A Bit of Vancouver’s History: No. 1 West Hastings Street


" Even in the state it’s in, the building is a
wonder. All you have to do is look up. Completed in 1913, it is one of the few
Beaux Arts-style buildings left in the city’s ex-financial district, and was
designed by the architects Somervell & Putnam. Originally designed for
Merchant’s Bank, the interior is reputed to have been as ornate as the exterior,
but has long since been gutted beyond repair. I’ve not been able to locate any
photographs, but will continue searching. Perhaps someday someone will duplicate
the interior, if they’re lucky enough to find the original building

During my archival travels I learned that even the name "Pigeon
Park" is a misnomer – the original name which shows up in the archives is
Pioneer Square. It was not created at the same as the building itself and only
came into being after the Canadian Pacific Railway spur line tracks were
removed. This also explains the angled aspect of the building, as it was
designed to accommodate the spur line to False Creek…"

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