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Culture

May 9 2013

Gastown Throwback: The Springer-Van Bramer Block

Located on the N.W. Corner of Cambie and W. Cordova streets, this elegant and imposing structure was built in 1888 for Captain James van Bramer and Ben Springer.  Springer and Van Bramer were two of Vancouver’s earlier developers — Van Bramer made his name as the owner of the steam tug, Sea Foam which offered a regular ferry service between Brighton and Moodyville across the Burrard Inlet from 1886 until it blew up at the Brighton wharf in 1887. Benjamin Springer was the manager of the Moodyville sawmill.

When built, the Springer-Van Bramer Block attracted retail and business occupants as well as social groups such as the Masons and Odd Fellows to the area.  Retail stores were located on the first floor, offices on the second and Odd Fellows and Masonic Lodges on the third.

The building is also known as the Masonic Temple due to that organizations occupancy of the upper floor between 1888 and 1901. The building has undergone few alterations since it was built accept for the removal of the cornice due to safety concerns.

Today, the Springer-Van Bramer looks just as beautiful as it did a century ago, and is home to the following Gastown businesses:

The Bambo Café: www.bambocafe.com

Dutil : www.dutildenim.com

Colour Box

The Greedy Pig: www.thegreedypig.ca

Olla Urban Flower Project : www.ollaflowers.ca

Parade Organicas :  www.parade.ca

The Springer-Van Bramer Block: 303 West Cordova Street, Gastown

Built: 1888

Architect: Noble Stonestreet Hoffar

Architectural Style: Victorian Italianate