Atlantic Furnished Rooms
81 West Cordova Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Atlantic Furnished Rooms is a two storey Edwardian era masonry building, located on the north side of Cordova Street in the historic district of Gastown.
Gastown is the historic core of Vancouver, and is the city's earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings and warehouses. The Atlantic Furnished Rooms is valued as an early Gastown rooming house, representative of the area's seasonal population in the early twentieth century, as Vancouver emerged as western Canada's predominant commercial centre. Rooming houses such as this provided both short and long term lodging, serving primarily those who worked in the seasonal resource trades such as fishing and logging. Many of these rooming houses had combined functions of commercial services on the ground floor and lodging rooms on the upper floors, which contributed to the lively street life in Gastown. Additionally, it illustrates the rapid construction of a number of hotel structures along Cordova Street at this time, in response to a change in liquor licensing laws that abolished free-standing saloons on July 1, 1906.
The building is also valued for its associations with the original owner, Baron and Marquis James Canby Cyprian DeBiddle Cope. Much of the early investment capital that allowed the City of Vancouver to develop was British in origin. Cope (born 1852) lived in Shropshire, England and Verona, Italy, and was a Roman Marquis and a Baron of the Kingdom of Italy. Typical of speculative British investors who saw potential in Vancouver's development as a major port on the Pacific Ocean, Cope acquired this site as a holding property in 1890. This building was constructed at a time when there was renewed optimism about the potential of Western Canada based on the proposed completion of the Panama Canal. Cope and his family owned the site until 1927.
The Atlantic Furnished Rooms is valued for its architecture as a fine example of the commercial style of the Edwardian era, illustrating how popular architectural styles were used by the hotel business to market a progressive image. With its segmental arched windows and elaborate cornice, this building represents a transition point between the more highly articulated decoration of the late Victorian era and the simplified Classical Revival influences of the Edwardian era.
Source: City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files
The character-defining elements of the Atlantic Furnished Rooms include
- location, in close proximity to the waterfront of Burrard Inlet and the Canadian Pacific Railway yard, with small passageway at rear
- form, scale and massing as expressed in its symmetry, two storey height, flat roof and rectangular plan
- spatial relationship to other late Victorian and Edwardian era commercial buildings
- siting on the property lines, with no setbacks
- masonry construction: tan brick cladding with rough-dressed sandstone detailing on the front facade; common red brick rear facade with segmental arched window openings with rough-dressed sandstone sills; and monolithic granite storefront threshold blocks
- six segmental arched window openings on the second floor front facade, with corbelled recesses at the sides
- sheet metal cornice at parapet level
- one cast iron column at storefront
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Charter, s.593
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files
Cross-Reference to Collection