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Harbour Centre from Gastown
|Design and construction|
Harbour Centre is a skyscraper in the central business district of Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and opened in 1977. The "Lookout" tower atop the office building makes it one of the tallest structures in Vancouver and a prominent landmark on the city's skyline. With its 360-degree viewing deck, it also serves as a tourist attraction with the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant, offering a physically unobstructed view of the city. During the dot-com boom of the 1990s, it served as the headquarters for several tech firms, including Stormix Technologies, NetNation and others.
Designed by WZMH Architects, the building is listed as being 28 stories tall, though the tower/observation deck extends above the 28 office floors (claimed to be approximately 44 stories in total). There is some disagreement as to the building's height. According to the Vancouver Lookout's website the observation deck is 168 m (551 ft) above the 'street level'. The CTBUH however lists the buildings architectural height as actually being 147 m (482 ft). Furthermore, Skyscraperpage lists the buildings height to the roof as being only 139.6 m (458 ft). This is stated to be the height from the Hastings Street entrance while the height from the back entrance on Cordova Street is 146 m (479 ft). It also lists the buildings pinnacle height to the tip of the antenna as being 170.1 m (558 ft).
The building was British Columbia's tallest measured by pinnacle height until the construction of Living Shangri-La in 2009.
Harbour Centre is located at 555 West Hastings Street in Downtown Vancouver. It is steps away from Waterfront Station, a major multi-modal transit hub which serves as the Downtown Vancouver terminal for various TransLink operations including SeaBus, West Coast Express, SkyTrain, Canada Line and buses.
Simon Fraser University operates its downtown Harbour Centre campus in the adjoining Spencer building and houses the Center for Dialogue and Canadas World.
The downtown Simpsons-Sears department store was located here before it closed in 1987.
Vancouver Coast Guard Radio operates from Harbour Centre, providing distress watch and vessel traffic services to the North Arm Fraser River, Burrard Inlet, Indian Arm, English Bay and Howe Sound.
The Vancouver Lookout tourist attraction, located atop the Harbour Centre business building, was officially opened on August 13, 1977 by Sears, whose footprint was imprinted onto cement and was on display on the viewing/observation deck until it was lost (or stolen) during renovations. Glass elevators whisk visitors 168 meters (553 feet) skyward from street level to the Observation Deck in 40 seconds.
In television and film
In Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?, a group of young teenage girls ride the famous glass elevator to the top to dine at the fictional "Above the Clouds" restaurant and the elevator breaks down. (S04E13 - "Above the Clouds"). Harbour Centre can also be seen in the Arrow episode "Dark Waters" and "Ibragim Loves Amina". The Harbour Centre is visible in the background along with the rest of the downtown Vancouver skyline at the beginning of The X-files episode "2 Shy".
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