Photo Credit: Bob Hare
510 W Hastings St, Vancouver BC
Towering majestically on the corner of West Hastings and Richards streets, this 15 storey Edwardian skyscraper was built in 1914 and was originally named the Weart Building in honor of his promoter. Designed by the Tacoma firm Russell and Babcock in a neo-gothic style, it was at the time of its inauguration the tallest single-slab office block in the city. The original plan proposed a more substantial use of gothic architectural features than what was built.
While the top floors display neo-gothic decorations, such as heraldic crests, the base showcases classical hybrids as columns are crowned with urns that are paired with Ionic spirals. The ornamental ironwork was provided, similarly to the Birks and Seymour buildings, by the Chicago Ornamental Iron Company. Although the gothic cresting of the top floors was removed, the original plasterwork of the former banking hall of the Standard Bank was preserved along with the unique Cutler Mail box system of the lavish lobby.
During the First World War, the Standard Bank Building’s offices were rented out to a number of war-related organizations, including the Canadian Red Cross Society. Today, the Standard Building houses the Vancouver Heritage Foundation office.
Changing Vancouver blog (Atkin and Coupland), Hidden Cities: Art and Design in Architectural Details of Vancouver and Victoria (Edwards), Dictionary of Canadian Architects, Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide (Kalman), Exploring Vancouver 2: Ten Tours of the City and its Buildings, Historic West Hastings Walking Tour (VHF), Courtney Stickland "The forgotten front": a walking tour of Vancouver during the First World War (2013)