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This unassuming Kitsilano building's history goes back to 1907

A boxy building on 1st Avenue and Maple Street has quite the backstory.
Children queue for the camera on 1st Avenue West and Maple Street

At first glance, this may appear to be a boxy apartment dwelling, similar to others throughout Vancouver in the earlier to mid-20th century.

A closer inspection of the building’s siding in this 1933 print, however, reveals the outlines of where windows, doors and a porch roofline once were. These faint scars were reminders of the building’s original design when access to the upper floor was via a set of stairs protruding out of the building’s west side.

Located at the corner of 1st Avenue West and Maple Street, this structure was originally erected as St. Mark’s Mission by the Reverend William Tuson in 1907.

St. Mark’s did not occupy this site for long. It moved to a more permanent building at 2nd Avenue and Larch Street in 1911. The BC Tract Society and a Seventh Day Adventists Conference were the next occupants and called the building home for just over a decade.

From 1921 until 1923, the building was known as the Green Lantern Hall, available for rent for private dances and celebrations. Modern Electric Carpet Washings occupied the space from 1924 until almost the end of the decade when the building became exclusively devoted to housing and has remained so thanks to the Kitsilano Housing Society, which refurbished the building in the 1970s.

Interested in finding more archival photographs of Vancouver? Search the City of Vancouver Archives’ online database. For more information about the Archives, its holdings, and how to research, visit the Archives’ website.

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