Archive for the ‘Harvey Hadden’ Tag

Pender Chambers – 522 West Hastings

Pender Chambers

Based on its name, we thought this was the last building that English investor Harvey Hadden built in the city. Unlike the other three that were on Hastings Street, this was on Pender Street, and was appropriately called Pender Chambers. And unlike the others, it appeared to have lasted quite a bit longer. It was reported to have been designed in 1895 by W T Dalton soon after S M Eveleigh had joined as a draftsman (although the partnership between them was only formalised in 1902). The building on the site was still standing in 1974 when this image was taken. The second floor was occupied by the Duffus School of business (which it had been for around 25 years). We saw their earlier premises on Granville in an earlier post. On the main floor in 1974 was the White Rose Cafe, a Chinese restaurant, the Vancouver Coin and Stamps Co, and Wilson and Kofeod’s real estate and Insurance agency.

The problem we have is that there’s no building on this site on the 1903 insurance map – or in the street directories. In 1905 there seems to have been a house with Mary Casher, a widow living downstairs, Thomas Slaughter and Martin Goodenham at the rear and a miner, a longshoreman and a carpenter elsewhere in the building.

Pender Chambers don’t appear until 1907 when several real estate agents, a barrister and the Capilano Flume Co had offices upstairs. All eight offices had different tenants just one year later, including architect Henry B Watson, shipping agents, an osteopath and the Swayne Copper Mining Co among others. The main floor also seems to have been exclusively office uses.

Whether this is Hadden’s building, designed by Dalton (and maybe Eveleigh) we can’t be sure. It has the same name – Pender Chambers – and Hadden continued to have an active interest in the city, so it is quite possible he only finally got round to developing the site many years after he had the initial plans drawn up. Its appearance, with white bricks and centre-hung windows looks much more like a Parr and Fee design than anything W T Dalton would design. McCarter & Nairne were hired to carry out a $10,000 repair and alterations for R P Baker in 1926. The owner spent another $500 adding a parking station at the end of the year. We assume that was at the back of the building on the lane, as it apparently only took up half the depth of the lot.

The stores and office tenants have, as with most Vancouver buildings, changed many times over the years. In the 1950s the Lion Cafe, Pender Shoe Renew and Lennie’s Luggage and another real estate company, Spencer Busch and Co were here. A decade earlier the cafe was Ford’s cafe, there was a tobacco store and the Art Engraving Co. The upper floor had a wholesale woolen merchant, a jewellery manufacturer, a tailor and the offices of the Amalgamated Civil Servants. In 1930 several units were empty, but the cafe was the Waldorf and Keir and Doig had a tailors store, with their workshop upstairs.

The site was redeveloped in 1990 as a parkade – one of the last to be built in the Downtown area.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-281


Posted 11 August 2013 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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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.


The Arcade – Hastings and Cambie

Arcade 1

Here’s another of Harvey Hadden’s Vancouver investments – possibly his first. The corner of Hastings and Cambie was important – across the street from the courthouse and near the newspaper offices. C O Wickenden designed the new Hadden investment, a series of retail stores and offices called ‘The Arcade’. S M Eveleigh was working in Wickenden’s office at the time, and knowing that Eveleigh subsequently designed a number of other buildings for Hadden, he may also have been involved with this one.

Major Matthews, the city archivist, recorded his impressions of the corner. “On the corner, a wooden building is the famed “Arcade,” with thirteen small shops, cutting through corner from Hastings to Cambie St. The first office of the “Great Northern Railway” is on the corner… The “Arcade” was built about Dec. 1895. “Meet you in the Arcade” was a common expression.”

Donald Luxton, in Building the West, records the impressions of the Arcade when the economy was in the doldrums despite the arrival of the railway “the enterprise betokened temerity for what prospect was there for Vancouver? What was there to lead one to suppose that this far city in the west would ever develop into anything worthwhile?“. Just twelve years later the building was torn down and replaced over a two year construction period with, for a while, the tallest building in the British Empire; the Dominion Trust Building. Undoubtedly, as with the Royal Bank site, Harvey Hadden made a substantial profit on the sale of the site.

Arcade 2

Designed by J S Helyer and Son, the unusual Beaux-Arts triangular terra cotta clad Dominion Building remains a landmark today, now set in the context of Victory Square across the street (the Courthouse having been removed many years ago). Our Archives images were both shot around 1900 when the city was growing, but at a slower pace than many had hoped. We already blogged an 1896 image of the street that showed how slow things were (there are cows being driven up the street)

Image source, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-2097 and CVA 371-2103


Granville and Hastings – ne corner

Hastings & Granville  ne

J & H Hadden & Co were a successful hosiery company in Nottingham, England, from around the turn of the 19th century. Frederick John Hadden died in 1881, leaving his estate to his children including his son, Harvey, who took over running the family business aged 30. He obviously was successful enough to travel, and in the course of his travel visited the relatively new city of Vancouver. If the anecdote recounted by city archivist Major Matthews is to be believed, he was on a train leaving the city when he got into conversation with Harry Abbott, Superintendent of the CPR who persuaded him to return an invest in the fast-growing city. Whether this really occurred is impossible to verify, but Mr Hadden undoubtedly returned at some point and acquired considerable property, including corner lots on the north side of West Hastings at Cambie, Homer and Granville. (A different version of his history says he arrived by steamship from San Francisco in 1891. Both could, of course, be true).

It is suggested that the land started to lose value, and Mt Hadden decided to develop buildings to generate a return. The choice of architect to develop the property was Sydney Eveleigh, who had worked initially for N S Hoffar and then C O Wickenden, although he is said to have had the main hand in designing the Hadden buildings. Eveleigh was originally from Bedford, another Midlands English town that, like Nottingham, was noted for its lace industry. We know of at least three other Hadden buildings built before this 1901 commission for a substantial building (for the time) on the much-photographed corner of Granville and Hastings. This time he attached his name to the Hadden Building, (as he had before when developing Harvey’s Chambers).

It appears that this might be the first building erected on this site – there’s nothing obviously bearing the street address in the 1899 Street Directory. Although Eveleigh is said to have designed the building, he was working at the time as a draftsman for W T Dalton, who is therefore credited with the building. A year later Dalton and Eveleigh became partners, hadden halland went on to design a series of important buildings across the city. One of Eveleigh’s designs was for a palatial mansion in 160 acres of North Vancouver, set in dramatically landscaped gardens with 500 roses imported from France. This was Harvey Hadden’s Vancouver home, Hadden Hall, built in 1903 when he had been married just two years to Madelina, a woman less than half his age. “The nature-loving industrialist built Hadden Hall as his country home on a solid rock ridge 700 feet up Hollyburn Mountain near the current location of Capilano Golf Club, and enjoyed many summers at his idyllic west coast retreat before the outbreak of the First World War. Hadden returned to Vancouver just once more after that period, and the beautiful home he built was left unoccupied for 15 years before burning to the ground in an accidental fire.”

Hadden sale 1912 Montreal gazetteAmong Mr Hadden’s tenants, as this early 1900s image shows, was jeweller George Trorey who placed his famous clock on the sidewalk in front of the building. In 1912, just 11 years after its completion, Mr Hadden sold the Hadden Building at what must have been a tremendous profit. We haven’t found the cost to build the Hadden Building, but it couldn’t have been over $100,000. The Royal Bank paid $725,000 for the site for their new headquarters.

And then they sat on it. The First World War interupted the city’s economy and the pre-war boom (in fact things fell apart from 1912 on). So the Hadden Building stayed on the extraordinarily expensive site right through to 1929 when it was eventually demolished, and the Royal Bank’s art deco skyscraper – or more accurately, half a skyscraper, was built to the designs of S G Davenport, a Montreal based architect who was the Royal Bank’s staff architect.

Although designed to be built as a wedding cake tower, Vancouver still has only just over half a cake as the eastern second phase was never built – although you can’t tell that looking from the west.

Mr Hadden’s marriage apparently didn’t work out well; despite the addition of two children, Doris and Harvey, in 1920 Madelina sought a legal seperation, and the ensuing case was reported widely, owing to the rather unusual grounds. “Mrs. Hadden said that while they were staying a Budleigh Salterton her husband was absent from her a good deal.   “He was away all day golfing,” she added.   Mr. Justice Shearman – That raises a serious question whether continued absence on the golf course amounts to legal cruelty.   Mr. Holman Gregory, K.C. M.P., who appeared for the husband – If so, I am afraid some lawyers are bad husbands.   The Judge – I know the golf course at Budleigh Salterton, and it has considerable attractions.”  We don’t know the outcome, but it would seem that the separation went through as there is no mention of his family following Harvey’s death in 1931 when he was living in Claridge’s Hotel in London. Despite his absence from Vancouver over many years, he spent $44,000 in 1928 to fund the purchase of today’s Hadden Park in Kitsilano (the home of the Maritime Museum) which he handed over with an additional $5,000 for its completion.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-647


Posted 4 August 2013 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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