Located in Gastown on Water Street, this building was constructed just after the 1886 Great Fire, and is a Gastown ladmark, and one of the oldest buildings in the city.
In March 1998, a tragic fire destroyed all but the brick bay-windowed facade, now propped up by a steel frame in the hope that the owners might try to save the facade as part of a new building.
Four years have passed, and the burned-out hulk continues to deteriorate, its prospects weakened by low demand for upper floor premises in Gastown. Exposure to the elements will soon complete what the fire left unfinished.
With approval of the new Gastown heritage incentives, however, the economics of development have suddenly improved, and with it renewed interest in Gastown investment. (The first heritage project to use the new incentives — and a reported market success — is the group of recently completed loft residences across the street at 65 Water St.) City staff should be doing their utmost to help the owner use the new incentives to save this A-listed site.
Update April 9, 2006: The remaining facade is currently being restored in conjunction with a new development.