Please join the Or Gallery, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the Riste Family in saying Happy 100th Birthday to the Del Mar Inn! The Vancouver Heritage Foundation will be awarding a Places That Matter heritage plaque to the building on the occasion of its birthday. The ceremony and reception are this Thursday, August 2, 7 pm at the Or Gallery on the building’s main floor. 555 Hamilton Street. Refreshments.
It is unarguable that the Del Mar Inn has one of the most fascinating building histories in Vancouver. I have detailed it here. In short, for many years the building’s owner George Riste resisted extreme and creative pressure from BC Hydro to sell the building so that they could develop the whole block. In the end they were forced to develop the block around the Inn, but they have not given up. The more stubborn the Ristes become, the more bizarre the Crown Corporation’s behaviour. George’s family, in particular his son Mike Riste, continue the tradition. For decades they have consistently provided clean, affordable housing to low income Vancouverites, and not just in the Del Mar Inn but in other buildings around the city as well. And they’ve done it in the most dogged but quiet, limelight-avoiding manner. Meanwhile they have also saved one of the last old residential hotels in the downtown core.
We’ll be hosting a reception. If you’re interested in Vancouver’s heritage and the amazing, iconoclastic Riste family, please come and help celebrate.
Note: The building was actually opened on August 1, 1912, so our party is technically a day late.
Drawing above by Won Kang.