CP Telecommunications Centre

Mid-century modern buildings

The Canadian Pacific Telecommunications Centre (currently occupied by Allstream) was the first mid-century modern structure to go up in Vancouver’s Historic Gastown, a district better known for its classical turn-of-the-century architecture.

Designed by Francis Donaldson in 1968, the CP building utilized many of the New Formalist axioms such as an elevated profile, pristine columns and smooth, white, precast concrete panels wrapping the entire structure with a forward looking air of luxurious formality.

To some, the building was a break-through while to others it looked completely out of place among the area’s older construction.

Bonus Building: Just down the street at 108 West Cordova  is the recently (2009) constructed Woodward’s building. Similar in look to New York’s Flatiron building, this mixed use structure – which replaced the historic Woodward’s Department Store – hold’s a massive Stan Douglas photo mural in its public atrium depicting the 1971 Gastown Riots. You can also check out the rotating neon “W” sign nearby, a replica of the iconic mid-century signage that used to emblazon the top of the Woodward’s Department store. Very vintage and both are worth a look if you’re in the neighborhood checking out the CP Telecom building.

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