This is the corner of Robson and Hornby in 1945. The Richmond Apartments, developed by Edward Hunt in 1910 are on the corner. A Spencer and Company were selling real estate from the store on the corner. The O’Neil Company (selling glass and tiles to builders) were next door in a building later used by Williams Bros, photographers. Next door was the Famous Kitchen Cafe, which somewhat confusingly advertised ‘Famous Steaks’ with a huge neon chicken. The Hotel Vancouver is in the background.
It seems that the building was built in the 1920s when a cafe opened at 785 – The Devonshire Cafe. It was certainly built by 1928, when it’s recorded in the street directory as the Richmond Arts Building. Before this there were houses here, similar to the houses further down the street next to the hotel. They were built before 1901. By 1938 the cafe was Helen’s Tea Room, and one of the houses was being used as a government health laboratory.
Today there’s an office building addressed as 777 Hornby. It’s been there for a while – having been completed in 1969. It’s divided into many small offices, with several lawyers and medical offices. According to a brochure in the Archives the architect was Harry Roy. He’s an architect with an extraordinarily low profile for such a large building. We can find for him as the designer of the glu-lam curved Safeway supermarket recently replaced on Granville in Marpole.He also designed St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Steveston.
The architectural practice who supervised construction of the Hornby office building was Thompson, Berwick, Pratt and partners.
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 586-4162