Sketch by Marlena Wyman, 3 November 2018
The University of Alberta began training nurses to work in its hospital in 1923. Nursing students that were studying and working in the university hospital were provided with free room and board. Unfortunately, space was tight and many nurses lived in various cramped and inadequate accommodations on campus.
In 1947, architect George Heath Macdonald designed a purpose-built brick residence with carved sandstone arched windows and details. It was directly across the street from the hospital and included single bedrooms, laundry room, sewing room, lounges, and a kitchenette. The nurses’ matron, Mrs. Underwood, along with her strict rules for conduct, moved with the nursing students into their new residence.
In 1951, a new addition opened with two wings and an auditorium and in 1957 a further addition was completed which featured classrooms, a mezzanine, TV Lounge, dining area, and student kitchen.
The School of Nursing accepted its first male applicants in 1973 with a special apartment being created to accommodate them. In 1974 the school began charging room and board to residents and relaxed its policy forbidding living off-campus.
In 1981 the building was converted into offices for the School of Nursing, then renamed the Education and Development Centre, and most recently the Research Transition Facility. Unfortunately, a dominating pedway structure built in 2013 now obstructs the face of this heritage building.