Salvation Army Temple
Gold Buddha Monastery
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Salvation Army Temple at 301 East Hastings Street is a two-storey Moderne style building at the northeast corner of Gore Avenue and East Hastings Street in Vancouver.
The value of this building lies in its connection with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army began in Vancouver in 1887, with four women known as the 'Hallelujah Lassies'. The Salvation Army Provincial Headquarters, including barracks and provincial offices for BC, Alaska, and the Yukon, were located at this site, with Major Frank Morris in charge. The Salvation Army has a long history of social work, providing care and shelter for those in need, and establishing food banks, rescue missions, and thrift shops.
Built in 1949 to a design by architects Mercer and Mercer, this temple is an eclectic Moderne-style structure. Andrew Mercer was socially conscious and supported a number of charities, including the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, by donating his design services. He likely donated his time to design this new building, which developed as a place of assembly with several functions. It was also the district headquarters. Lower floor rooms included a small auditorium, young people's assembly room, classrooms, gymnasium, library and kitchen. Main floor spaces included a songsters' room, band room, women's auxiliary, corps offices, mothers' room, and a large main auditorium with platform. When the Salvation Army made the decision to move out of Vancouver’s downtown eastside core, the building was sold to the Gold Buddha Monastery, which occupied the building from 1985 to 1993. This use by an Oriental religious group mirrors the changing demographics of this area, as the population is now overwhelmingly of Oriental origin.
The building is also of significance as an example of an institutional building in the Moderne style, a rarity in an older and unplanned streetscape. However, the building site contributes to the diversity of the historic area due to its age, historic use, and style.
Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
The character-defining elements of the Salvation Army Temple include:
- form and massing
- its corner location
- Moderne style architectural elements, including steel column with concrete pier structure, painted, poured-in-place concrete facade, beveled exterior corners and notched buttresses, metal windows, fluted concrete panels, and original exterior light fixtures
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Charter, s.582
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Mercer and Mercer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
Cross-Reference to Collection