Archive for the ‘Daily News Advertiser’ Tag

137 West Pender Street

This building has proved a bit hard to track down. It’s by no means a notable building, although it is associated with an exciting moment in the city’s history. It almost certainly was first built in 1915 as a 2-storey printing house (and offices) costing $15,000, and there is a permit for J N Bond as owner and architect, built by William Proust. We didn’t found J N Bond in any directory entry, or for that matter a W Proust. It’s almost certainly William J Prout, who was a builder in the city for many years. It’s also likely to be I Nicholas Bond, owner of an advertising company in the city. He was English, born around 1872 and had arrived in Canada in 1891. He went on to own an import company, and also a farm in Coquitlam.

We know that the occupant of the building from 1915, when it was built, was the News Advertiser, at that point published by J S H Matson. In 1917 the newspaper was bought out by the Daily Sun, and they took over the premises. The 2 storeys (to the street – there was one below on the lane as well) version of the building can be seen on the photograph of the adjacent building. It was either rebuilt or added to around 1923 to the 4 storeys seen here. (Jonathan Storey of Storey and Campbell owned the adjacent lot to the west, and in 1920 commissioned a $50,000 building designed by W T Whiteway to allow the Sun’s editorial offices to expand, but there’s no evidence that it was actually constructed.)

The Sun stayed at Pender Street until 1937, when a fire destroyed their printing plant (although not the offices seen here still standing in the early 1980s). The newspaper purchased the Bekins Building, rechristened it the Sun Tower (which is how we still know it today, although the Sun moved out many years ago). The Sun Tower had originally been built by L D Taylor for his World newspaper, so the use as a storage warehouse by Bekins didn’t last too long. They would occupy this building later – we’re  not sure if they swapped premises, or if it’s a strange coincidence.

In 1923 the newly enlarged building was the backdrop to Harry Houdini’s visit to the city. The escapologist successfully removed a chained straitjacket while suspended upside down in front of the building. It’s unclear who was was in greatest peril; Houdini, or the cameraman recording the scene.

Our image dates (we think) from the late 1960s, and the building was finally removed in the 1980s, and in 1989 Pendera was completed, a 113 unit non-market housing building that was part of the Jim Green era Downtown Eastside Residents Association development program.

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News Advertiser – 420 Cambie Street

Another of the newspaper buildings clustered around Victory Square, this is the News Advertiser seen in 1900, ten years after it had been constructed on the corner of Pender and Cambie. It cost $20,000 and the business included a bindery run by G A Roedde (you can still visit Mr Roedde’s former home in the West End). The News Advertiser claimed a number of firsts for the city, and possibly the country, including electric powered presses and, in 1893, typesetting machines. In 1910 the paper was sold by its long-time owner Francis Carter Cotton and seven years later the paper was again sold, this time to rival newspaper the Sun.

In 1907 the paper move to a new location on West Pender, and three years later a building permit was issued to replace the wooden former offices. Although the new building is often identified with fruit and vegetable dealer H A Edgett, the developer was Francis Carter Cotton, who presumably retained ownership when he moved his paper to its new home beyond the Courthouse. Carter Cotton had built an office building to the north of the site in 1908, and he used the same architect for his latest property investment, A A Cox. The style of the two buildings is complementary, and H A Edgett who occupied it had a storefront on the corner for his greengrocers and furniture store – a somewhat unlikely combination. That’s the store on this 1912 postcard, and the wagons from around the same time suggest the furniture part of the business was equally as important as the grocery.

Harry Edgett was born in New Brunswick and arrived in British Columbia in 1890. He was obviously a successful merchant as he was also a director of the Sterling Trust and by 1914 was living in Shaughnessy Heights.

The building was adapted in 1924 as the printing works for the Province Newspaper who also occupied the offices to the north and created an arched bridge between the two buildings.

These days the Architectural Institute of British Columbia occupy the building after a renovation designed by Peter Busby.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives, News Advertiser Building c1900, CVA SGN 1457

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Morning Star – 303 West Pender Street

The city’s newspapers clustered around Victory Square – or in earlier years around the Courthouse that was located there. The Province had their office and printworks there, as did the News Herald. The News Herald was established by journalists no longer working for the Morning Star, a newspaper whose offices were around the corner across from Victory Square on Pender Street. Here’s the Morning Star offices in 1929, five years after the paper started life as the Star, published as an evening paper. After a rapid change of ownership and a deal with one of the rival papers, the Sun, the Star became the Morning Star and the Sun the Evening Sun.

As was true of some, but by no means all of the papers of the day the Star aimed for accuracy and fairness, even in politics. The Star claimed a link back to the city’s first successful paper, the News Advertiser, initially published in 1887 and merged into the Sun in 1917. The Star never really made any money for its owner, Victor Odlum, and was sold to a new owner in Calgary who lost $300,000 in the venture before selling it back to Odlum in 1931. The losses continued, a proposed 15% wage reduction was rejected by the workforce, and the paper closed in 1932, leaving no morning newspaper in the city.

The newpaper office the Star occupied were originally a new home for the News Advertiser. Like the later Star, it was noted for its painstaking accuracy and detailed reporting, but unlike the Star it was a strong Conservative supporter. It was run for many years by Francis Carter Cotton, and occupied a number of buildings before moving to a new building on the corner of Hamilton and Pender in 1907. That’s the building in the picture, which has no identified architect in its heritage write-up, but Dalton and Eveleigh are said to be the designers. In 1910 Thomas Hooper designed additions to the building, the same year another owner acquired the paper, which would end up being merged into the Sun newspaper.

The building is still there today, stucco covered and without the cornice, but still solid for over 100 years of history.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives, Morning Star Building 1929, CVA 99-3784

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Carter Cotton Building – 198 West Hastings

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