Here’s the city’s fourth post office building, built in 1958 and designed by McCarter, Nairne and Associates (the same architects who designed the Marine Building). This image was shot somewhere between 1960 and 1980 – although we think it was earlier rather than later in that range, judging from the vehicles – possibly 1965 if we’re reading the plate on the Oregon registered Mercedes correctly.
The building is likely to see some fairly dramatic change in the near future. Recently sold by the Post Office for over $150m to the BC Pension Fund, a proposal to redevelop (by adding more structures above the 1950s building) is being considered. That won’t necessarily be dramatically different from the original intent for the building – today there’s a truncated two-storey office on top. but the original design was for a much more substantial office slab tower.
When it was built the structure was said to be the largest welded steel frame in North America. That’s an important distinction – there are many bigger buildings, but if it has a steel frame, it’s usually riveted, not welded. The repurposed building could see retail, office, hotel and residential uses, and the current parking area on West Georgia would become a plaza (presumably with the opportunity for some outdoor seating).
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-56