Did you know that the building that houses our store in East Van is almost 100 years old? Here’s a photo from 1932. You can see our shop down the block on the left end, with the Astoria Hotel in the background.
The heritage assessment of 845 E. Hastings came back from Donald Luxton & Associates today. They did a really good job, and they offered advice on how the front of the building may have likely looked. We discovered that the building was originally used by the Royal Canadian Naval Reserves. There had been rumors that it had been used previously by the military, but up until now it was unconfirmed. When you see how thick the cement is, it's not surprising as the inside is like a bunker. We confirmed the original date of 1922-1923, and found out some information about the architect Maurice Helyer.
Maurice was in partnership with his father J.S. Helyer, and together they ran a successful firm responsible for numerous small buildings and large commercial structures. The most famous of their designs is the Beaux-Arts skyscraper on Victory Square known as the Dominion Trust Building, 1908-10, at the time of its completion the tallest building in the British Empire. The firm also erected the Renaissance-style, ten-story Metropolitan Building on Hastings Street, 1911-12, and the poured-in-place concrete Board of Trade building at Homer and Cordova, 1909, arguably one of the earliest local uses of concrete as both a structural and a finishing material. One building where he was responsible for the design was the sophisticated Medical Arts Building on Granville Street, 1922-23.