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B.C. Collateral

77 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC.
@Columbia Ave

Description of Historic Place

The BC Collateral and Loan Buildings at 77 East Hastings Street are comprised of two masonry buildings constructed in 1902: a two-storey building on the east (lot 19, modified c.1934) and a three-storey masonry building on the west (lot 20). Extending off the facade of the three-storey building is a large neon sign 'LOANS/SELLS' with a rotating '77/BC COLLATERAL' disc. The buildings are located on the north side of East Hastings Street in Vancouver's downtown east side.-The neon signage was removed in 2009

Heritage Value

The BC Collateral and Loan Buildings are of heritage value to the downtown east side for the business' continuous local entrepreneurship for nearly 90 years. They are also valued as examples of commercial buildings that have been adapted to continuously suit the needs of one business.

Since 1918, the business has provided credit to customers at this location. Now commonly known as a pawnshop, the business provides small loans mostly to lower income residents of the downtown east side. The fact that a business has sustained itself through numerous economic cycles for so long is rare for a business in this area.

The buildings' alterations and expansions are examples of how buildings were adapted to suit the needs of a growing business. This business started in the two-storey building (lot 19) and expanded into the adjacent three-storey building (lot 20) in the 1960s.

The alterations are also important to the history of the buildings because they reflect how Vancouver was changing both commercially and physically in the twentieth century. By 1934, the facade of the two-storey building had been renovated to an Art Deco appearance to reflect the contemporary aesthetic of the day, and by the 1970s, the rotating neon sign was mounted on the facade of the three-storey building.
Source: City of Vancouver, Vancouver Heritage Register File

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the two BC Collateral and Loan Buildings include:
- along with the adjacent building in a prominent corner location at 333 Columbia Street, they form a contiguous group of brick masonry buildings;
- varied height of two and three storeys;
- brick with stone window sills and lintels;
- contiguous storefront configuration with the extant recessed entryway in the two-storey building, with its mosaic tiles 'B.C. Collateral, Est. 1900';
- the two-storey building's Art Deco chevron grills in the upper floor windows and painted brick, evidence of the 1930's era renovation;
- the prominent array of double-sided, rotating neon signs extending out from the three-storey building, consisting of (from top to bottom): a red, ovalized address sign, with face texts ''77' and 'BC COLLATERAL', a blue, vertical blade sign, with face texts 'LOANS' and 'SELLS', a red bar sign, with face texts 'EVERYTHING' and 'OR ANYTHING;'
- the original elements of the three-storey building, including paired tall double hung wood windows, stone sills and flat lintels, and subtle corbelling at the parapet.


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All photos copyright © Christian Dahlberg except where stated otherwise. All rights reserved.
Vancouver panorama photo © Vancouver Lookout. www.vancouverlookout.com