Monday, March 7, 2011

Edward's Influence

I have walked by this building numerous times. Even took  few photos this summer but I didn't know anything about it. Until now.

Located at 436 - 440 Pender Street West this building is called the Tiedemann Block. It is an Edwardian three-bay, three-storey commercial masonry building built during 1909 and 1910.

This distinctive building reflects the early commercial development of the area and the modest structure shows smaller scale building types and lends to the saw tooth profile of the streetscape.

Originally this building was designed for Tudor James A. Tiedemann of the Tiedemann Insurance Company. The Seattle based architectural firm of Bebbe and Mendel - Charles H. Bebbe and Louis L. Mendel - crafted this simple Edwardian architectural style building with its plain brick facade punctuated by grids of large, evenly placed windows, and bold but simple terra cotta decoration, such as cornices and brackets.

But every building, even the plainest ones, has a distinctive feature. With the Tiedemann Block it is the unusual applied terra cotta lion's head ornamentation.

Remember when  I wrote about 340 Cambie Street? It wasn't that long ago. This is the building at 322 Cambie, also known as the Commercial Hotel, was built in 1899. About a year after 340 Cambie.

Originally 322 Cambie Street was built as an office building and was home to such tenants as the architect W.T. Whiteway who was responsible for many noted buildings such as the Woodward's Department Store; a dentist by the name of Florence McAlpine; a doctor, J.A.L, McAlpine and real estate agents. The ground floor was occupied by accountants Gravelly, Hope & Company until the National Cash Register Company took over in 1910.

By 1916 the financial centre of Vancouver was shifting to the south and west and ergo 322 Cambie Street went through a transition. Instead of offices the upper floors changed to accommodation and the building was named the Commercial Hotel. In the years since it has been occupied by transient tenants and restaurants.

The historical value to this building is not only in the tenants and the use it has been put to but also in its architectural style. Especially the Edwardian architectural features including: prominent five-sided, five-windowed tower at the corner with the south lane, rusticated quoins to either side at ground level, narrow pilaster-defined bays, pattern of fenestration (one-over-one sash windows recessed in brickwork openings with moulded surrounds), and historic mosaic flooring at entry. (I will have to go back sometime and see if I can get some photos of that mosaic flooring.)

At the side of the building is a mural that I thought was interesting.

Fits in with the African restaurant don't you think?

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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