Historic Chinatown building to receive funds to protect heritage

November 17, 2015 | Arts and Culture

Today Council approved a $50,000 grant to preserve and restore the exterior of the historic Mah Society Building, a five-storey brick building in Chinatown. The grant was approved through the Heritage Façade Rehabilitation Program, providing support for critical upgrades to heritage buildings in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside.
“Chinatown is rich with history and is an important part of Vancouver's cultural identity,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This grant program recognizes the importance of maintaining these buildings as historic landmarks in our city, while contributing to the revitalization of Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside.”
The Mah Society of Canada Building, together with other Society buildings, is an important component of Chinatown’s historic character and is a major contributor to Chinatown’s recognition as a national historic site. This grant will provide funds to assist the Mah Society with restorations for the exterior of the building, in addition to other improvements to its interior. When completed, the rehabilitation will significantly contribute to renewal of the building’s 1928 appearance, preserve its character-defining elements, and contribute to the economic revitalization of Chinatown.
The Mah Society Building, at 137 East Pender Street, is also an important piece of the City’s affordable housing stock for low-income residents, supplying 36 single room accommodation units. This exterior rehabilitation is in addition to interior renovations, and will help improve living conditions for the tenants.
The Council report can be viewed here: http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20151117/documents/a1.pdf