Historic Vancouver building rains chunks of concrete onto Pigeon Park

A well-used gathering spot in Vancouver has been fenced off after chunks of a 100-year-old building's façade began tumbling down onto it Wednesday morning.

Popular Downtown Eastside gathering spot closed while city engineers investigate

A crumbling piece of Vancouver history: The Merchants Bank at 1 W. Hastings lost part of its façade the morning of Wednesday, August 13. Pieces fell onto Pigeon Park below, which was fenced off by City of Vancouver staff. (Luke Brocki/CBC)

A well-used gathering spot in Vancouver has been fenced off after chunks of a 100-year-old building's façade began tumbling down onto it Wednesday morning.

Pieces of the Merchants Bank, at 1 W. Hastings Street, could be seen littering the ground where a number of Downtown Eastside residents usually gather.

The City of Vancouver says it is too soon to know what the falling façade means for the future of the building. (Luke Brocki/CBC)

City of Vancouver staff fenced off the area, posting "do not occupy" signs, and said engineers would be called in to inspect the park area and the building.

The city says it is too early to know what the investigation will uncover, and too early to know what it will mean for the future of the building.

At the time the three-storey stone building was built, in 1913, it sat at the crossroads for downtown Vancouver business and commerce, which catered heavily to the logging industry.

The façade once looked out onto a CP Rail spur line that ran diagonal to other downtown streets, and part of which became Pioneer Park, later named Pigeon Park, when the line was removed in the 1930s.

With files from the CBC's Luke Brocki

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