File AP-2012 - Bank of Ottawa / Bank of Nova Scotia building, 602 West Hastings Street

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Bank of Ottawa / Bank of Nova Scotia building, 602 West Hastings Street

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  • Architectural drawing

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Scales vary.

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Physical description area

Physical description

22 architectural drawings : blueprint

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

W. Marbury Somervell was an architect who practiced in New York, Seattle, then Vancouver, both under his own name and as one of the partners in the firm Somervell and Putnam.

Somervell was born in Washington, D.C. and studied architecture at Cornell University. His employers, the New York firm of Heins & Lafarge sent him to the west coast to supervise construction of St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Somervell remained in Seattle, where he forms a partnership with Joseph S. Cote, which practiced in Seattle 1906-1910.

In 1910, Somervell moved on to Vancouver, where he set up practice under his own name. In 1911 his former office manager, the former New York architect, John L. Putnam, became a partner and the firm continued under the name Somervell & Putnam.

The firm was responsible for designing the British Columbia Electric Railway head office and depot at Hastings and Carrall, the Burnaby Municipal Hall, the Bank of Ottawa building at Hastings and Seymour, the Birks building at Georgia and Granville, the Yorkshire building on Seymour Street, the Merchants' Bank building at Hastings and Carrall, the London Building on West Pender Street, the Shannon estate for B.T. Rogers, and the Union Bank building at Hastings and Seymour.

Some time around 1920 the firm and both its partners relocated to Los Angeles. Somervell retired in 1935 and dies in France in 1939.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sharp and Thompson was a Vancouver architectural firm founded in 1908 by George Lister Thornton Sharp and Charles Joseph Thompson. The firm designed many buildings, including the master plan, Sciences Buildings, Main Library and powerhouse for the University of B.C.; the Vancouver Club; the Anglican Theological College at UBC, the Burrard Street Bridge, and a large number of residences; St. Mary's Church, Kerrisdale; the first Vancouver Art Gallery (1931).

After the retirement of George Sharp around 1940 and architects Robert Berwick and Ned Pratt became partners in 1945, the firm was renamed and continued as Thompson, Berwick and Pratt.

Custodial history

Scope and content

File consists of architectural drawings of the original design for and later alterations to the building. Drawings include plans, exterior and interior elevations, sections and details.

Notes area

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Immediate source of acquisition


This file was once part of AM511; it has been added to COV-S393 as this is the most likely provenance of the records.

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Restrictions on access

Access to these drawings is restricted indefinitely due to FOIPPA legislation. File contains architectural drawings. Researchers wanting to access these drawings must complete an ‘Access to restricted records’ form, and are required to seek written permission from the building owner to view the records.

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Container name

  • Box: 271-04-12
  • Box: 494-05-01