BC Electric Yard from West Pender Street

We saw a glimpse of the Terminal building for BC Electric, with their offices above, in an earlier post, and in slightly more detail. Fronting onto West Hastings, the building runs almost the full depth of Carrall, and the construction was valued at $350,000. W Marwell Somervell designed the building, completed in 1911.

A 1910 cutting identifies J L Putnam as running the office for the Seattle-based Somervell, and subsequently he became a full partner, and may well have designed this building. It had a basement and five floors; the basement had meter rooms, mechanical and furnace departments, and a ‘trainmen’s lounging room’. Among other rooms on the main floor was a gas showroom and a ladies’ retiring room.

The depot had three tracks, and as the main 1923 Vancouver Public Library image shows, a shed was part of the original design. (It’s shown on the contemporary insurance map as ‘steel frame’). This 1914 postcard shows that the building looks bigger from the opposite side of the street, as the shallow aspect of its design isn’t apparent.

The last interurban service ran in 1958, but it ended earlier in Vancouver;  The last streetcar line in Vancouver, the 14 Hastings East, ran for the last time on April 22, 1955. The office building was no longer used by BC Electric after 1957, when they moved to their new Burrard Street tower. It continues as an office building, with a lighting showroom in the enclosed car barn entrance.

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Posted 26 October 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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