Built in 1906, the Bowman Block served as a distribution warehouse in Vancouver’s Crosstown district for industrial companies such as British Columbia Soap Works and the Gutta Percha & Rubber Co. Ltd. It was later used by British America Paint Company Ltd. (BAPCO) for many decades.
The first brick building erected on the 500 block of Beatty Street, Bowman was seven stories at its original construction and expanded with a two storey east lane addition in 1913. The building features an exposed heavy timber frame support structure, wooden mill floors, exterior brick walls, and large clear-span floor plates.
The Edwardian structure saw a complete transformation in 2007 when it was rehabilitated and converted to 38 single and double-height residential lofts, with two additional stories of modern penthouses and common area patio space placed at the roof.
The window-side floor plates were cut back to open up the two-storey lofts, with former beam seats visible as a marker of the building’s past. Similarly, the line where the portions of subtracted floor plate were removed remains exposed, with one line of restored sash windows at bedroom level set above another line of sash windows at living-kitchen-dining level. In some of these loft condos, the former floor is marked with a contemporary steel I-beam, assisting with seismic stiffening of the masonry shell building.