St Paul’s Church – Pendrell & Jervis Streets

Here’s St Paul’s Anglican church in the West End, in it’s new location after it was moved from Hornby Street, along Davie. Except this is a different St Paul’s Church, as the previous church was only used for a very short time here before it was moved to the side of the site, and then subsequently redeveloped (twice) with a new hall before this 1939 image was taken.

The church on the corner was built in 1905, so it was just completed in this image (right). The former church that was moved from Hornby can be seen alongside, repurposed as a hall for church functions. While we don’t know who designed the first church (erected in 1889, and moved here in 1898), we know the architect of the 1905 building was William Henry Archer. The news report of the permit for the $13,000 project showed ambitions for further improvements that were never undertaken. “Church; 57-ft x 111-ft; tower & spire to be erected at a later date and also veneer entire church w/ stone from the present high basement up”. Mr. Archer, who was from Ireland, is unusual in that as well as St Paul’s, he designed both a Buddhist and a Sikh temple in Vancouver.

A rectory and parish hall were built in 1910, designed by Grant and Henderson, (although the permit described it as a $15,000 Sunday School building). They had also designed alterations to the school room a year earlier. In 1929 Frank Mountain designed a new hall, the redevelopment built by Nye Construction costing $28,000, with the new gothic styled building, still standing today. A house was apparently purchased by the church on Pendrell a block from here; repairs were carried out in 1929, and the Rev King, the rector, was living there in 1930.

As with so much of the West End, the landscaping and street tree program has completely changed the character of the neighbourhood, and in summer it’s almost impossible to tell that the church and adjacent hall look exactly as they did in the 1939 image. It looks as if the street tree was already planted in 1939, but the fire hydrant has been relocated.

The one addition to the street is a Victorian style streetlight, with a red bulb, unveiled in 2016. Located to the right of the tree, it acknowledges the diverse community of sex workers who lived and worked in the area from the mid-1960s until 1984, when a street-activities bylaw forced them into other locations, mostly on the Downtown Eastside.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Ch P50 and Ch P52.


Posted 15 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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