West Hastings Street, east from Hornby

This 1910 image shows two recently built buildings, the R V Winch office building, and the adjacent Post Office. The Winch Building was completed in 1911, and the Post Office opened a year earlier. It was designed by David Ewart, the Government’s Ottawa based head architect of the day, while R V Winch hired local architect Thomas Hooper, and then spent a reported $700,000 to complete the project – the most expensive in the city at the time it was built. The Post Office contract was first approved in 1905, and took some years to complete. The building is faced in granite (more precisely, Kelly Island grandiorite) while the Winch Building’s honed grandiorite came from Fox Island at the mouth of Jervis Inlet.

Both buildings are still standing today, part of the federal government’s Sinclair Centre. To the west were houses. On the corner of Howe was 801 West Hastings, initially the home of Harry Abbott, designed in 1887 by T C Sorby, and when the photograph was taken occupied by Richard Marpole, also general superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Next door was 815 West Hastings, the home of A G Ferguson (later renumbered to 837). The Ferguson house was the first to be demolished, replaced soon after this picture was taken, for the Metropolitan Building. Mr. Ferguson commissioned a new home at Fir and West 17th in 1912. The house on the corner lasted longer; it appears to have been demolished around 1912, not redeveloped until 1923 with the Merchant’s Exchange, developed by A Melville Dollar.

The Metropolitan Building was redeveloped in the mid 1990s, and replaced with the Musson Cattell Mackey designed Terminal City Club which has a club, hotel, offices, condos and retail space. The Merchant’s Exchange was redeveloped in the early 1970s, replaced by an Eng and Wright designed nine storey brick-clad office building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str N118.2

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Posted March 25, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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