Flack Block: Tides Renewal Centre Springs to Life
March 3rd, 2009
Work on the Flack Block heritage restoration at West Hastings and Cambie Street is almost complete. Joel Solomon of Renewal posted about moving their offices into the Flack Block on their blog. In addition to Renewal, other tenants of the new office space include Tides Canada, Hollyhock Leadership Institute, Penner & Associates, Forest Ethics, Raised Eyebrow, and Rainforest Solutions Project. See more pictures of their office space and some magnificent detail photos of the beautiful stonework on the archway on their Flickr gallery.
Below is an excerpt from Joel’s post:
Tides Renewal Centre Springs to Life
by Joel Solomon on January 26, 2009
The Tides Renewal Centre is springing to life. The exquisite renovation of the Flack Block by Robert Fung and Salient Group stands kitty corner from Victory Square on the Cambie and Hastings adjacent to the Woodward’s redevelopment.
This intersection was once the centre of the City. Victory Square was the original site of the Courthouse – across from it rose the Flack Block in 1898, one of the largest and most elaborate buildings in the city at the time. (Yes, the Dominion Building was a late comer to the ‘hood). The location alone ensured it would become a local landmark. The Klondike gold rush spurred a building boom in the 1890’s on Hastings Street, as Vancouver was one of the main supply centres for those heading to the gold fields. For decades afterward, Hastings Street remained the central shopping district in Vancouver.
Thomas Flack actually found gold in 1897 in the Klondike. And with that money, in 1898 he began construction on William Blackmore’s Romanesque Revival design. The Flack Block was home to small retailers on the ground level, and offices of barristers, insurance agents and mining brokers above, and was home of the original Bank of Vancouver early in the last century. Gold dealers and jewellers inhabited the building making use of the 10 or so massive vaults – many of which remain in the building. A jazz club speakeasy, a basement level bathhouse, many small businesses, some legal, some not, graced the floors of Flack over 100 years and through the decline of the neighbourhood, until Robert Fung brought it into the modern era – another of old Vancouver’s treasures restored and preserved. (story cont’d on their site)
Read the full post on the Renewal site, completed with more history about the Flack Block on the Renewal blog.