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Hutchinson Block

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

Formally Recognized: 1986/09/23

Exterior view of the Hutchinson Block; City of Vancouver, 2005
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Hutchinson Block
429-433 West Pender Street
The Montgomery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1909/01/01 to 1910/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/08/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Hutchinson Block is an eight-storey, two-bay Edwardian-era commercial building clad in tan brick, and prominent within the streetscape because of its tall, narrow stature. It is located mid-block on the north side of West Pender Street, within the context of other commercial buildings of similar scale and age in central downtown Vancouver.

Heritage Value

Built in 1909-10 as an office block with street level retail space, the Hutchinson Block is valued for its stylistically and technologically progressive architecture. This building is an early example of a structure of substantial height for its time and context. Such construction was made possible by the employment of reinforced concrete as a structural framing material. The Hutchinson Block is also an early example of Chicago School styling in Vancouver, closely following the prescribed scheme of such architecture, featuring large windows with spandrels, and a tripartite scheme with an elaborately articulated base, plain shaft and heavily elaborated upper capital topped with a heavy, overhanging cornice.

The Hutchinson Block is historically significant as an important component of the early retail, commercial and residential fabric that characterized the area around West Pender and West Hastings Streets as the core of early twentieth-century Vancouver. The building was developed by Dudley D. Hutchinson (1883-1967), who arrived in Vancouver in 1906 and speculated in real estate. Hutchinson constructed this apartment first, and did well enough with this venture to build the prestigious Grace Court in the West End. Constructed by important local builders Adkison and Dill, well known for their reinforced concrete work. The Hutchinson Block is also significant for its design by prominent local architect William Frederick Gardiner (1884-1951).

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Hutchinson Block include its:
- siting in an early commercial area of Vancouver among other commercial buildings
- mid-block location on the north side of West Pender Street, built on a north slope, to the property line
- contribution to the streetscape as part of an unbroken streetwall
- commercial form, scale and massing, as expressed by its tripartite facade arrangement, eight-storey height (with above ground basement at rear), and narrow rectangular plan
- masonry construction of reinforced concrete with stretcher-bond tan brick facade
- Chicago School elements such as its articulated base and cap with Neoclassical Revival-inspired sheet metal decoration, such as the dentil-detailed secondary cornice between the second and third stories and shield motifs between the sixth and seventh stories; large front facade windows with metal spandrels impressed with an elaborate foliage and cartouche design
- additional exterior details, such as its east elevation light well, recessed entry with polygonal porcelain tile flooring with Greek key motif, and decorative sheet metal panels in the window spandrels
- regular fenestration: two bays of large rectangular windows on the facade, with semi-circular arched headed windows on the sixth storey with brick casing and keystone details; and two bays of paired windows on the rear facade



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.582

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

William Frederick Gardiner


Adkison and Dill

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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