Many of the Vancouver images I’ve posted show you our beaches, mountains and greenery. Today, I’m taking you to City Hall, a 12-storey art deco landmark that rises above Broadway and boasts some great views.
It also boasts a good history. Constructed over a period of 330 days in the Dirty Thirties, the building was then-Mayor Gerry McGeer’s solution to more than a couple of challenges. First, although this port city was approaching its 50th year of incorporation, its civic business had been conducted in nothing more than temporary quarters since the original city hall was lost to a fire shortly after incorporation.
Additionally, Vancouver was dealing with unemployment rates upward of 20%, and it’s probably fair to say that McGeer had been seen as unsympathetic to those who were struggling. The City hadn’t the resources for a new city hall, but secured a million dollars in funding from the federal government, which created a Baby Bond to raise the funds. McGeer and the City were able to create hundreds of jobs during 1936, and the building rose 98 meters – almost 322 feet – high, in time for Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee.
While the new location was far removed from the city centre of the day, it’s now just a block from the rapid transit afforded via the Canada Line’s City Hall Station, and one would be hard pressed to find a nearby two bedroom condo for less than 44% of the 1936 cost of constructing this lovely building – which is a striking sight by day or night.