Hastings and Homer – ne corner (1)

Hastings & Homer

This 1906-07 postcard includes another of Harvey Hadden’s investments in Vancouver. In 1896 he commissioned John Parr (three years later partnering with Thomas Fee) to design a building on another of his Hastings Street corner sites – this one the north-east corner of Homer Street. At the time S M Eveleigh was apparently working for Parr, so as with Hadden’s earlier Arcade building down the street, he may have had a hand in the design. Harvey’s Chambers were initially the home to McDowell Atkins Watson Co., Chemists and Druggists, but by this Phillip Timms photograph G S Forsyth’s Book Shop was on the corner, with medical offices upstairs.

From the building permits records it appears that Hadden had sold the building not too long after its construction; in 1904 Martin & Robertson were the owners who hired Parr and Fee to design $3,200 of alterations to the building. The new owners were a Klondike outfitting company who hired W T Dalton to design their Water Street warehouse in 1899 (still standing today) and Parr and Fee to design another on the same street in 1908.

Hadden’s building didn’t last very long, although what replaced it wasn’t as impressive as the Royal Bank or the Dominion Building. In 1926 William Dick’s new clothing store designed by Townley and Matheson was built here.

Next door is another example of Parr and Fee’s design ability, a narrow 3-storey block for Thomson’s Stationers, completed in 1898 and altered (by no means for the better) in 1949. When this photograph was taken it looks as if Cuthbertson & Co a ‘men’s furnishings’ company were tenants. The two-storey building to the east (behind the tram) is The Mahon Block, designed by W T Dalton and built in 1902. In 1913 it was altered by W F Gardiner, which was possibly when an additional bay was added to the east, again for Thomson Brothers.

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