Woodward's Building stands tall

The Woodward's Building has experienced more than its share of ups and downs over the years.

Once the retail centre of Vancouver, it lapsed into decline after Pacific Centre opened in 1971.

The chain bearing the Woodward family name went broke in the early 1990s, leaving the flagship building vacant for several years.

But now, it's come alive again with London Drugs, a Nester's food market, and a new SFU campus.

There are those Downtown Eastside activists who chafe about the revived Woodward's block, in part because it's encouraged other developers to descend on the area.

Others in the arts community welcome the programming at SFU Woodward's, saying it's been a welcome addition when other venues are disappearing across the city.

The basketball hoop and the Stan Douglas depiction of the Gastown riots in the atrium also have their fans.

Regardless of your point of view, it's hard to argue that the new building has had a noticeable impact on Vancouver's skyline.

In that part of town, the 102-year-old Sun Tower Building used to dominate the vista up Hastings Street, but that's clearly no longer the case.

The Sun Tower Building
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Alan Layton
One of the more attractive buildings, especially with all of the 'iron work' on the outside. My only beef is that they badly need street level shops with doors that open on to the sidewalk. I'm not sure why they didn't include this but it makes it quite barren and dull to walk by.
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