Photo Credit: Bob Hare
1575 Alma St, Vancouver BC
Heritage Conservation Grant 2019
While the architectural design of this building may seem at first typical, it embodies the very character of the city. Built in 1867, the Hastings Mill Store is the oldest building in Vancouver, surviving the Great Fire of 1886 and its scheduled demolition in the Jazz Age era.
This architectural phoenix was built on Dunlevy Avenue, near the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Aside from being Gastown’s first post office, it served as a general store for the Hastings Mill Company and a meeting place for the workers until 1887, when the building was transformed into a storehouse.
Despite being at the core of the city’s development, the store was slated for demolition in 1929 until the Native Daughters of B.C. organized the city’s very first conservancy project. Barged over to their Point Grey property, now Pioneer Park, the society restored the building into a museum where artifacts illustrating Vancouver’s history are still on display.
Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide (Kalman 1993, 2012), Old Hastings Store Museum website, Vancouver Architecture blog (Priebe)