Libby Davies, a long time NDP member of parliament for Vancouver-East, was one of the leading voices in the fight to save the former public library. The building was constructed in 1903 to house the Vancouver Public Library's central branch. The Museum of Vancouver also occupied a floor. It fell into disrepair after the library moved into a new building downtown in 1957, and the museum moved to Kitsilano Point in 1968. "Now this building had been unused for decades. It was full of cobwebs. It was dusty. It was dirty. It was musty," Davies said.