Here’s 140-142 West Hastings Street, on the same block of the street the Woodwards sits. A number of buildings on this block were built in the late 1890s, and this is one of them. The building has been used as an art gallery for many years, but it started life in 1898 as the offices of the Province Newspaper, Walter Nichol’s Victoria newspaper that moved into Vancouver and eventually took out Francis Carter-Cotton’s rival News-Advertiser in 1924, moving to his smarter offices in the process. In 1926 when this photograph was taken it had become ‘The Arcade’ a retail centre that may have replaced one of the same name that had been built on Hastings at Cambie in1894 by Harvey Hadden, originally from Nottingham in England. The Arcade took in the main floor of the Stock Exchange Building next door as well, and was almost certainly designed by Townley and Matheson. Later it became the National Furniture Store.
The 1912 image on the right shows the original Province office facade before the retail conversion opened it up. Massive changes have occurred on the block in the past two years – at one time almost everything was abandoned or so run down that it looked like it would be demolished or converted to housing. However, recent demand for character office space and the impact of the Woodwards project have seen clean up and refurbishment of many of the buildings. This building has been for sale for some time, and will undoubtedly see a similar change in the future.