600 block West Pender Street

600 block W Pender

We’re looking at a 1927 picture of the south side of West Pender. Nearly 90 years later almost all the buildings are still there, in one form or another. On the far left, on the corner of Seymour Street is the Clarence Hotel. It was built in 1894, and we don’t know who designed it. Next door was a small single storey building, designed initially by Honeyman & Curtis for H E C Carry in 1914. Although modest, it cost $5,000 at the time. Today it’s part of the bar of the Clarence – these days called Malone’s.

Next door to the west is the building which has seen the greatest change: in 1927 it still had the classical bank façade designed by Thomas Hooper for the Vancouver Investment Co in 1910 at a cost of $10,000. It looks as if the frame is still the same, but the ornate columned front has long gone. The company was founded in 1896, and it wasn’t solely a property developer – the 1899-1900 Henderson’s Directory identify it as a mining company with shares worth $250,000.

To the west is an early bay-windowed rooming house almost certainly from 1907 when it probably cost $25,000 to build. We know it was built for Cavanagh & Holden, but we haven’t been able to identify the architect. William Holden initially owned it, and from 1912 to 1925 it was owned by Lillian Holden. It was recently known as the Piccadilly pub, with a rooming house above. More recently it’s been given a significant makeover, with the rents for the renovated micro suites rising accordingly.

The London Building changes the scale of the block in dramatic fashion. Costing $245,000 it was designed by Somervell & Putnam for the London & British North America Co and was built by the Canadian Ferro Concrete Co in 1912 at the height of the city’s development boom. The developer had evolved from local investment company Mahon, McFarland & Procter, Ltd.

On the corner of Granville the Merchants Bank of Canada hired the same architect in 1915 to design a bank built by Purdy & Henderson at a cost of $135,000. Initially it only stretched 50 feet round the corner – it was added to later along Granville. Today it’s part of Simon Fraser University’s Downtown campus.


Posted September 2, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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