241 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6A, Canada
China Cereal and Oil Corporation
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Belmont Building at 241 East Hastings Street is a three-storey Italianate wood frame building located in the 200 block of East Hastings Street in Vancouver.
The value of the Belmont Building lies in its position in the streetscape of the 200 block of East Hastings Street. Although the seven buildings on the north side of this block - built between 1901 and 1913 - range in height from one to eight storeys, were designed by seven different architects, and constructed of different materials, they share several features. All have bay windows and overhanging cornices, all are built right to the lot line with no setback, all are built on narrow twenty-five foot lots, and all were used for commercial use. Together they illustrate the changing use of this area of East Hastings Street from residential to business use and place the district as a shopping and commercial centre for the emerging city of Vancouver in the early twentieth century. The architectural styles speak to the changing public taste from the ornate decoration of the late Victorian era to the more refined ornamentation of the Edwardian age.
Built in 1904 as a family dwelling, store, and apartment for John Spooner (although he never lived here), this was one of the last buildings designed for Vancouver by William Blackmore, one of the city's earliest and most prolific architects. The following year, the Belmont Building became the offices of W.A. Brown plumber; he remained in that location until the 1920s. The site then became a confectionery - a use which continued until the 1980s. The Belmont Building continued as rooms for rent from 1905 until the 1980s. These uses demonstrate the changing uses of ground floors in the area, all contributing to a bustling, street-level commercial activity.
There is also value in the architectural style. The wood siding contrasts with the brick and stone claddings which are predominant in the surrounding buildings, and mark it as an early structure in the area. The wood balconies between the windows on the upper storeys are unique. At the time of construction, this was largely a residential area, so this building represents the transition from residential to residential/commercial.
Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
The character-defining elements of the historic place include:
- form, scale and massing
- built right to the lot line with no setbacks
- its functional and stylistic relationship with other buildings within the Hastings Street strip and adjoining neighbourhoods
- wood frame construction
- characteristics of the Italianate style, including horizontal wood siding with applied wood detailing and substantial wood mouldings, two-storey bay windows with central balconies, demi-lune transom window above balcony doors, ornate scroll brackets and dentil cornice below the upper eaves
- continued residential use
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Charter, s.582
Community Heritage Register
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 Conservation Program
Cross-Reference to Collection