The parkade in the 700-block Seymour served the Vancouver Centre complex anchored by the Scotia Tower at Georgia and Granville, surely one of the most boring buildings on one of the best locations in Canada.
When it replaced the much-loved Birks Building in 1974, it helped provoke the heritage movement in the city, and eventually the provincial legislation which preserved our best landmarks. (Think of it as the Pennsylvania Station of Vancouver. Penn Station was a magnificent neoclassical rail terminal in New York, the demolition of which led to the American National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.)
The worst part of Vancouver Centre is the mediocre low-rise element at the southeast corner of our most important downtown intersection.
Unlike the Hudson’s Bay building, it fails to define the corner, sucks the life out of the intersection and leaves exposed the party wall of the Vancouver Block. My recommendation: demolish – and replace with a nifty Apple Store still languishing underground in an overcrowded storefront somewhere in Pacific Centre.
But I digress … back to the parkade.
You can tell it’s from the Seventies by that ‘fractured fin finish’ of striated concrete that was first used, according to one source, in 1970. At least it wears well.
Now it’s being replaced by Vancouver Centre II:
This LEED Platinum 33-storey tower designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership is due to be finished in 2021. Along with Telus and more towers filling in the blocks to the library and (perhaps) the new art gallery, the centre of the CBD continues to shift eastward.