Alcazar Hotel – Dunsmuir and Homer

The Hotel Alcazar sat on Dunsmuir Street, close to the Dunsmuir Hotel. Designed by Dalton and Eveleigh, it was completed in 1912 in the boom that saw much of Downtown Vancouver developed. It cost $140,000 to build for Dr D H Wilson and it lasted for 70 years before it was demolished. Dr Wilson was a medical doctor, born in Ontario in 1855, who practiced in Manitoba. He was elected to the Manitoba legislature in 1882 and became Minister of Public Works, got married in 1887 and resigned from politics in 1888. He moved to Vancouver the next year, practiced medicine for another five years, and then retired (again) with directorships in a number of financial and insurance companies. When he died in 1926 his estate was worth $85,000.

The site of the hotel sat for another decade before Musson Cattell Mackey’s postmodern headquarters for BC Hydro were constructed on the site, completed in 1992. These days the front of the office includes a water feature called Water Works by Tokyo-born Tony Bloom that was inspired, it is said, by a traditional Japanese deer scarer, a shishi odoshi. The Alcazar also featured some somewhat unexpected art in the form of Jack Shadbolt murals from the 1940s that could be found in the dining room.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N446.1


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