Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cosmopolitan Runkle

On Monday I wrote on the Hickey Block and I mentioned how sad it was that a building with so much history had fallen into such disrepair. Today I happened to speak with two of the men who are working on the building and I am happy to report that it is being redone to its former glory. A furniture store is moving in. I will have to get pictures when the work is finished.
This building is the Rees and Higgins Block and it is next door to the Hickey Block. In fact the two buildings were often jointly occupied on the second floor.

Also known as the Abbott Cosmopolitan Rooms, this Victorian Italianate style building is one of the early brick hotels built after the Great Fire of 1886. In 1889, when this was constructed, fireproof construction was considered a very good selling point.

The building below is the Runkle Block also known as the Cosmopolitan Hotel or 101 West Cordova - it stands on the corner of West Cordova and Abbott Streets.

Architects Sharp and Thompson built this four storey Edwardian styled building in 1911. (They were also the architects that built the Vancouver Club and the University of British Columbia.)

If you look closely you might see the initials J.C. R. for the initial owner, J.C. Runkle in the the decorative cartouches on the main facades.

There is space on the ground floor for retail and the upper was used for a hotel or rooming house, depending on the need at the time.

There are two main facades for the Runkle Block - one at 101 West Cordova Street and the other at 247 Abbott Street.

It has a boxy form with a flat roof and square floor plan.

While walking around inside I went to the top floor and got this following photo of the staircase.

The railing was so high I couldn't really see over it so I just kind of pointed the camera over and pushed the shutter button! Good thing I couldn't see this clearly. I don't like heights.

A few of the interior decorations deserved notice as well.

This one block of Abbott Street - between West Cordova and Water Streets - is filled with history. I will have to be certain to go back and get more pictures.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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