“The building suggests some great marine rock rising from the sea, clinging with sea flora and fauna, tinted in sea green, flashed with gold, at night a dim silhouette piercing the sea mists,” wrote the Vancouver Sun in an opening day supplement on October 7, 1930.
The building was the brainchild of Lt. Cmdr. J.W. Hobbs, who envisioned a New York style skyscraper in downtown Vancouver. What Hobbs achieved is one of the world’s great masterpieces of Art Deco architecture.
He found a site at the foot of Burrard Street that would give his tower spectacular views of the harbour and North Shore mountains. Hobbs hired the local firm of McCarter and Nairne to create his vision. Inspired by New York’s Chrysler building, they were excited at the chance to create their own dazzling Art Deco showpiece. [“This is the height of Art Deco, the absolute height of it”, says Don Luxton, president of the Canadian Art Deco Society]