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TAMURA BUILDING Back to Projects Page

Historical restoration of cornice and decorative metal. Tamura building, Powell and Dunlevy, Vancouver B.C. Canada.

Raven Metal was chosen as the Sheet metal specialist to undertake the historic restoration of this class A historical building by Darwin Construction. The work consists of the repair of existing cornice and columns, recreating the rooftop urns and pediments from historical photographs, removal repair and replacement of the pressed metal ceiling, recreating the pediments over the door as well as the canopy over the front entry.

The Tamura House's heritage value can be summarized as follows:

  • Built in 1912/13, it is a significant early Japantown building which contributes to the intact urban character of the Powell Street facades in the sub area of Japanese Village of the Downtown- Eastside/Oppenheimer district area, dating, for the most part, from 1905 to 1938,
  • Designed by Townsend and Townsend in an exuberant Edwardian Commercial Style, incorporating elaborate and overstated roof top cornices, pediments and applied columns, and the use of massive urn elements as likely Japanese cultural influences,
  • And as a surviving example of a number of speculative mixed-use blocks constructed on Powell Street and other areas of Japantown just prior to the collapse of the City's building boom in 1913. The building is currently registered in the Vancouver Heritage Registry as an A resource
  • Articulation of its upper façade, including detailed the buff face brick, pattern of fenestration on the first, second and third floors of large punched window openings with projecting concrete sills, elaborate bracketed projecting sheet metal cornice, applied three storey high sheet metal columns with Corinthian Style capitals, large ornate end brackets on Powell and Dunlevy Streets, and elaborate bases to the set of corner columns at Dunlevy and Powell,
  • Surviving storefront elements including the lower sheet metal cornice with brackets relating to the upper cornice, elaborate ornamental gabled pediments over the corner suite entry and three more over the corner suite Dunlevy Street windows, original dressed granite cladding at corner of Dunlevy and Powell Streets, chamfered granite storefront bases at all storefront entries, surviving clearstorey windows and glazing on the Dunlevy storefronts, surviving alcove tile surfaces at all of the storefront entries, except the corner unit, as well as at the hotel entry, rock faced granite base masonry stepping up Dunlevy beneath the Corner suite units, and original wood fixed windows on the Dunlevy elevation of the corner suite,
  • Surviving interior features including the subway tile with ornamental cap wainscot of the hotel entry and the surviving pressed tin ceiling in the corner unit,
  • Evidence of advances in functional design, including the provision of natural light with skylights and open light courts, central heating, and bathrooms; .