During the depression years, the Powell River Company requested a loan from the Bank of Commerce to undertake the expansion of their facilities. The Bank of Commerce turned them down. The Company went to great lengths and expense to find a bank which would provide them with the required loan. They eventually succeeded with the Bank of Montreal who built offices directly across the street from the Bank of Commerce's original location.
As with the other later buildings in townsite, the Company erected the Bank of Montreal with a mock Tudor exterior. The interior of the bank, however, was state-
As part of the overall package, luxurious living quarters for the manager and his family were built on the second floor. A novel feature of this building is the inclusion of numerous "peep holes" between the two floors which allowed the manager to keep an eye on the activities of the bank below from his personal living quarters.
Another of the first buildings to be erected in Powell River was a simple and functional Frontier style structure which housed dry goods, groceries and offices. Sam Sing (the name he used when emigrating from China to Canada) obtained ownership of the store and property during an early financial crisis which faced the Powell River Company. The Company handed out titles of ownership to their land in exchange for badly needed cash.
When the company was solvent again it bought back the rights to ownership. Sam Sing, however, decided to retain his and owned and operated the "Sing Lee Block' until selling it back to the company in 1917. When the company regained ownership of the property it was renamed The Company Stores.
In 1941, the Frontier style structure was razed and the ultra-
Powell River has always had a ballroom which, in this very social town, has served as a community focal point and the place to hold most events. The original ballroom was built in 1911 and was located on the second floor of the Company Stores.
In 1927, The Powell River Company once again spared no expense in the construction of Dwight Hall. The hall contained features not yet thought of in similar structures of the time. On the main floor was the spacious ballroom with its innovative sprung dance floor, at the end of which stood the stage and dressing rooms.The dance floor also had an adjoining supper room and kitchen. The lower level housed the meeting rooms and the Library.
The hall was built in the Tudor Revival architectural style surrounded by extensive landscaping. Dwight Hall was recognized in the Province of British Columbia as being the finest of its kind.
Due to the ever-
The Federal Building design was in a 1930's style known as Streamline Moderne. (A fine example of this style can be found in the Marine Building in Vancouver, B.C.)
The architecture is characterized by elaborate brickwork, sloping in a manner to give the illusion of a building much smaller than it's actual mass. The building also introduced Powell River to skylights for the first time. The completed building housed the Post and Customs Offices as well as offices for Federal agents responsible to Ottawa.
By 1916, Powell River, was a community with an expanding population. The tent community was gone and residents were now housed in spacious family homes and apartments. All the amenities the town's population needed were in service and the pulp and paper mill was expanding.
While all the Powell River homes built in the Craftsman style were built with the finest quality in workmanship and materials, in 1916, the Powell River Company undertook to build even more luxurious accommodations called the Ocean View Apartments.
The Ocean View is a stately apartment block befitting the meticulously appointed suites inside. The building featured nine foot ceilings on the main floor and an additional foot on the second. Hardwood flooring was installed throughout. A separate dining room with wooden sliding doors opened into the living room. Two interior courtyards provided light into the interior rooms and allowed access to the basement below where each suite had it's own laundry room and a coal and wood storage room
Significantly, the materials used in 1916 to build the Ocean View Apartments have withstood the test of time, the building being in excellent condition today, indicating the emphasis on the quality of its initial conception.
Built in 1928, the Patricia Theatre has been characterized as exuding subdued elegance. The external architecture was designed in the Spanish Renaissance style, highlighted by the ornamentation on the upper external facade. No other buildings in Townsite have these unique features and styling.
The internal architecture of the theatre is known as Military style. Emphasized is a three-
Recent electronic testing found the Patricia to have near perfect acoustics. This fact, indicates once again, the extraordinary craftsmanship demonstrated throughout.
Unfortunately, the art of erecting such an acoustically perfect theatre has been lost. However, the Patricia Theatre has recently undergone major restoration and continues to be the oldest operating movie theatre in BC.
The Provincial Building was built in 1939 by the British Columbia Ministry of Public Works. Though the Tudor Revival architectural style of the building is typical of Provincial buildings, their architectural characteristics differ somewhat from other Tudor Revival buildings in the Townsite.
Built at the same time as the Federal Building and roughly the same size, the Provincial Building cost $20,000, as compared to the $50,000 poured into the Federal building.
The Provincial Building housed the B.C. Police, the courtroom, forestry services, public works, the government agent and the jail cells.
In 1997 the building was purchased and converted to what is now the Old Courthouse Inn.
Built in 1911, the Rodmay Hotel was one of the first buildings constructed by the Powell River Paper Company. The hotel was urgently required to accommodate the Company's business associates in deluxe accommodation.
The Powell River Hotel, as it was first called, was built in a Frontier style, prevalent among the buildings on the B.C. coast at the time. In this community, however, the hotel was given an additional feature which resulted in a dramatic overall look. By adding gabled windows to the sloping roof the hotel took on a Swiss Chalet appearance.
In 1911, the mill employees were living in a tent community located south of the hotel. The large balcony and stairs of the hotel served as a grandstand for the numerous sporting activities which took place on the large field in front.
Renamed the Rodmay Hotel in 1917, a few additions were subsequently added over the years, significantly changing the facade of the original structure. By 1954, only the original top two floors could be recognized amid the additional thirty rooms and other commercial additions.
This hotel was built of air dried virgin timber, which is the reason the structure is still solid as steel. After being closed for several years the hotel has been undergoing renovations and remodelling and the businesses located within its historic walls are being revived to provide a full hospitality package for guests that include rooms, suites, meeting areas, a banquet room, liquor store, pub, and restaurant.
The construction of St. John's Church was the result of the residents of Powell River pooling their resources together to build a nondenominational place of worship.
The Powell River Company had a policy of keeping itself removed from the community's religious activities. Nevertheless, they made a substantial donation in order to have the church completed.
St. John's was built in 1913 in a traditional Gothic Revival style. Added to the facade of the church are "craftsman brackets", these being the significant feature of most Powell River homes of the time. St. John's was the only nonresidential structure to incorporate their use. The brackets can be seen particularly clearly in this early photograph. There are a total of six brackets, three appearing to support each of the two eaves.
A unique feature of the architecture of St. John's is the inlaid wood arch above the entrance doors. The style is of Moorish origin, usually found in Moslem mosques. Uncertain as to the reason for the choice of entrance, we do know that the effect of the design is to give an open, expansive, light and airy feel.
As the church catered to a number of denominations it may have chosen this feature as the best way to make everyone feel that St. John's was their own place of worship regardless of denomination. Having remained a multi-
In 1916, three years after the completion of the nondenominational St. John's, the Catholic community pooled their resources to build St. Joseph's Church and Rectory. As well as providing all the clear timber needed to build the structure the Powell River Company also provided a large sum of money to see the building completed.
Architecturally, St. Joseph's has been praised by many. Combined with its function as a church and rectory, it was built with great sensitivity to the adjoining neighbourhood.
A significant feature of the church is the particularly large belfry atop which stands a simple wooden cross.
St. Joseph's stands across the street to the northeast of St. John's and so the area became known as Church's Corner. The townspeople would walk together to church, socialize, then part company to attend their respective services, coming together again afterwards.
In the early years, Powell River's first hospital was located in a tent which was then replaced with a bunkhouse. After the arrival of Dr. Henderson in 1911, St. Luke's Hospital was completed in 1913.The hospital was located next door to Dr. Henderson's home.
With Powell River's newfound sophistication, St. Luke's (now known as the Kenmar Building) was finished in a different style or character on each of its three floors. For example, the third floor was painted in a flat white with a sharp ' hospital white' trim. The overall effect gave Powell River's first professional hospital a distinct character.
Architecturally the building is significant for the manner in which it was designed, as the hospital replicates two of the Powell River Company's original apartment blocks, both of which have now been demolished.
Townsite Architecture -