Here’s another view of the Delmonico Hotel, this time in 1956 – (our earlier post of this building showed it in 1935). According to the Vancouver Daily World in 1892 it was built for the Marquis of Queensbury to replace the St. Charles Hotel. The Marquis was a Scottish aristocrat with an interest in boxing and noted for his atheism, which was relatively unusual for the time.
We now know why he hired Fripp and Wills to design a new hotel – he owned the St Charles Hotel that was destroyed by fire in February of 1892, along with the Arlington Hotel that was next door. We originally thought he had built the new Delmonico on the same site as the St Charles, but we were wrong; the St Charles was on the south side of the street; the Delmonico was built across Pender Street.
Or so we thought – until we noticed this image of the Windsor Hotel from 1889. It was on the corner of Pender and Seymour, run by H A Brocklesbury and W H Allen in 1890 and Ermatinger and Co in 1889. It’s clearly the same building that became the Delmonico, so the newspaper story iwas somewhat misleading. We haven’t found the developer or architect for the Windsor.
Described as a ‘handsome brick and stone building’, the Delmonico was added to and altered by architect J W Mallory in 1900, in the year that T Donovan was proprietor. A number of long-term residents lived at the hotel that year, including C W Mullen who was the treasurer of the Savoy Theatre. In 1910 William Steele had the hotel, and there were still several residents listed in the street Directory.
Like so many of the buildings we have looked at, the operators and the name change constantly. This is by no means a comprehensive study – just random examples. By 1915 the Delmonico name was being used by a cafe on Robson Street, and the residential part of the old Delmonico were the Terminal Rooms run by George Lamoureuc, upstairs from the Terminal Pool Room run by F Sim with two vacuum cleaner companies in the corner unit next door to the Gilt Edge Lunch. By 1920 the name had changed again, this time to the Mason Rooms, run by John Woolfe. The Pender Buffet was on the corner, run by Thomas Dixon. In 1930 they were the Manor Rooms with the Hollywood Taxi Co operating from the main floor with the Lions Gate Barbers Shop and central Shoe Repairs.
They retained the Manor Rooms name all the way through to this 1956 image, when the Pagoda Shop selling ‘Oriental Goods’ was the retail tenant on the corner, as they had been from the early 1950s. Nick’s Billiards was next door on one side, a barbers and a dealer in foreign stamps on the other.
The 1969 parkade that replaced the Delmonico (and the many other names over the years) is being repaired, so unlike so many of the city’s other parkades it looks as if it will have a few more years of life.
Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu P508.68, 118 Hot P26