Monday, January 24, 2011

Labour, Rooming Houses and Hotels

This unimposing building at Dunsmuir and Homer has more importance than it may seem. Currently it is known as the 411 Seniors Centre but originally when it was built in 1911 - 1912 as the Vancouver Labour Temple.

The Vancouver and District Labour Council was established in 1889 and was integral in advancing the economic and social welfare of workers in Vancouver. The Vancouver Labour Temple Company supported labour unions, backed labour candidates in political elections and took action against racism and sexism.

Well known and prolific architect,Thomas Hooper, designed this building in the Chicago style. There is a tri-partite proportioning of the building's form with brick cladding on the main body of the building which distiguishes it from the stone clad base.

The building seems to be one of stature with the stateliness of the entrance space and detailing as well as the classical columns on the first floor.

The other day I woke to a slight dusty of snow. Nothing like these picture which I took earlier in the winter of 2010.

No, this time the snow disappeared quickly and we were left with the green that we are used to. One of the advantages of living in an area where it rains a lot.

Built in 1890 this is the Jones Block also known as the Henshaw Building. It part of a triangular block that connects Water Street with West Cordova Street and is connected with the McConnell Block , 350-364 Water Street.
One of Vancouver's most prolific architects, Noble Stonestreet Hoffar, designed this modest structure. This structure is typical of the buildings built to house offices for the smaller businesses that were needed due to the related commercial activities of the area.

The Jones Block shows the difficulty builders and architects were having with acquiring building materials and financing. There are eccentric differences in the detailing between the two halves of the structure which was typical of the haphazard method of building during Vancouver's early years. (Now I am studying the photos to see if I can see the differences. Can you?)

Here is a building that has had many names since it was built in 1909. Fortin BuildingFortin Hotel, Rob Roy Hotel and the Travellers Hotel.

This fine example of Edwardian era styling has historic value for a few reasons not the least is its association with the architectural firm Grant and Henderson.  George William Grant and Alexander Ernest Henderson showed great versatility by styling everything from Arts and Crafts styled residences to institutional, industrial and commercial buildings.

(the 1893 you see here refers to an earlier structure.)

In the early twentieth century Vancouver had a lot of seasonal population and this is an example of the types of rooming houses that sprung up around town. Especially in this area. Loggers, fishermen and those in other seasonal resource trades needed short and long term housing. the upper floors were for rooms to rent and the lower could be for more commercial services.

Originally the Fortin shared a party wall with a building to the west, The Sullivan Block which was designed in 1896 by John Edmeston Parr (Parr and Fee whom I have written on a few times) When the Sullivan Block was demolished the wall, the front structural pier with its granite blocks, brick and cornice detailing were left.

You can see a bit of it here. This granite is different from the rest of the building.

This is the Arlington Hotel or the Arlington Rooms or the Arlington Block at 302 West Cordova. Built in 1887 the design of this  commercial building is credited to the prominent architect N.S. Hoffar. Owned by Dr. James Whetham this late Victorian Italianate style structure was typical of many residential/commercial buildings erected at this time.

This three storey brick structure with fourteen foot ceilings originally only had a depth of 66 feet since it followed the British tradition of allowing for courtyard space at the back. In 1909 a printing wing was built in that space for Thomson Brothers, booksellers.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

TAGS:, , , ,,,,,

No comments:

Post a Comment