April 2013

12.04.13 - a symbol of the Edwardian optimism

Vancouver Block

The heritage value of the Vancouver Block lies in its location near the intersection of Granville and Georgia streets in downtown Vancouver, as a symbol of the Edwardian optimism and rapid growth in Vancouver’s economy and urban fabric in the early twentieth century, in its association with the architectural firm of Parr and Fee, in its landmark status, and in its unique representation of the Edwardian Commercial style.

Constructed between 1910 and 1912 on the highest point of land in downtown Vancouver, the building is valued as an example of the city’s pre-war economic expansion and building boom. Rapid population growth during this period stimulated widespread construction in Vancouver. In the late 1890s, Canadian Pacific Railway executives encouraged business leaders to settle on company land, putting its stamp on Granville Street as the most prestigious location in the city for commercial buildings. As the centre of city activity shifted from Pender and Hastings Streets to Granville Street, the Vancouver Block helped to establish the intersection at Georgia and Granville as the commercial core of early Vancouver.

Visible from City Hall at 12th Avenue and Cambie Street, the clock was immediately distinguishable because of it’s large size and unique neon illumination on the hands and dial marks.

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