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5 Amazing Buildings in Vancouver That No Longer Exist (Vancouver's Lost Architectural Heritage)
Vancouver is often rated as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With vast landscapes and beautiful architecture, it's hard to argue. The city as a whole boasts itself as a multicultural society that is rich in culture and heritage. However, Vancouver has over the years destroyed so much of its architectural heritage, that it is sometimes difficult to hold on to our richly historical landscape. This article is meant to commemorate the amazing architecture that once graced this beautiful city, but has since been destroyed to make room for new development. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.
1. CPR Station
Built in 1898, the second of Vancouver's waterfront CPR stations was designed by Edward Maxwell. The building stood proud at the foot of Granville Street, and reflected the "chateau-style" often seen on CPR stations and hotels. This beautiful structure was only in use for a short number of years, as a third larger station was built directly adjacent to it in 1914. The building was demolished shortly after.
2. The Hotel Vancouver
Another gem built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the second of three Hotel Vancouvers was built in 1916. The architect, Francis S. Swales, designed the hotel in the Italian Renaissance style. The amazing building only lasted a short 23 years, when it was demolished in 1949 due to failing finances of the owner. A third Hotel Vancouver was opened in 1939, and remains in use today.
3. The Birks Building
Opened in 1913, the Birks Building was an 11-storey Edwardian masterpiece. The façade was finished with ornate terra cotta, and was much loved in the City of Vancouver. The building was demolished in 1974 to make room for the new Scotia Tower.
4. The Georgia Medical-Dental Building
The Georgia Medical-Dental Building was designed by McCarter and Narine, a prolific Vancouver-based architectural firm, was built in 1927-1928. The building was a soaring 17 storeys, and reflected an elegant art deco style that was identified by cascading terra cotta finishes on the tiered structure. The Medical-Dental Building was an important structure in Vancouver, as it was the first art deco skyscraper built in the city. Sadly, the structure was torn down in 1989.
Video of the Medical-Dental Building Demolition
5. The Pantages Theatre
The infamous Pantages Theatre was built in 1917 on historic Hastings Street, which was once the heart of the City's downtown. The building was second to none in term of grandeur, and was a well known vaudeville house in vancouver. As vaudeville theatre decreased in popularity, the beautiful theatre changed function over the years, showing moving pictures (movies) for much of its life, until it was demolished in the 1960s to make room for a parking lot.
Thinking about all the amazing historical architecture that Vancouver has destroyed really makes my heart ache. How can such important architectural and cultural treasures be demolished so easily? I hope these images are enough to convince you about the importance of holding on to our architectural heritage, and that we will have the power in the future to protect these landmarks as important pieces of our history.