Sinclair Centre, named after the late Honourable James Sinclair, a former M.P. and Minister of Fisheries (and father-in-law of a former Prime Minister), is one of the most distinguished complexes in Vancouver. The Centre is comprised of four venerable buildings, bounded by Howe, Hastings and Cordova Streets.
When the new main Post Office was built in the late 1970's, the four buildings were collectively given a heritage designation. The Federal Government renovated and restored the buildings during that period, and the heritage complex was dedicated as Sinclair Centre in 1983.
The Old Post Office (South-East Corner)
Completed in 1910 at a cost of $434,000, the building served as Vancouver's main Post Office until 1958. Architecturally, it is described as Edwardian Baroque style, with rusticated ground floor, majestic columns and an elegant clock tower combining English and French architectural influences. During its early years, the Post Office's landmark 43m. (141 ft.) clock tower proudly reigned over the hub of the city's financial district, chiming the hour and half hour.
The R.V. Winch Building (South-West Corner)
R.V. Winch came to Vancouver in 1886 after working on a railroad gang, and as a cowboy. He made his fortune here in salmon canning and real estate. Touted as the first commercial building west of Granville Street, the Winch Building was named for him in 1911. With a steel frame and reinforced concrete floors, it was presented as the first Class "A" office building of its kind in B.C., and has housed Federal Government offices since its completion.
The Customs Examining Warehouse (North-West Corner)
A red brick structure, built between the years of 1911 and 1913, The Customs Examining Warehouse has also been dedicated to Federal occupancy, through early association with the CPR Station and shipping pier, and later conversion to office use in 1958.
The Federal Building (North-East Corner)
The extension to the Post Office was opened in 1937, and is one of the few remaining Art Deco buildings left in Vancouver.
Sinclair Centre is mainly constructed of Nelson Island granite. The stone is in excellent condition, however the buildings needed extensive repointing to stop water ingress. The project was completed in 1998.