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Belmont Building

801-807 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1975/11/27

Exterior view of the Belmont Building; City of Victoria, Berdine Jonker, 2004.
Southwest elevation
No Image
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Other Name(s)

Belmont Building
Belmont Block

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Belmont Building is an eight-storey office building on the corner of Humboldt and Government Streets on the southern boundary of the commercial core of the Old Town District.

Heritage Value

The Belmont Building (1912) is significant as a gatepost to Victoria's commercial core. The commercial facade of this prominent landmark sets the scene for the Inner Harbour entrance to Government Street.

This office building is notable as an example of technologically advanced construction; it was the first large-scale building in Victoria to comply with new stringent fire codes through the use of reinforced concrete. Architects Horton and Phillips, influenced by the Chicago School of architecture, utilized internal frame construction combined with restrained Edwardian details such as terra cotta cladding, a corner articulation, and walls of slightly recessed windows to accentuate the building's height. The defined verticality of this retail and office structure contributes significantly to the backdrop of historic structures at the northeast corner of the Inner Harbour Precinct.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Belmont Building include:
-the location of the building on the corner of Humboldt and Government streets;
-unimpeded views between the building and the Inner Harbour;
-the vertical emphasis of the form and multi-storey massing;
-the concrete frame construction;
-Chicago school elements typified by the corner tower articulation and the vertical emphasis achieved by the slight recessing of the curved and tripartite windows;
-restrained Edwardian details typified by sparse decoration of the matte-glazed, cream-colored terra cotta cladding on three facades, marked by the horizontal divisions of the plain stringcourse and simple cornice;
-first floor elements related to the period of construction such as the cast iron canopy of the Humboldt Street entrance, storefront windows, and interior features such as the staircase with its Art Nouveau newel post in the lobby.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date

1975/11/27

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type

Current

Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Historic

Architect / Designer

Horton and Phillips

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

DcRu-257

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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