Realtor William Gibson built the Gibson Block in 1913 toward the end of Edmonton’s first development boom. Architect Arthur W. Cowley employed a flatiron design which was a popular method of developing odd shaped properties previously considered to be unusable. In Alberta, historical flatiron buildings still stand in Lacombe and Medicine Hat. Other good examples include New York’s Allied Chemical Building and Toronto’s Gooderham Building.
The Gibson Block originally housed retail space on the main floor, Turkish Baths in the basement and offices on the upper floor. The office spaces were later converted to apartments. Commercial tenants on the main floor at one time included the Gibson Cafe, whose now-notorious sign on the brick exterior referred to “white help only”.
After many years of neglect, the Gibson Block was completely restored in 1994 by the Edmonton City Centre Church Corporation to house the Women’s Emergency Accommodation Centre.
- Edmonton Historical Board
Designation & Awards
Edmonton Historical Board Plaque Award
Municipal Historic Resource (05/30/1994)
Provincial Historic Resource (01/05/1995)