McBeth and Campbell Building
326 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The historic place is the facade of the former McBeth and Campbell Building. The facade is three storeys high and three bays wide, with tan brick cladding and simple classical detailing. It is located mid-block on the south side of West Pender Street, within the context of other commercial buildings of a compatible age and scale in downtown Vancouver.
Built in 1929, the facade of the McBeth and Campbell Building is valued for the simple Classical Revival influence displayed in its design, demonstrating the late persistence of traditional Period Revival styles. The building is characterized by an overall clarity of form and lightness of appearance with an austere but elegant facade of vertical proportions. It is notable for its lack of ornamental motifs, which are often aligned with such traditional styles, due partially to its late date of construction, when many designers were turning away from historic ornamentation towards a minimal modernism, and also due to the utilitarian nature of the business it housed.
Built for McBeth and Campbell, Printers and Binders, this building is significant for its association with its architect John Smith Davidson Taylor (1885-1952). Taylor opened his architectural practice in Vancouver in 1909, having emigrated from Scotland after a five-year apprenticeship in the office of the City Architect of Aberdeen. Before the Depression he had a prolific career in the city, designing commercial buildings, apartment buildings, and residences. Taylor is known for his legacy of sophisticated and urbane designs, as seen in his surviving designs for the Beaconsfield Apartments, 1909-10, and the Canada Permanent Building, 1911-12.
Although the main part of the McBeth and Campbell Building was demolished in 1998 as part of a redevelopment of the site for residential condominiums, the retained facade continues to contribute to the heritage character of the West Pender streetscape.
Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
Key elements that define the heritage character of the facade of the McBeth and Campbell Building include its:
- mid-block location on the south side of West Pender Street and adjacent to complementary buildings
- commercial form, scale and massing, as expressed by its three-storey height
- masonry construction with buff-coloured brick
- Classical Revival style, as referenced in its tripartite facade arrangement, projecting cornice and full height pilasters with corbelled capitals
- regular fenestration, with wooden-sash windows on the second and third storeys
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Charter, s.593
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
John Smith Davidson Taylor
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
Cross-Reference to Collection