The thing about the Kingsgate Mall at Broadway and Kingsway is you either love it or you hate it. It’s weird or wonderful, strange or quaint, creepy or quirky, but it rarely goes unnoticed.
The cupola (which is a replica of the one that used to top King Edward School before the fire) has turned the mall into a bit of a landmark, but I can’t imagine calling it a destination by any stretch of the imagination. Aside from a dental surgery and a credit union, one of the only stores not found in most other shopping malls is the Lolli Pretty Clothing Company that has 74 Facebook Likes and the fabulous tagline “Your Candy Store of Fashion.”
When the mall was built in 1974, it took out the Mount Pleasant Elementary School, an 80-year-old solid brick building built in 1892, that was originally known as the False Creek School.
What somehow escaped the bulldozer, was a ca.1907 buried house at 350 East 10th Avenue, directly behind the mall and adjoining a Telus parking lot.
When the Mount Pleasant school was demolished in 1972 the kids moved into a new school at 2300 Guelph, and which is still very much in operation.
Oddly, the land underneath the Kingsgate Mall is owned by the Vancouver School Board and has been since the late 1880s. The VSB in turn leases the land to Beedie Development Corp for $750,000 a year, and they operate the mall. No surprise that Beedie would like to buy the mall, pull it down and redevelop it.
Perhaps the pinned tweet on the unofficial twitter account for the Kingsgate Mall says it all: “STILL NOT A CONDO.”
© All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all blog content copyright Eve Lazarus.