PHOTO: CVA STR. P 83 – MAY 1886 Maple Tree Square corner of Carrall and Water Street looking south. On the S.E. corner of Powell & Carrall Street is the first Ferguson Block built in 1885. In the centre of the photo is the famous Maple Tree which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886. It was under the Maple Tree that pioneers held meetings or impromptu concerts in the evenings. The Proclamation re the city’s first election held on May 3, 1886 is posted on the tree.
Nightlife

January 27 2010

Ferguson Block – Gastown History

With the help of the Gastown Business Improvement Society and the Vancouver archives you can now learn about each building in Gastown through the Gastown Blog Building History Series. Enjoy and keep posted for more history from the Gastown Blog.

In this week’s addition, we are profiling Ferguson Block, home to the Diamond, Angel Paint, Café Dolcino and the Sitar Restaurant.

Check out our previous Building History posts on the Hotel Europe, the Landing, Leckie Building, Hotel Dominion, Holland Block, Packing House, Canadian Fairbanks Building, The Boulder and Springer-Van Bramer.

The Ferguson Block – #2 Powell Street
Built
: 1886 – 1887
Architect
: W. T. Whiteway
Architectural
Style: Victorian Italianate

The Ferguson Block is one of the oldest buildings in Vancouver still standing in its original location on the South East Corner of Powell and Carrall Street in Maple Tree Square.

Alfred Graham Ferguson, a civil engineer and CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) tunnel contractor, built the first Ferguson Block out of wood.  When it was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886, he rebuilt it at the same location out of brick.

He sold the building in 1887 to Hugh Chamberlain and it was renamed the Chamberlain Block.  By 1889 Chamberlain had added a one-storey addition to the rear of the building and a two-storey addition to the side.