East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC.
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
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
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
- 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
- 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.