Vancouver Old Courthouse, British Columbia, Canada.

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Vancouver Old Courthouse

The Vancouver old Courthouse is located at 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia. However, this old building is not the courthouse anymore but is now served as the Vancouver art gallery.

In 1906, when Vancouver's population reached 50,000, it was recognized that a new Courthouse was needed to replace the existing Courthouse located in Victory Square, near Gastown. The old Vancouver Courthouse was built on a lot situated at Robson Street and Hornby Street owned by the CPR. The provincial government chose this site and acquired the privately owned lots from the CPR for a total of $46,000, when the actual value for the 128,180 square feet block of land was $49,349,000. The old Courthouse was designed and constructed by three internationally known architects. Francis Mawson Rattenbury designed the main building. Thomas Hooper designed the second part of the two-building complex. Later a third architect came into the scene, Arthur Erickson, designed the $20 million conversion of the two buildings into an art gallery.

The construction of the Rattenbury Courthouse was called in the spring of 1907 and it was opened for public on October 19, 1911. The south wing, today referred to as the Annex, designed by Hooper, was completed in February 1914. The building housed 18 courtrooms, with 11 additional temporary courtrooms situated in the Pacific Centre office complex to the east. The building has massive granite steps along with the twin stone lions, which were a fitting symbol of British Justice. The twin stone lions with a weight of fifteen tons each cost around $10,000 for three stonecutters to carve them. They were hauled to the courthouse by horses in 1910. In 1974, the exteriors of both the Rattenbury Courthouse and the Hooper Annex were designated heritage structures by the City of Vancouver.