Michael Kluckner riffs off the post from Michael Gordon below to recount the story of the building that marked the end of the highrise era in Kitsilano*.
It was the end of ’71 when developer Ben Wosk started work on the apartment building at 2280 Cornwall, following the path set by the St. Roch at 2323 and Century House at 2370 West 2nd in 1966 (left), and Las Salinas at 2310 West 2nd and Seaside Plaza at 2324 West 1st in 1968. The earlier “highrises” are on big pieces of property, like the West End ones of the ’60s, with a lot of open space and low FSR, as were Carriage House and similar buildings erected at that time in South Granville and Kerrisdale. Very different from everything today.
People including some NPA aldermen naively believed that the height limit was three storeys at the beach, although it was actually 120 feet or 12 storeys. Bruce Yorke of the Vancouver Tenants Council led the protests – something people have a problem understanding today, that highrise apartments were equated with higher rents than the lowrise ones, and with displacement and gentrification.
(The blowback was so immediate that Tom Campbell, the NPA mayor at the time, intervened with Wosk to get a stop on the highrise proposal.) Wosk agreed to build only three storeys “on condition the area is rezoned so that no other highrises can be built,” according to the Sun, February 16, 1972.Read more »