Vancouver Icons: Randall Building Muralby
Yesterday I wrote about some of Vancouver’s murals and there was one I purposely left off the list so that I could feature it today in its own post. The image on the side of the Randall Building, at 535 West Georgia, was installed in 1993 and is one of the city’s most photographed.
Randall Building Mural
The Changing Vancouver then and now blog recently featured the Randall Building:
“In 1929 the brokerage firm of S W Randall Co saw their new office building completed on West Georgia. The design is attributed to R T Perry; it had elements of gothic and some art deco, and a somewhat unusual arrangement of two double bays of windows to the west and a single, slightly offset bay to the east. It bears some resemblance to Townley and Matheson’s Stock Exchange Building, completed a year later, but there are several other buildings by other architects, all taking the same gothic theme, and built around this time.
In 1991 jeweller Toni Cavelti gave the building a comprehensive but completely sensitive upgrade, adding a penthouse floor (set back from the parapet) in the process. The project, designed by Blewett Dodd Ching Lee, gave the building an almost identical appearance to our 1929 image. Only the recently restored mural of medieval goldsmiths on the east side of the building (by Kitty Mykka) in 1993 made the building look any different. In 1999 Cavelti sold his company to Henry Birks who still sell Cavelti designed jewelry, and now Time and Gold operate in the store location.”
The mural is based on a copper engraving from 1698 by German Christopher Weigel (1654-1725). It shows a master goldsmith instructing apprentices. It was created by Stephen Hinton and Nicola Kozakiewicz, of Streetworks Design. Nicola wrote to me:
“We had done a dozen murals around Vancouver […] Stephen Hinton was project architect of the Randall Building renovation for BDCL and it was he who originally proposed the mural to Tony Cavelti. Tony came up with the image (3″ x 4″ in size) and the two of us worked out colours, how to scale it up, add the 3 dimensional foam shoulder, etc.” Kitty Mykka helped Nicola paint and the two of them signed the work together as: “The Misfits”.
Previous Vancouver Icons posts: East Van Cross, Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Flack Block, The Drop, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Engagement, Ovaltine Cafe, The English Bay Slide, Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.
3 Comments — Comments Are Closed
Thank you! I have been trying to find out the story of this for 7 years, since I first saw it on a walking tour around down town when I was here on holiday before moving permanently.
This is beautiful! I’ve seen in many times before in passing, but how come I’ve never stopped to notice it?
Thanks for the history and info as well.
Would like to know how the work was done, particularly the projection beyond the recess in the wall which shows up when the light is right. Is it a ply board extension? Should have a heritage plaque in its own right.