Faces of Vancouver: Winch Building and old post office
This is the first installment of Faces of Vancouver, a new weekly column by Douglas Aitken. Every Monday, Aitken will look at prominent buildings in Vancouver, with a focus on the city’s European, Asian, and First Nations cultures.
Finished in 1910, both buildings make up the present-day Sinclair Centre at Granville and Hastings streets in the heart of Vancouver’s business district.
The post office was designed by Edinburgh-trained chief dominion architect David Ewart, who was responsible for designing many of Canada’s post offices and public buildings. The Beaux Art-style structure, with its distinctive clock tower and mansard roof, replaced an elegant, smaller post office located a block away at Pender and Granville (demolished shortly after the opening of the new post office).
The Winch Building was designed by British-born architect, Thomas Hooper. The building was commissioned by R.V. Winch, originally from Cobourg, Ontario, who had made a fortune in the fishing business. Hooper later became the architect for the Robson Street addition of the new Vancouver courthouse.
Douglas Aitken has a growing collection of over 100 watercolours featuring prominent Vancouver buildings, past and present. This year, he published a book called Three Faces of Vancouver.