“Realtor William Gibson built the Gibson Block in 1913 toward the end of Edmonton’s first development boom. Architect Arthur W. Cowley employed a flatiron design which was a popular method of developing odd shaped properties previously considered to be unusable. In Alberta historical flatiron buildings still stand in Lacome and Medicine Hat. Other good examples are New York’s Allied Chemival Building and Toronto’s Gooderham Building.
The Gibson Block originally housed reatil space on the main floor, Turkish baths in the basement and offices on the upper floors. The office spaces were later converted to apartments. Commerical tenants on the main floor at one time included the Gibson Cafe, whose now notorious sign on the brick exterior referred to “white help only”.
After many years of neglect, the Gibson Block was completely restored by the Edmonton City Centre Church to house the Women’s Emergency Accomodation Centre."