The Cambridge Building was originally designed as twin towers in the centre of Edmonton to house the City’s largest law firms and other prestigious clients. The first and only tower opened in 1968 at 10024 Jasper Avenue.
In the middle of an Oil Boom, Edmonton’s LRT officially opened for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. With its Central Station in the basement of the Cambridge Building.
By the time that I worked there in 1985, the Oil Boom had been over for more than three years and the building was in a sad state of disrepair: an eyesore inside and out. Just in time for Summer, the original and long obsolete 1968 air conditioner broke down and it took six weeks to get a replacement part from Chicago. Many days, office temperatures exceeded 40°C.
As tenants’ leases expired, vacancy rates soared. Shortly after the building’s 20th anniversary, with vacancy rates so high that it appeared more like a derelict, there were plans to demolish the building, but Edmonton City Council refused to issue the necessary permit.
Finally, in 2002, large parts of the building were renovated into residential and commercial units. The building was turned into a Condominium, where tenants purchased their units, and it was renamed Cambridge Lofts.