BC Binning Mural

Mid-century art/mid-century banks

Tucked away above rows of greeting cards inside a busy downtown Vancouver drugstore at Granville & Dunsmuir streets endures a visually gripping mid-century mosaic mural by renowned Canadian artist & architect, BC Binning. For real!

Commissioned as a feature wall inside this former Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce building (designed by influential architects McCarter & Nairne, in 1958), Binning’s mural – measuring 44 feet in length and comprised of thousands of pieces of Venetian glass – is symbolic of British Columbia’s development and prosperity as a Province at the time; the artist’s abstract imagery depicting various indigenous resources and industries such as mining, fishing and commerce.

The building itself is a striking late 1950s modernist structure if you can look past the newer drugstore signage and awning at its base, and is mostly made up of white marble supported by black granite columns around the perimeter. Check out the building’s north and east sides for some nice recessed mid-mod patterning.

For a close-up view of BC Binning’s mural take the stairs or elevator to the second floor inside the Shoppers Drug Mart at 586 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.

To interpret the mural – which by the way is entitled “British Columbia Beginning” – you can refer to the decipher code over at Illustrated Vancouver.

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