Chunks of concrete fall from historic Downtown Eastside building

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merchants-bank-2007

It wasn’t the sky falling early Wednesday morning at a popular Downtown Eastside gathering place. It was concrete.

Specifically, it was chunks of the concrete facade from the century-old historic Merchants Bank building, and they were tumbling to the sidewalk in the area known as Pigeon Park.

The City of Vancouver cordoned off the area, and is sending engineers to investigate. “The city says it is too early to know what the investigation will uncover, and too early to know what it will mean for the future of the building,” reports CBC News.

Built in 1913, this Beaux-Arts building at 1 W. Hastings at Carrall has spent the past decade on the historic registry, and is significant both for its design and its onetime role in the community as a hub of commerce.

Fortunately no one was hurt when the concrete slab fell from the roof and broke on the sidewalk.

Here’s a look at the same building in 1920
merchants-bank-1920
Photo courtesy Vancouver Public Library

And what fell Wednesday:

Featured photo by Jennifer via Flickr

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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