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1988 Alberta Association of Architects Design Awards / Award for Significant Contribution to the Built Environment

McKay Avenue School Museum

For four years, starting in 1905, the gymnasium on the third floor of the McKay Avenue School housed the Alberta Legislature while the present legislative building was under construction. This history made the school an even more important historic resource.


In 1985 McKay Avenue School was redesigned and restored to reflect its different uses through the last century; the Legislature on the third floor, classrooms from different periods of time on the first and second floors, and the Edmonton Public Schools Archives on the lower level.

In keeping with the new public nature of the building as a museum, an elevator and wheelchair lift were added as well as many other modern improvements.  Numerous code equivalencies had to be negotiated with Provincial authorities as modern safety requirements were quite different than those of 1905. The sensitive design of exit stairs, which are in character with the original building, had to be incorporated. Careful attention was paid to building detail working with a modest budget, and the project was completed on time and opened to the public with great fanfare by children dressed in period costume.


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