Visiting Heritage Hall, Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, British Columbia: Monumental Structure Dating From 1914
Beaux-Arts Neoclassicism at Mount Pleasant
Dating from 1914, what is now known as Heritage Hall, in the Mount Pleasant suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia served initially as a post office.
Its architect was Archibald Campbell Hope (1870-1942) (1). Architect David Ewart (2) (1841-1921) also accomplished considerable work on the building.
Before it eventually became a community centre for exhibitions and artistic performances, Heritage Hall also served as a local headquarters for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)(3).
Stylistically the building demonstrates elements of eclecticism and Beaux-Arts Neoclassicism. Its towers being the most conspicuous features, its main clock tower at the corner of Main Street and 14th Avenue is particularly prominent; and given the corner tower's proximity to the road makes it an especially memorable feature to which passer-by must look up in order to take in completely in view (4).
Another prominent feature of the building is its entrance at its Main Street elevation, comprised of two sets of columns topped by a curved pediment. Red roof tiling is complemented by copper ornamentation.
Interestingly, its clock tower contains a bell made by the same manufacturer (Joyce Company of Whitchurch) responsible for Big Ben at the Palace of Westminister, London, England.
It is recorded that this Dominion (Federal) property (first a post office, then offices for agricultural administration, then offices of the RCMP), was first erected in the hope that its presence would stimulate the commercial development of the Mount Pleasant suburb of Vancouver. Whether or not this original aim came to fruition in quite the way it was intended at its inception, it is certainly the case the this imposing and somewhat ornate building remains a conspicuous landmark in this Vancouver suburb.
Heritage Hall is located at 3102 Main Street, Vancouver, BC.
February 11, 2020
(1) Architect A. C. Hope was a prolific designer of buildings in British Columbia, including the Town Hall at Ladner and the Masonic Hall at North Vancouver; he accomplished work at Stanley Park. Born in England, A.C Hope practised in San Francisco, California, before moving to Vancouver in 1908.
(2) Architect Ewart served as Chief Dominion Architect from 1896 until 1914. He notably worked on Rideau Hall, the Dominion Observatory and the Connaught Building, Ottawa, and various buildings at the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, and many others.
(3) The property also served for many years as the Dominion Agricultural Building.
(4) See also: https://heritagehall.bc.ca/about-heritage-hall-2/
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
Among the numerous, outstanding visitor attractions in Vancouver, a very few of these include: The Lookout, with excellent views of the city, the surrounding Rockies and Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge, Gastown; False Creek and Science World; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the 1907 Dominion Building; the 1911 Sun Tower; the 1914 Waterfront Station; Granville Island; and many others.
Vancouver is also ideally situated for day trips to British Columbian mountain destinations such as Whistler (distance: 123.8 kilometres / 76.9 miles) and Peace Arch Park (Peace Arch Provincial Park in Canada and Peace Arch Historical State Park in the United States), shared between the Province of British Columbia at Surrey and the US State of Washington, at Blaine (distance: 48.9 kilometers / 30.4 miles).
How to get there
WestJet and Air Canada fly to Vancouver International Airport, Richmond (distance from Downtown Vancouver: 10.8 kilometres / 6.7 miles), with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada
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