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Adams Block

705 Columbia Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/04/05

Adams Block, exterior view, 2004; City of New Westminster, 2004
front elevation
Adams Block, exterior view, ND; New Westminster Public Library, NWPL 2544
front elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Adams Block
Hart Building
Odd Fellows Block
Odd Fellows Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Adams Block is a two-storey brick and stone Romanesque Revival style building, with arched window heads and arched windows. It is located on the south side of Columbia Street, the main commercial street in New Westminster's historic downtown core.

Heritage Value

The Adams Block is significant for its contribution to the consistent and distinctive built form of Columbia Street, which dates from 1898 to 1913, when New Westminster was the major centre of commerce and industry for the booming Fraser Valley area. The first building on this site was the massive Masonic and Odd Fellows Block of 1887, designed by architect G. W. Grant. This first building was destroyed by fire in 1891. When the block was rebuilt, the two societies completed their own individual blocks, with the Odd Fellows taking the western part of the site. The 1892 building was completely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1898. This new building was commissioned by grocer George Adams, who housed his grocery on the main floor; the Odd Fellows met on its second floor until 1909 when they built their own block at Eighth and Carnarvon Streets. In 1908 the Westminster Trust and Safe Deposit Company and F. J. Hart Real Estate Company purchased this building, and incorporated it with the adjoining Masonic Block. After the Westminster Trust built their own block next door, this building was renamed the Hart Building.

The Adams Block is valued as a significant design by George William Grant (1852-1925), a prolific architect who designed many of the buildings in downtown New Westminster, before and after the Great Fire. He redesigned and restored buildings that survived, and designed replacement blocks for those that were destroyed, much reduced in scale and opulence from the pre-fire buildings.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Adams Block include its:
- location on Columbia Street, with a frontage on Clarkson Street, part of a grouping of late Victorian and Edwardian era commercial buildings in historic downtown New Westminster
- siting on the property lines, with no setbacks
- spatial relationship to the adjacent Masonic Block
- boxy form, two-storey height, symmetrical front facade, flat roof and cubic massing
- secondary facade on Clarkson Street
- masonry construction, with red brick cladding and sandstone trim
- exterior decorative elements, including arched windows and brick corbelling at the parapet and window arches



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1908/01/01 to 1908/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer

George W. Grant



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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