Pacific Street east from Burrard (1)

It’s hard to believe there was so little along this stretch of Pacific Street in the 1980s. The picture is undated – it’s listed as being taken some time between 1980 and 1997. We can fix that because of the Kilborn Building, the red brick office complex on the north side of Pacific. In the image it’s just completing construction, so this is most likely to be 1982. Waisman Dewar Grout Architects designed the 7 storey office building, clad in the City Planner of the day’s favoured brick veneer.

There had been houses along Pacific on both sides of the block headed east since the 1890s. The houses on the south side of this block were cleared away for the construction of the Burrard Bridge, while on this side there had been just one house, fronting Burrard Street and beyond the lane were four single storey cottages. They predated the turn of the century, and their early residents held responsible positions. There was Thomas Sharp in No. 1, manager of the Globe Sign Works. Fred Cope was at No. 2, a contractor later involved with a large electrical wholesaling company that bore the family name. At No. 3 was Mr. Eaton, who worked for the CPR, and at No. 4 H J Saunders, the bookkeeper for Robertson & Hackett’s sawmill, who shared his address with Mrs. Elizabeth Peat, a ladies nurse. Jacob Hoffmeister, an electrician and business partner with his brother Reinhart lived in 1386 Burrard, the first house past Pacific up the hill, which he built for $2,000 in 1905. The lane between his house and the cottages was built over when the Kilborn Building was developed.

Beyond Hornby there was, and is, a small house. It used to be just off Pacific, on Hornby, and for decades was home to Il Giardino, Umberto Menghi’s legendary Italian restaurant. He sold up in 2013, and developer Grosvenor proposed a condo tower with zig-zag balconies, designed in Montreal. The Leslie House, the 1888 house last used as the restaurant was lifted, shifted, and now sits on Pacific on new foundations just beyond the tower. The developers also offered to build an 8-storey arts building (production space, not residential) on the lot to the east. It has a black-and-white staggered facade, just visible under the traffic light.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 772-273

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Posted 27 December 2021 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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