|Built in 1964 "The Unitarian Church,
winner of the first (1965) Citation Buildings Competition, is a fine example of
the Modernist idiom, possibly influenced by work of the Prairie School initiated
by Frank Lloyd Wright, but given a local interpretation." (Link
It is "...the first post-1940s building added to the City of Vancouver heritage register. The building complex, clustered around a beautiful open courtyard, features cubic composition, overhanging flat roofs and floor-to-ceiling windows." (Link 1.)
"The building was designed by architect Wolfgang Gerson, (a UBC School of Architecture instructor and himself a Unitarian-Link 3) one of many architectural and engineering professionals dislocated by events of the Second World War, who immigrated to Vancouver and influenced the local design community with their European Modernist sensibilities.
"The Unitarian Church is culturally important for representing the wave of investment in community institutions during the decades after the Second World War. Many churches, synagogues and temples were built on the south side of Vancouver (Oakridge area) in this period. Together with public spending on schools, libraries, and community centres, church construction demonstrates the relative economic ease with which major facilities were built in Vancouver in the 1960s. The relocation of the Unitarian Church from the Kitsilano neighbourhood to this site denotes the increasing mobility of citizens through the widespread use of the automobile. " (Link 2.)
In preparation for the 50th anniversary in 2014 much redecoration is underway through out the buildings. The intention is to provide a mid century look and feel to the building. "Much of this has been the result of the work of Bennett Mitten, a church member and volunteer, who has been named this year by the Board as "Design Consultant In Residence" 2012 to 2014.... Bennett is a talented local furniture maker." (Elaine Spilos.)
by John Voth
of Vancouver's past." (Link 4.)
The Vancouver Unitarian Church welcomes visitors and rentals of its facilities. Information is available on its website. (Link 1.)
Connie Wigmore, Erika Gerson, and Rob Taylor for their assistance.
Revisions directed by Elaine Spilos.
1915 to 2012
A mother and musician extraordinaire.
Member of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.