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McBeth and Campbell Building

326 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/03/25

Exterior view of the McBeth and Campbell Building, 2005; City of Vancouver, 2005
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/02

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.

Heritage Value

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

Character-Defining Elements

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



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


Multiple Dwelling


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

John Smith Davidson Taylor



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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