‘We​’ll just forget it ever existed’: Annex an important part in city’s history, says architect

EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature annex, although beyond repair, say decision makers, is an important moment in Edmonton’s architectural history. 

Also known as the AGT building, the annex was built in 1951 and has since become cheaper to demolish and rebuild than to refurbish. 

“It wasn’t widely appreciated probably when it was built and there were newspaper reports of how ugly it looked at the time,” David Murray recalled to CTV News Edmonton. 

But the architect considers the building an important part of the city’s mid-centry modern era. 

When construction finished in 1953, the annex was the first building in Edmonton to employ use of the curtain wall, or an exterior that is attached to the building but not structural. 

Murray agrees the building would be very expensive to maintain, but believes it is an irreplaceable part of Edmonton’s architectural heritage. 

“Every loss like this is a loss of memory. We’ll just forget that it ever existed.” 

The annex is slated to be demolished in 2021.

According to Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda, a feasibility study found renovations would cost $30 million and the appraised value of the annex is $60 million. 

Currently, the building costs $750,000 annually to maintain. About 300 people work there. 

Future plans for the site have not been announced. 

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