Flack Block Receives 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award

The rehabilitation and the conservation of the Flack Block received a 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award from Heritage BC.

As posted on the Heritage BC site:

Rehabilitation of the Flack Block, Vancouver
The Salient Group
Acton Ostry Architect Inc
Donald Luxton & Associates Inc

 The Flack Block project involved the exemplary conservation of a designated landmark structure built between 1898 and 1900.

When Salient acquired the Flack Block it was in a state of decline and disrepair.  The project was significantly challenged by the extent of the necessary upgrade work, and compounded by the complexity and the materials of the structure. Instability, degradation, and poor repair of the existing masonry and structural components resulted in the need for significant upgrading. Prior to the acquisition, the building was mostly vacant. The building storefronts had been altered through the removal of the wooden frames, windows, and stonework, and the stuccoing of the entire retail façade.

The project involved a complete seismic upgrading, interior rehabilitation and preservation, and extensive restoration of exterior heritage elements. Through a combination of City incentives and a grant from the Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund, a very high level of heritage conservation was achieved, with all work undertaken according to the Standards & Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. Certain aspects of this project are unique.

  • The original entry arch was removed years ago from the building. Through historic photos, Salient was able to recreate a new arch to match the original. This detailed recreation highlights the heritage value of the building by restoring a significant element of the original Romanesque Revival style design.
  • The decayed parapets were replaced with hand- carved stone replicas. 

  • Full rehabilitation of the original wooden-sash windows was completed. 

  • A new modern elevator was installed, while leaving the original elevator rails and frame exposed leaving this historical artifact as “public art” in the building lobby. The cage elevator panels, unique in Vancouver, were retained and restored. 

  • The detailing of the upper cornice and intermediate cornices had deteriorated over time. These were replaced with cast concrete profiles to match the original.

  • The missing corner column of the ground floor was replaced by a column of similar appearance with a rough-dressed stone facing. Other damaged column faces were restored. 

  • Flag poles were re-installed at the parapet level. 

  • New wooden storefronts were installed, based on the design of the originals.

The restoration of the Flack Block has symbolically transformed this intersection, giving it prominence worthy of its location across from Victory Square.  With these upgrades, it is certain that this building will be a Vancouver landmark for many years to come.

Find more information about the awards online at Heritage BC.