Hornby Street looking north

These two pictures were taken in 1986, and there hasn’t been a lot of obvious change in the buildings since then. Even the street trees are the same – with an additional 34 years growth. On the edge of the picture, on the left, is the Mayfair Hotel, developed in 1964 and designed by Peter Kaffka. Next door is a 1980 office building that’s only 6 floors tall, designed by the Blackwell Design Group, and strata titled.

Beyond the tower (and seen on the left of the picture below), the First City Trust Building was completed in 1969, designed by Frank Roy with Thompson, Berwick Pratt and Partners. Now known by its address, 777 Hornby, in the 1990s it received a makeover that included redesigning the podium glazing, and adding rain protection for pedestrians. Before it was built the Richmond Apartments stood on the corner. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is to the north. and across the street the Georgia Medical Dental Building is the only change. The art deco building was designed by McCarter and Nairne, and was similar to their Marine Building (if less flamboyant). It was replaced nearly 30 years ago by Cathedral Place, designed by Paul Merrick for Shon Georgia Developments (in a joint venture with Sir Run Run Shaw of Hong Kong). On the street, Hornby street now has a 2-way separated bike lane.

The tower on the right in the upper picture is the North American headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC). Designed by Webb, Zerafa, Menkes, Housden and Partners, and completed in 1986, it was the headquarters of W A C Bennet’s brainchild; the Bank of British Columbia. Designed to allow more local control for making decisions on loans to BC businesses, it grew to have $2.7bn in funds and over 1,400 employees but serious management problems led to the bank being taken over by the Hong Kong Bank of Canada in the same year it was completed.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 800-2662 and 800-2670

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Posted 11 January 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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