Council recognizes historic pet project
July 12. 2018

The City of Edmonton formally designated the Blue Cross Animal Hospital as a Municipal Historic Resource. Built in 1948, the hospital is located in the heart of Edmonton’s historic McCauley neighbourhood at the intersection of 97 Street and 111 Avenue.

“The simple, unadorned stucco exterior, flat roof and contoured glass block walls are characteristic of Moderne Style architecture, which was popular in the period leading up to and following the Second World War,” said Scott Ashe, Principal Heritage Planner for the City of Edmonton.

The hospital, built by prominent local veterinarian Dr. Alex J. Rattray, is a two-storey, wood-framed commercial building with pebble dash stucco and a stacked bond concrete block exterior. As the first purpose-built small animal veterinary hospital in Edmonton, it features a complex floor plan, complete with operating rooms, kennels and isolation wards. Some of the features that differentiate the hospital include its central vertical frontispiece rising to just above the roofline, horizontal signage band just above the first storey and its concrete landing and steps with metal railings.

The hospital is a testament to changes in cultural perceptions and practices regarding pets in the postwar period. As Edmonton’s population grew rapidly, so too did the number of small pets in the city and the need for veterinary services. At the time of its construction, the Blue Cross Animal Hospital’s design would have showcased its progressive approach to pet ownership, animal care and veterinary medicine.

The City's Historic Resource Management Plan outlines the City's mission to identify, protect and promote the preservation and use of historic resources. The Plan contains 24 policies and 88 action items that direct how Edmonton's heritage should be preserved and celebrated.
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