Top Ten Endangered Sites
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Once the commercial heart of Vancouver, Hastings Street between Cambie and Main is the city's best surviving turn-of-the-century streetscape. However, the buildings sit empty, with little or no maintenance.
Demolition has left ugly gaps along the street.
Hastings needs help before all of it is lost to the wrecking
Among its treasures, behind a modest brick facade
at 152 East Hastings, is North America's oldest remaining
Pantages Theatre. Built in 1907 by Alexander
Pantages as part of his emerging vaudeville and movie empire,
this theatre is one of the oldest purpose-built vaudeville
interiors in Canada. The theatre has been dark for over a
decade and its future is still uncertain.
Farther west, in the 100-block West Hastings,
is the rotting hulk of the Ralph Block, an
important cast iron facade designed by prominent architects
Parr and Fee (1899) and a B on the Heritage Register.
The 100-block, anchored by the historic Woodward's
building and devastated by the store's closure in 1993, is
now in danger of demolition by neglect. The former department
store has suffered from 10 years of failed schemes, both private
and public, leading to calls for its demolition. The good
news is that the current city council has purchased Woodward's
from the province. Council intends to use the building for
public housing, and for the commercial and institutional activities
needed to jump-start the area's economic revitalization.
Updated April 7, 2006: Plans are underway to fully restore the theatre, inside and out, for community groups use in the Arts.
Updated October 26, 2008: The theatre is now seriously threatened, as restoration and financing plans have fallen through. See our main Pantages Theatre page for further updates.
View our Pantages Theatre info page