Created By: SFU
The Marine Building is one of many reminders around the city of the Scottish Canadian duo who dominated public architecture for over two decades. J.Y. McCarter and George C. Nairne were responsible for over a hundred works in British Columbia from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. Their scope was wide ranging, from sky scrapers to apartment buildings, from industrial to ecclesiastical structures. They would work with huge figures such as the government and the Coca-Cola company, but also with little ones, making a small garage in Gastown, and a handful of houses in Kamloops.
The Marine Building stands as one of the finest reminders of their works. Completed in 1930, at nearly double their budget, the marine building was the pinnacle of art deco architecture. With its stained glass sliding doors, its nautical embossments, high ceilings, and grandiose elevator doors, it’s clear to see why it was deemed “the greatest art deco building in the world” by poet laureate and architecture enthusiast John Betjeman. When it was finally complete it wowed Vancouver with doormen in crisp uniforms and women in sailor suits showing off high speed elevators. It was truly a mark of modern luxury. It is McCarter and Nairne’s most iconic work, which is why it is so appropriate that the Marine Building’s longest tenants (for over 50 years) were none other than the architectural firm of McCarter and Nairne.
You may have noticed that the next two sites are rather far away. Don’t worry, the walk is scenic, and no tour of Vancouver’s Scottish Heritage would be complete without these two iconic sites.
Newton, Elizabeth. “The Marine Building” Retrieved from: http://creatorsvancouver.com/the-marine-building/
“McCarter, John Young” Retrived from: http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/node/1475
“The Marine Building” Retrived from: http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/archives_marine_building.htm
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scotland Walks Vancouver