Overlooking the site of what will become another amazing Vancouver landmark is the mural on the Randall Building, for years the workplace of the building’s owner and renown jeweller, Tony Cavelti. The mural is based on a 1698 copper engraving by German artist Christopher Weigel. It depicts a medieval goldsmith using his precision instruments. It was completed in 1991 by Kitty Mykka and Nicole Kozakiewz.
The construction site we see at Georgia St. and Richards St. will be part of Telus Gardens, a mega project by Telus to facilitate the expansion and modernization of its services; a 24-storey office tower will be constructed. At Richards St. and Robson St., Telus will build a 53-storey residential tower, the 2nd tallest building to date in the city next to the 62-storey Shangri-La. In fact, nearly the whole block, bounded by Georgia St. and Robson St. and Richards St. and Seymour St., will now become a massive Telus complex.
The rather charming exception is at 757 Richards St., the 1910 Kingston Hotel and the Kingston Taphouse & Grill beside it. They will be precisely sandwiched in between the 2 new towers. The 4-storey, 52 room boutique hotel somehow survived all the new development and according to owner Fred O’Hagan, he never had a formal offer from Telus to purchase his property.
His grandfather, who constructed the present building, lived in a house on the same location in 1901. It has one of the first free-standing neon signs in Vancouver. In the past, the hotel has served as a rooming house and beer parlour. O’Hagan expects to continue business throughout and after the construction.
Telus Gardens is part of a $3 billion investment by Telus in BC projects to expand its infrastructure and create 1300 new jobs. It will have Leed Platinum green technology and state of the art internet services in both its office and condo towers. Designed by the architects at Henriquez Partners, the buildings are expected to be unique.