Here’s an image taken in the year the 1000 block of Granville saw more construction activity than it probably has in over a century since then. It’s 1910 and three buildings are under construction – to the north are the Glenaird Rooms, in the centre are the Albany Rooms, and closest to the photographer are the Princess Rooms. Over time they became hotels – the Glenaird, Regal and Vogue, and these days the Regal and Vogue are both low-rent single occupancy rooms while the Glenaird is the Samesun Backpackers.
Just starting construction beyond the Glenaird is the Hotel Barron – that’s now the Comfort Inn. All four buildings, like the Royal Hotel on the opposite side of the block were designed by Parr and Fee who designed about thirty different buildings on Granville Street (or perhaps, looking at the picture, the same building thirty times!)
The Glenaird was owned and built by M C Griffith, the Albany Rooms built by Peter Tardiff for W A Clark and the Princess Rooms were built by M C Griffith for C W Ford. Each cost around $50,000 to build. Today you can see three towers from different eras – in the distance is Parr and Fee’s Vancouver Block of 1912 (showing they were capable of varying their design sensibility), the Vancouver Centre tower from 1976 is in the centre and the newest is the residential Capitol Residences by Howard, Bingham Hill built on the site of the Capitol cinema on Seymour Street in 2011.