The McLeod History
The McLeod Building is a historic building located in Downtown Edmonton Alberta. Having been designated both a Provincial Historic Resource and a Municipal Historic Resource, The McLeod Building is a very unique building in the Edmonton core.
Home to 88 residential units, and a number of commercial units, The McLeod Building is one of few 100 year old buildings in town, and has some great neighbours around it.
Kenneth McLeod was a former carpenter, and factory/mill owner who constructed Edmonton’s Fire Hall #1 in 1893. It was at this time that Kenneth McLeod became involved in municipal politics and had stints as both an Edmonton Alderman, as well as one of the first City Council elected in 1904.
McLeod lived in Edmonton until the 1930’s when he moved to Vancouver before passing away in 1940. The most fascinating fact, is that Kenneth McLeod moved to Edmonton in 1881 from Winnipeg by way of foot. A 91 day trek with two other men, some oxen, and supplies. To think, this building is only standing on 100th. St overlooking McDougall Hill and the wonderful Edmonton river valley because Kenneth McLeod walked from Winnipeg to Edmonton over 136 years at the time of writing this in 2017.
This 50 year resident of Edmonton’s most remarkable accomplishment is the McLeod Building. McLeod claimed in 1912 that the McLeod Building would be the tallest in the city, 25 ft (7.6 m) taller than the Tegler Building. Architect John K. Dow was instructed to copy the Paulsen Building in Spokane, Washington.
The construction began in 1913 and was completed in 1915. Despite McLeod’s projections to be the tallest in Edmonton, the Alberta Legislature Building in the same city had already surpassed the height claimed by McLeod in 1913. Even with the fabled John Malkovich 1/2 height 10th floor, The McLeod Building was never the tallest building in Edmonton, but certainly it’s first skyscraper downtown.
The McLeod Building is considered Alberta’s best remaining example of an architectural style for commercial buildings known as the Chicago School. It’s believed that The McLeod Building was built to handle 50 stories, and the base that holds it’s 9 floors up today is so substantial that it is part of how the building withstood being torn down in place of a more modern tower in the 50’s or 60’s. Perhaps Kenneth McLeod had reasons like this in mind for how The McLeod Building was constructed.