This May Be for Forever
437, 439 and 441 Powell Street is scheduled for demolition due to vandalism, partly caused by the City of Vancouver itself and then by neighborhood vandals who are repetitively and deliberately causing structural damage to the premises.
On July 24th, 2013 the City of Vancouver hastily demolished the adjacent building, 451 Powell Street overnight. Only hours after receiving one report of a cracked wall from the soon to be owner Tom Chow of Double Happiness Foods demolition crews were set in place.
During the quick demolition 437, 439 and 441 Powell Street owned by The Ming Sun Benevolent Society incurred damage to its adjoining wall and City officials evicted all its tenants, cut power and plumbing to the premises and forced The Society to pay housing costs for those evicted and 24 hour fire watch on the now abandoned building. The Fire Department broke all street level doors as well as all room doors on the second floor, leaving the building vulnerable to break ins and impossible to secure.
The Ming Sun Benevolent Society is an old and established organization who provide much needed living space to disenfranchised peoples, assisting many new immigrants as well as the elderly, while also providing a community place to gather and affordable studio space to local artists, namely to us the artist collective Instant Coffee.
The City’s rash order caused incredible damage for which they have not taken any responsibility. The Society can no longer afford to maintain the building and have been ordered by The City to tear it down. We tell this story in support of our landlords and in frustration with the City’s lack of accountability for a situation they set in motion.
Instant Coffee Artist Collective
November 30, 2013