VPL30492 Europe
Culture

April 25 2013

Gastown Throwback: The Europe on Powell

The Europe is a good example of the pioneering use of innovative building technology.  The concrete frame, the first of its kind in Vancouver, purportedly made this the earliest fireproof building in western Canada. What is known as the annex (the four storey building attached to the Eastern end of the Europe) was built in two phases and was completed in 1886. It is recognised as one of the earliest brick buildings to have been completed after Vancouver’s devastating fire of 1886.

Calori appointed Vancouver architects Parr and Fee to design the building on the narrow triangular lots adjacent to the earlier building.  The Europe is an architectural tour de force and remains a landmark building in Vancouver to this day. 
 

The new Europe, which retained the adjacent original building as an annex, was built in 1908-9. The building was modelled after the Flatiron Building designed by the architect Daniel Burnham in New York City in 1902.  It is also reminiscent of European buildings in Paris and Milan, where radial city planning made such curious-shaped city blocks commonplace.

Today the Europe and its annex house the following Gastown businesses:

Kimprints, 41 Powell Street

Stussy, 49 Powell Street  – www.styssy.com

Peter Wilde Design, 51 Powell, www.peterwildsdesign.com

Seamonstr Sushi, 55 Powell, www.seamonstrsushi.com

Fortknight, 46 Alexander Street, www.fortknight.ca

Sharks and Hammers, 54 Alexander Street, www.sharksandhammers.com

VPL30491 Europe