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Runkle Block

247 Abbott Street, Vancouver, Colombie-Britannique, V6B, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 2003/01/14

Exterior view of the Runkle Block; City of Vancouver, 2004
Corner view
Exterior view of the Runkle Block; City of Vancouver, 2004
East elevation
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)

Runkle Block
101 West Cordova Street
Cosmopolitan Hotel

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2005/03/07

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Runkle Block is a four storey Edwardian era building located at the northwest corner of Abbott and West Cordova Streets in the historic district of Gastown. The building is faced in brick with precast concrete trim.

Valeur patrimoniale

Gastown is the historic core of Vancouver, and is the city's earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings and warehouses. The Runkle Block is representative of the importance of Gastown as the trans-shipment point between the terminus of the railway and Pacific shipping routes, and the consequent expansion of Vancouver into western Canada's predominant commercial centre in the early twentieth century. The Runkle Block illustrates the expansion of Gastown's economic activities beyond warehousing and hotel accommodation into general commerce. The upper floors have also served at various times as hotel accommodation and lodging rooms, indicating the flexibility of use that was determined by changing economic conditions.

This building is also significant as an early design in Vancouver by architects Sharp and Thompson, who had established their Vancouver practice in 1908. Both trained in London, England, G.L.T. Sharp (1880-1974) and C.J. Thompson (1878-1961) were among the few in Vancouver at the time with architectural credentials. A year after this commission, they won the open competition to design the new University of British Columbia. The Runkle Block is a fine example of their commercial design work, with sophisticated ornamentation; the decorative cartouches on the main facades include the initials of the original owner, J.C. Runkle.

Source: City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files

Éléments caractéristiques

The character-defining elements of the Runkle Block include:
- corner location with two main facades
- siting on the property lines, with no setbacks at front or sides; small passageway at north side
- boxy form, scale and symmetrical massing as expressed by the four storey height, flat roof and square floor plan
- wider centre bays on each of the two main facades, with stepped parapets above
- masonry construction, including yellow brick main facades, precast concrete detailing including decorative cartouches, sills and lintels; and common red brick on north facade
- fenestration, such as: rectangular storefront openings; side centre-pivot wood-sash windows on the second floor with double transoms; double-assembly wood-sash casement windows with transoms on the third and fourth floors; and double-hung 1-over-1 wood-sash windows on the north facade
- side entry to the upper floors, with granite steps and inset black and white mosaic tile
- original interior features such as plaster walls and wooden trim




Autorité de reconnaissance

Ville de Vancouver

Loi habilitante

Vancouver Charter, art.593

Type de reconnaissance

Désignation patrimoniale

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Économies en développement
Commerce et affaires

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction



Commerce / Services commerciaux
Bureau ou édifice à bureaux

Architecte / Concepteur

G.L.T. Sharp



Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




Inscriptions associées



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