Whetham Block/CP Telecom Building

CVA - Str P209 - [View of Cordova Street from the corner of Cambie Street] 1899.

CVA – Str P209 – [View of Cordova Street from the corner of Cambie Street] 1899. (Note: The camera is facing northeast down Cordova; we can confirm this because the Savoy Hotel/Theatre is east and up the block, towards Abbott St, at 135 West Cordova).

The City of Vancouver Archives claims in the Scope and Content section of the record for this photo that it “shows the Wetham Block”. This is a typographical error; it should read “Whetham Block”, named after Dr. James Whetham. There is a biography of Charles Whetham and others in his family (including James) at this site. Note, however, that there appears to be an error in this article pertaining to the Whetham Block. It notes that the Whetham Block was “situated on the North East corner of Cordova and Cambie” (which is correct); but the article then asserts that this building is “still standing” (incorrect). As ‘evidence’ to support this claim, the author shows a Google ‘street view’ image of an early structure on the northwest corner of Cordova at Cambie. (Note: See comment below from Changing Vancouver).

The building on the northeast corner today (175 W Cordova) is the former CNCP Telecom Building (Francis Donaldson, 1969) – today, home to Allstream. The Telecom block was one of the buildings approved as part of Mayor Tom “Terrific” Campbell’s ill-fated “Project 200”. Harold Kalman describes this project as being part of the “sweep-the-old-stuff-away mania of post-WWII urban redevelopment.” (Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide, 2012).

The Canadian Pacific Telecom Building (Francis Donaldson, 1969); today, the Allstream building. 2015. Author's photo.

The CNCP Telecom Building; today, the Allstream building. 2015. Author’s photo.

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2 Responses to Whetham Block/CP Telecom Building

  1. ChangingCity says:

    You’re quite correct that the Whetham Block has gone, replaced by the Telecom Building (we featured a then and now recently from it’s days as the offices of The British Columbia Electric Railway Co. https://changingvancouver.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/163-west-cordova-street/. However, there is a Whetham Block still standing nearby. We caught the corner of it in a post on our blog: it’s known as The Arlington Block these days. https://changingvancouver.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/cordova-and-cambie-sw-corner/

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