573 Homer Street

In the past few years the vacant site in our 2004 image has been developed, and the building in the picture has been demolished and is now a vacant site. The second floor housed the Marine Club, a tiny and, according to Scout Magazine ‘slightly sordid’ club. It opened as a private membership club for marine crew, an opportunity to buy liquor in a bar in an era where there weren’t many opportunities.

When it went bust in 2007 it had lasted just over 50 years, with a décor that reflected its roots, and a clientele (when they showed up) that morphed from grizzled seamen to punk rockers in the 1970s, and the original hipsters before then. In later years it was a regular gig for Ray Condo, a rockabilly and roots performer, but with a seat limit of 100 it would never make big returns for Ray, who died in 2004. Towards the end of the club’s run, a variety of styles of music were available. In 2003 Peyote Calamity and Goatsblood (playing Sludge/Grind/Noise/Doom) were on the bill, while a year later My Project Blue offered ‘aloof synth/guitar rock’. Even though the bar offered free pool a few nights of the week, giving pool sharks a reason to want to drop by for a beer, the business didn’t survive.

The building was originally developed in 1946, and before there had been houses on this stretch of Homer Street – some can be seen in an earlier post. The first occupant of the new building appears to have been Precision Instrument, who were listed as manufacturers. A business with the stame name still operate today in Coquitlam. They were later joined by Zaitzeff & Co, Importers and exporters, and Co-op Fire and Casualty Insurance.

BC Hydro have a right of way for high voltage cables passing the site, which limits the redevelopment potential. Next door, Omicron Architecture designed a new addition to the Labour Temple on the corner of Homer and Dunsmuir, with White Spot occupying the ground floor. The new structure gives added seismic support to the heritage building – the cross bracing is visible through the windows.


Posted September 10, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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