1110 Hamilton Street

1100 Mainland 1

1100 Hamilton 1

These pictures from 1981 show how Yaletown has seen a dramatic transformation over 30 years – some buildings are on their second (or more) rebuild, and there has been a shift in the past few years from residential conversion to adding commercial space on upper floors of older warehouses.

These days 1110 Hamilton (on the corner of Helmcken Street) is the home of the Yaletown Brewpub, part of the Mark James Group. Back in 1981 it was in the middle of a substantial rebuilding to change it from purely warehouse to add some office use. Because it had been stripped back, a concrete shell can be seen on the Mainland Street side – although the building dates back to 1910 and was built as a ‘brick and stick’ structure. We assume the Hamilton Street image was shot a little later that year when the work was complete. It was originally designed by Smith and Goodfellow for R A Ogilvie. Sholto Smith (despite the Gaelic name) was an English-born architect who practiced briefly in BC and married Charles Woodward’s youngest daughter, thus ensuring that (for a while) he obtained commissions for their building projects. His partner, William Goodfellow, was a local, coming from New Westminster. Their client, Robert A Ogilvie would seem to have been a manufacturer’s agent who (like a surprising number of the people featured on this blog) seems to have managed to evade the 1911 Census. We think he was born in Grey County, Ontario and died in Vancouver in 1935.

In 2009 a much more dramatic remodelling was carried out. Two extra office floors were added in an uncompromisingly contemporary style. Designed by Simon Bonnettmaker at Gower, Yeung & Associates, the building uses corten steel plates on its new floors, a material that, despite looking as if it is rusting away, exhibits increased resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to unalloyed steels. This is because it forms a protective layer on its surface under the influence of the weather. The building had substantial seismic upgrading during the restoration process. The substantial old growth wood frame timbers were in some places noticeably deteriorating, so the intervention was timely.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E13.28 and CVA 779-E13.30

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