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Heritage Site Finder

An interactive map of buildings and sites on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

Parking Garage

Photo Credit: Alistair Henning

Address

130-160 WATER St, Vancouver BC

Neighbourhood

Gastown

Type

Commercial

Protection

D

Significance

O

Description

Originally the location of the McLean Brothers Building built in 1912 and designed by Thomas Hooper. 160 Water Street was the site of the Stag and Pheasant, a hotel which opened in 1886. In May 1887, the Typographical Union met for their inaugural meeting of Local 226. It was the first international craft union organized in the City. Hotel parlours often served as convenient meeting places in a new city with few meeting halls.

In 1896 and 1906-1907, the hotel acted as a Salvation Army hostel for workers. In 1889, complaints were made to city councillors of local saloon owners who would deliver drunken customers to shipmasters for $10 a head. Logging and mining companies also used saloons like this one as recruiting centres.

With the expansions of Woodward’s the buildings at 130-160 Water Street was replaced in 1957 by a parkade. In 1995, the City of Vancouver acquired the parkade, and in the early 2000s rebuilt the Cordova side of the structure, which was crumbling and structurally unsafe. The Water Street side, originally designed by Paul Smith & Associates in 1971, was also rebuilt by the city with seismic upgrades, an additional floor for parking, and a ‘skin’ of office space to hide the parked cars.

Henriquez Partners designed the renovation and reconstruction, incorporating fragments of the old bridges from the Woodward’s parkade, and also a storm water recycling system. Over the years, the parkade has won awards, including an award of excellence by the International Parking Institute. The Stress Free parking website also named it as one of the top 10 coolest parking garages in the world, and Popular Mechanics named it one of the world’s 18 strangest parking garages in 2012.

Source

Changing Vancouver Blog, Working Class and Labour History Walking Tour