Day 61 – Strathcona Public Library   7 comments

Opened in 1913, the Strathcona Public Library is the first library established in Edmonton. It follows nearly 16 years from the establishment of the Strathcona Library Society. The library was originally planned to serve the community of Strathcona prior to Strathcona (south of the North Saskatchewan River) and Edmonton (north of the North Saskatchewan River) being amalgamated in 1912.

As a result of the two cities merging, the library became part of the Edmonton Public Library system and got some much needed financial support for the construction. North of the river, the EPL operated out of a series of temporary quarters until 1923 when a more permanent location was established. These two libraries served Edmonton until 1941 when a travelling library in the form of a converted streetcar was added to the “fleet”.

The Strathcona public library hosted a men’s only reading room in the basement until 1948 when the room was converted into a children’s library. The popularity of the library dramatically fell post WW-II and by 1970 the EPL was trying to close the branch due to high maintenance costs on the old building. The Old Strathcona region was becoming a trendy arts district in the early 70s and with that came a resurgence at the library. It was declared a historic resource in 1976 and in the mid-80s it received a big investment of $250K for restoration work. It is now one of the EPLs busiest branches and a cultural hub for the neighbourhood.


7 responses to “Day 61 – Strathcona Public Library

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  1. Oooo, lordy! Very nice, majestic!

  2. I like the style of this building much better than the Armoury which is fitting I suppose considering the purpose of the two buildings. Nice light effect through the tree too.

  3. Now why don’t I remember this place? Great write up Mike, I have really enjoyed your last few posts.

  4. I like it – great HDR and black & white work.

    • Thanks Mike. I’m trialling Silver Efex Pro 2 for B&W and I reckon it’s fantastic. Price is steep, but I’m considering it.

      • Do you use Lightroom? If so I’d suggest trying the LR/Enfuse plugin. It’s donationware so you set your own price. Doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of some other HDR packages but works quite well.

  5. A nice, majestic building. I wish the streetcar library was still travelling.

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