Jordan Steeves Business Block
Ford's Pharmacy Building
Édifice le la pharmacie Ford's
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Jordan Steeves Business Block is a three-storey vernacular interpretation of Second Empire commercial architecture from the early 20th century. It is located on Main Street in Hillsborough.
The Jordan Steeves Business Block, currently known as the Ford’s Pharmacy Building, is historically significant not only for the role it played in transforming Hillsborough’s economic landscape in 1907, but for the prominent place it holds in the village today.
While the design of the building is dated, even by 1907 standards, this example of a modest, commercial Second Empire building had a modernizing influence on Hillsborough commerce. When Jordan Steeves built ‘The Business Block’, thirteen other retail stores lined the village’s streets, but they were mostly vernacular interpretations of the Classical Revival style. Those stores, with their steeply pitched roofs over regularly massed two-storey frame construction, presented a gabled end toward the street, casting the village as a frontier town rather that the regional centre Hillsborough was struggling to become. Jordan Steeves’ own hardware store, still standing one hundred metres north on Main Street, hints at the Italianate, but sports a Boom Town façade, which added to the ‘old west’ appearance of the village. His new business block would change the face of Main Street.
The main tenant on opening day was David B. Livingstone, a hardware merchant who dealt in carriages, sleighs, harnesses and winter buffalo robes. He had been part of Hillsborough business life since 1892. His motto, ‘None but the Best,’ indicated that his line of carriages were first-rate. The other tenant that day was Mr. John H. Barrie, whose stock of gramophones, photographic goods, clocks, pianos and organs were serviced by a jeweller, Mr. P. D. White.
Between 1930 and 1955 the building was rented by Lloyd and Eva West. By day, Lloyd worked in his father’s blacksmith shop on Mill Street. By night he helped Eva in their confectionary store in this building. Their soda fountain sported enough glittering chrome and glass to launch the imagination of the young far beyond the limits of rural New Brunswick. By 1968, the building had seen better days. The present owners, showing the same faith and vision in Hillsborough that Jordan Steeves had shown in 1907, purchased the building and revitalized it to fulfill a needed function in a modern community.
Source: Heritage Hillsborough, William Henry Steeves House Museum, Local Historic Places files
The character-defining elements relating to the exterior elements of the Jordan Steeves Business Block include:
- rectangular three-storey massing;
- simple mansard roof;
- single and paired double-hung windows with entablatures;
- gable-roofed dormers on the side façades with decorative fan motif in the tympanums;
- clapboard sheathing;
- shallow dormers with pent roofs;
- storefront cornice;
- large storefront windows with paneled bulkheads;
- corner board pilasters;
- cement steps with flagstone trim.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
William Henry Steeves House Museum, 40 Mill Street, Hillsborough, NB, B4H 2Z8
Cross-Reference to Collection