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ShavedParmesanCheese Feb 3, 2021 1:37 AM

I found this picture of some road construction in Edmonton and it gave me Deja Vu, it looks like an alternate reality King St. W, just before MacNab.

that tower in the background looks like First Place, too.

This got me thinking. It wouldn't be impossible to salvage Jackson Square's streetscape from the mess it's in. Imagine something like Brookfield Place. A shopping mall with seemingly separate facades at the sidewalk, not unlike the buildings that used to be at this point in the street 60 years ago. Am I crazy? Probably. If nothing else, this street will automatically improve with the LRT, and having lane capacity halved will in turn lend itself to a better streetscape by itself.

Dr Awesomesauce Feb 4, 2021 1:22 AM

^It could be better, a bit better.

But I do think there are limits to how friendly and attractive that stretch of road could be made. It's a wind tunnel and it's very dark. I think the best we could hope for is that the buildings get tarted up but making it a vibrant people-friendly spot is very unlikely.

Dr Awesomesauce Feb 4, 2021 1:26 AM

^My fantasy has always been to raze the mall, plow a couple of the streets through as they once were - Market and MacNab perhaps - and create a new Market Square. If money were no object, that's what I'd like to see.

shoelessjoe Feb 4, 2021 2:18 AM

...on the right in the Edmonton picture is the Edmonton City Centre (former Edmonton Eaton Centre) -- specifically that's the Hudson's Bay store (former Eaton's) - built 1980s - currently in the process of closing. HB was founded in Edmonton -- as recently as the early 90s had 3 major downtown department stores -- Hudsons Bay, Woodward's and Eaton's

ScreamingViking May 23, 2021 10:22 PM

Some nice ones from a Spec "175" story about the Pigott Building.


Postcard from the same era:

Some of the accompanying text... I never knew about this:

His name was Willie Thompson and he is remembered for having worked as the elevator operator at the Pigott Building. Willie started at the Pigott in 1946, making a name for himself as the kindly fellow with gold-trimmed green jacket with matching pants who piloted people up and down the 18 floors of the building.

In its heyday, the Pigott was filled with doctors, lawyers, architects and other office workers, and Willy was a busy man moving them all from floor to floor. In the bad times — the 1980s in particular, when the building was derelict and vacant — the elevator was turned off and he lived in the basement.

He was quoted in The Spectator in 1994: “Some people think I’m daft. But I am a happy, contented man. I’m actually quite proud of myself.”

He told Hamilton Magazine in the early 1980s he didn’t mind living in the big building all by himself. “Now, you know, when you’re here late at night and there’s no one else about, you hear all sorts of funny things. You think there’s someone behind you, or someone on the staircase. Oooooo, it’s a spooky sort of place, this is, at night. Like a graveyard.

“Now, one night I was in the elevator at about 11 o’clock. Just me alone, and all of a sudden I hear this voice coming up the elevator shaft and it says, ‘Wait for me, Willie, I’ll be there in a minute.’ And you know, it was the voice of a man who had died in the building a year before.”

According to local historian Margaret Houghton, “Willie vowed that he would stay in the Pigott building forever, even after he died.”

Haunted Hamilton’s Stephanie Cumerlato says Willie may have succeeded in his wish after dying about a decade ago. “People who live in the building often tell us that they are all too familiar with Willie. He has been spotted walking through the halls, perhaps still residing at the place he loves.”

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