West Pender Street – 1100 block, north side (2)

 

This stretch of West Pender still has two buildings today that can be seen in this 1981 image (looking west). The Uniglobe Building (seen in the previous post) is at the far end of the block, and dates back to 1956, (although it’s had a re-skin and looks quite different). It was  designed by J McLaren, who was actually an engineer rather than an architect, and was the headquarters for Macmillan Bloedel for 12 years, until they commissioned Arthur Erickson to design a larger replacement nearby on West Georgia. The Shorehill Building, designed by McCarter and Nairne and Partners, still looks the same, although it’s more hidden today than in 1981. It dates back to 1966; between those buildings the taller Coast Hotel has been added, built in 2010.

Closer to us was a modest two storey building that dated back to 1954. It was developed for Gypsum Lime Canada, but was also the offices of the architects who designed it, Semmens Simpson. For a brief period this partnership designed some of the best modernist international buildings in the city, including the new City Library on Burrard, and a series of West End apartment buildings. Their own offices were designed in the same simple but effective style, with minimal ornamentation. The office was replaced in the late 1990s by a condo and hotel tower designed by Hancock, Bruckner Eng and Wright. There are 39 apartments on the top floors and the Delta by Marriott Pinnacle Hotel on the lower floors of a 36 storey building. When there was a lower building on the site you could see the Harbourfront Hotel – now the Pinnacle Harbourfront. It was once home to one of the city’s three revolving restaurants, but the Empire Landmark was recently demolished and this one is no longer operating. Built in 1975, it was designed by the Waisman Architectural Group. The same architects designed the charcoal painted concrete grid tower to the west, completed in 1968.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W19.13

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