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Jones Block

407 West Cordova Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/01/14

Exterior view of the Jones Block; City of Vancouver, 2004
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Jones Block
Henshaw Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Jones Block is a three storey plus lower level masonry commercial building, located in the historic district of Gastown, in a triangular block where Water Street joins West Cordova Street. It was built as a contiguous structure with the adjacent McConnell Block, 350-364 Water Street.

Heritage Value

Gastown is the historic core of Vancouver, and is the city's earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings and warehouses. The Jones Block is representative of the importance of Gastown as the trans-shipment point between the terminus of the railway and Pacific shipping routes, and the consequent expansion of Vancouver into western Canada's predominant commercial centre in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As Vancouver prospered, office spaces were required for smaller businesses related to the commercial activities of the area, and the Jones Block was typical of the office structures built on Cordova Street to fill this need.

The Jones Block is also significant as an early design by architect Noble Stonestreet Hoffar (1843-1907), one of Vancouver's most prolific early architects. It is a modest design, built as a contiguous structure with the adjacent McConnell Block. Its simple detailing, and the eccentric differences in detailing between the two halves of the structure, represents the vernacular, almost haphazard approach to construction in the first years of Vancouver's settlement, when building materials and financing were intermittently available. Its sheet metal cornice blocks are identical to those of the Lovell Block at 117 Water Street, built at the same time, indicating the limited availability of prefabricated building elements at this early stage in the city's history.

Source: City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Jones Block include:
- location, in close proximity to the waterfront of Burrard Inlet and the Canadian Pacific Railway yard
- siting on the property lines, with no setbacks
- location on a trapezoidal lot
- double street frontage on Water Street and West Cordova Street, as a result of the narrowing depth of the wedge-shaped lot
- modest form, scale and massing as exemplified by the three-storey plus lower level height, flat roof and small footprint
- simple vernacular detailing typical of the first years of construction in Vancouver
- masonry construction, including brick sidewalls, brick cladding with flush-struck mortar joints and modest sandstone detailing
- prefabricated building elements, such as the cast iron columns at the storefronts, and the sheet metal cornice blocks (identical to those at 117 Water Street)
- elaborate projecting sheet metal cornice
- iron I-beams with rosettes spanning the storefronts
- fenestration, including: two round-arched double-hung 2-over-2 wood-sash windows at the second floor on both street frontages; three double-hung 1-over-1 wood-sash windows in segmental arched openings at the third floor on both street frontages; and large rectangular storefront windows at ground level on both frontages
- surviving interior features such as original room layouts



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.593

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

Noble Stonestreet Hoffar



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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