10. First Church of Christ, Scientist [Saved]

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2002 Top10 Watch List

10. First Church of Christ, Scientist [Saved]
First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1160 West Georgia Street. Image © CVA 790-1661

This has been the First Church of Christ, Scientist since its construction in 1918, designed by architects Frederic Claude De Guerre and Robert Michael Matheson.

The design is Second Renaissance Revival and the interior is an intact music hall, with an organ of classical design as the centerpiece of the church.

It’s surrounded by pews laid out in a half-circle arrangement and is well lit by clear glass arched windows on the upper portion of both the Georgia and Alberni sides.

The building is of particular value because of the integral relationship between the interior and exterior. It has now been sold to a development corporation, but it would be good to see this Heritage Register B Listing preserved as a cultural resource, an option the City is now investigating.


Update June 27, 2005: Actively being fully restored, in part to a heritage density bonus from neighbouring development of the Shangri-La Hotel, allowing the hotel to build taller in exchange for the air rights above the church to be sold and moved to the neighbouring lot. The two 1950s added wings facing West Georgia, have been removed, restoring the original 1918 form.

Update May 4, 2006: Restoration, with both the interior and exterior, is complete, and operates now as the Coastal Church.


Vancouver Building Permit no. 9412
Issued: August 1, 1918
Owner: First Church of Christ Scientist
Architects: Robert M. Matheson & Frederic Claude De Guerre
Contractor: Sub-contracts
Address: 1160 West Georgia Street
DL 185; Block 18; Lot 7
Value: $35,000
Remarks: Office/Store; Church, brick construction, 131-ft x 66-ft, ground flr. w/ lrg. auditorium above; bldg. fronts, piers, and interior of entrance vestibules will be of face brick w/ stone trimmings, walls Denison interlocking tile