BC Permanent Loan Co.

CVA 392-1191: "View if British Columbia Permanent Loan Company Building at 33 West Pender Street, ca 1965.

CVA 392-1191: “View if British Columbia Permanent Loan Company Building at 33 West Pender Street, ca 1965.

This building lived with the contradiction that was its name for a number of years (there is no such thing as a permanent loan, except in the nonsense-world of art galleries and museums).

There is at least one other contradiction about The Permanent, however. Its exterior puts on a good show of being just another staid, conservative, pin-striped and stolid neo-classical-style bank building. Exactly the sort of external impression the stereotypical banker wanted to make on prospective customers. “We are safe. We are not frivolous. Your hard-earned savings are safe with us.” But, apparently, once a client crossed the threshold, the bank was prepared to shake off its external pretensions to conservatism . . . and party.

Have a look at the ceiling window treatment visible from just inside the front door. I strongly suspect that most Vancouverites have never seen this view – and likely wouldn’t suspect that it was in an old bank!

Internal ceiling window treatment at 330 W Pender. Author's photo, 2014.

Internal ceiling window treatment at 330 W Pender. Author’s photo, 2014.

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