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Visiting the Former Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, British Columbia: Neo-Romanesque Style From 1909

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Provincial flag of British Columbia

Provincial flag of British Columbia

Mount Pleasent Presbyterian Church, Vancouver

Mount Pleasent Presbyterian Church, Vancouver

Remembering Presbyterian and architectural heritage from the past

[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of the hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest.]

Dating from 1909, this fine building served between that date and 1984 as the home of Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, British Columbia (1).

Rounded, Syrian window and door arching and conical tower evidence a strong, Neo-Romanesque influence. While the 1890s arguably marked the apogée of Richardson Romanesque in North America, this somewhat more eclectic expression of Romanesque represents an enduring manifestation of the style. Although the building's tall spire is probably its most conspicuous feature, yet stylistically the conical tower, while lacking the height of the spire, is arguably the most distinguishing and even memorable of characteristics.

The congregation which used the building from 1927 onwards originated in 1925, comprised of Presbyterians who, after the founding of the United Church of Canada in 1925 (2), preferred to remain outside the new church body.

The structure is executed in brick, with some stone facing, in a pleasing blend of materials. The architects were John Edmeston Parr (1856-1923) and Thomas A. Fee (1860-1929), who also designed many other buildings exhibiting conical towers (3); (see also photo supplied, below).

The former Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church is situated at 2525 Quebec Street, Vancouver, British Columbia. Since the building's conversion, by the Gomberoff – Policzer architectural partnership in 1994, it has been known as The Cornerstone.

October 31, 2019


(1) See also:

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(2) The United Church of Canada was comprised 1925 mainly of Presbyterian and Methodist congregations in English-speaking parts of Canada.

(3) See also: The Parr and Fee partnership was responsible for many hotel buildings in Vancouver. (It might be added that it is probably the case that some of the hotel commissioning which happened in Vancouver in the late 19th and in the early years of the 20th century was carried out under circumstances which did not reflect the transparency aimed at by more recent conventions on competitive tendering and conflict of interests.)

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Portraits of Vancouver-based architects John Edmeston Parr (left) and his partner, Thomas Arthur Fee (right), 1900

Portraits of Vancouver-based architects John Edmeston Parr (left) and his partner, Thomas Arthur Fee (right), 1900

Also worth seeing

Among the numerous, outstanding visitor attractions in Vancouver, a very few of these include: The Lookout, with excellent views of the city, the surrounding Rockies and Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge, Gastown; False Creek and Science World; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the 1914 Heritage Hall; the 1907 Dominion Building; the 1911 Sun Tower; the 1914 Waterfront Station; the 1919 Pacific Central Station; Granville Island; and many others.

Vancouver is also ideally situated for day trips to British Columbian mountain destinations such as Whistler (distance: 123.8 kilometres / 76.9 miles) and Peace Arch Park (Peace Arch Provincial Park in Canada and Peace Arch Historical State Park in the United States), shared between the Province of British Columbia at Surrey and the US State of Washington, at Blaine (distance: 48.9 kilometers / 30.4 miles).


How to get there

WestJet and Air Canada fly to Vancouver International Airport, Richmond (distance from Downtown Vancouver: 10.8 kilometres / 6.7 miles), with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

Map location of Vancouver, British Columbia

Map location of Vancouver, British Columbia

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