McLuckie Building – West Georgia Street

McLuckie Building

This building has been tucked away beside another we’ve looked at in several earlier posts – the Johnston-Howe Block. This is the Georgia Street neighbour, the McLuckie Building, on the corner of Howe Street. It wasn’t built until 1931 and was designed by Townley and Matheson for Robert Macfarlane McLuckie, son of J M McLuckie, one of the city’s more prolific builders, and sometime developer. It doesn’t appear that there was an earlier building on the site until this one; almost unheard of for Vancouver. Once the Courts moved from today’s Victory Square to the Georgia Street Courthouse, the lawyers moved as well, and this building (like one earlier on Hastings Street) became known as the Inns of Court Building. As a two-storey building it didn’t warrant an elevator, so the lawyers and their clients had to climb the stairs.

Cull 1961This 1932 Vancouver Public Library image shows the building soon after its completion. The retail tenants were Norman G Cull (an opticians who also had a Victoria store), the Georgia Pharmacy and The New York Fur Co (who moved up the street from the next building). Cull’s opticians store moved here from Granville Street, and they stayed here until the 1960s. In the 1930s Norman G Cull was president of the company, and Frederick Cull was treasurer.

As well as lawyers including Lawrence & Shaw, and Soskin & Levin the Northern Pacific Railway had their office in the Inns of Court Building when it opened. R M McLuckie had his own office here, as well as the Knit to Fit Manufacturing Co. The Georgia Garage shared the same address, but were located at the back of the building. (There was another repair garage next door on Howe Street, the Madill Garage).

Tenancies here changed far less than most buildings we look at. As well as Cull’s opticians store, in 1950 the Georgia Pharmacy and New York Furs were still here, joined by the office of the Great Northern Railway and Anne Moloney’s ladies ware store. Upstairs Mr McLuckie still had his office, although now he was listed as being in real estate rather than contracting. There were six barristers with offices, but also the Picardy Beauty Salon and F C Bosman – a metaphysical healer.

The building was eventually acquired by the city for the assembly of the entire block that became the Pacific Centre Mall – at this point it’s the rotunda entrance to the retail part of the mall and the entrance to the Four Seasons Hotel.

David Banks has alerted us to what was on the site before the McLuckie was built – yet another Downtown gas station, this one run by Union Gasoline. It’s obvious in the foreground of this 1930 high-level shot.

Georgia and Howe c1930

Image Sources: Vancouver Public Library and City of Vancouver Archives  CVA Hot P2

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Posted March 3, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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