News Herald – 426 Homer Street

This small building, tucked away down Homer Street behind the Hartney Chambers on Pender Street, has been around longer than most buildings in the city. In 1935 when this photograph was taken it was already over forty years old. Initially it was designed by R P Sharp and Samuel Maclure for the Daily World in 1892, the newspaper having been founded in 1888. Under the new management of L D Taylor that newspaper moved on to much grander premises with the construction of their new tower – these days called the Sun Tower. A very short-lived newspaper moved in around 1916, the Standard (it changed its name from the Chinook in April 1916 and closed in August 1917).  Printing companies continued in the building, the Wrigley Press in 1925 and the Technical Press in 1930.

The Daily World, as might be expected, blew their trumpet on their new home in 1892 “Messrs. Sharp and Maclure, New Westminster, were instructed to prepare plans and specifications for a building which should be perfect in all its proportions, a credit to the city and a home worthy of The World. The building now completed is the best evidence which can be adduced of the artistic skill and ability of these gentlemen as architects …. The dimensions of the building are 52 x 40, and it is of brick and stone and is two stories in height. The foundations are … laid with portland cement to the ground level; above that being random course ashlar, neatly pointed in red. Then comes the brick work, laid up in red mortar. The stone string course are rock faced; the door and window sills of Pender Island cut stone. The cornice work is of brick basket pattern. On the coping is to be erected an iron cresting with the words “The World” in five foot gilded letters. Over the door way on the coping will be a statue of Atlas supporting the world; while in the centre is already a flagstaff 30 feet high.”  (Thanks to Heritage Vancouver for identifying this quote). The City of Vancouver Archives 1893 image shows the staff in front of the new printing works. (It’s one of the new high resolution images available on the archives website – double click to see the full detail).

Later the News Herald moved into the building, having scraped together enough money to start up in 1932. The staff were mostly from another newpaper called the Morning Star (which had started up in 1924), and they operated on a hand-to-mouth existance using old equipment and sometimes resorting to hand cranking the press. Many staff became famous – Pierre Burton was the 21 year old city editor for a while and Jack Lindsay was a news photographer from 1941 to 1947 and sales increased. In 1954 they moved to larger premises, sold to Roy Thomson and less than three years later publication ceased.

These days you’ll find the Platinum club who offer massage “for erotic moods and sensual escapes, beautiful and attentive hostesses are always available for companionship“. The website notes “Please be advised we do not offer sexual services or acts of prostitution within our facility” in case you thought otherwise.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives (News Herald, 1935) CVA 99-4742, World Print Works 1893 CVA 677-4

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