the media as a rejection of the ‘blockhouse’ type, which hid the power equipment from view, but instead displayed it through the extensive use of plate glass. This was the first substation of its kind in Edmonton and proved to be quite controversial. Edith Rogers, Secretary of the Edmonton Property Owner’s Association at the time, complained of the cost for the terrazzo floors, plate glass, and glass block used in its construction. 

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