Occidental Hotel - Nanaimo, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member elyob
N 49° 09.920 W 123° 56.560
10U E 431279 N 5446263
Quick Description: northeast corner of Fitzwilliam and Selby
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 6/22/2020 4:52:10 PM
Waymark Code: WM12NK3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 1

Long Description:
The BC Heritage Trust marker on site tells a story that does not appear in the text from Canada's Historic Places, copied below. According to the marker, Sam Fiddick came to British Columbia for Fraser River gold rush. Fiddick failed at finding gold but stayed in British Columbia. Fiddick eventually married and found himself a partner with business sense. The couple operated the Occidental Hotel back in the 1880s, making money off the many thirsty passengers carried by the local railroad. However, I don't think Fiddick learned his lesson. At the age of 65, he went off to the Klondike, chasing dreams of gold.
The Occidental Hotel is a two-story Italianate style building located at a prominent corner on the main street of one of Nanaimo's oldest neighbourhoods. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.

The Occidental Hotel's value resides in its role as a gateway building. Located at a prominent intersection, the building marks the western entrance to one of Nanaimo's oldest commercial areas. The angled corner entry mirrors the entry on the building directly across the street and creates a visual funnel, reinforcing the impression of entering a new and distinct space.

Tall, imposing and located at a prominent intersection, the Occidental Hotel is a highly visible landmark.

Built in 1886, the Occidental Hotel is very good example of Victorian Italianate architecture, one of the most popular 19th century styles in North America. The Occidental Hotel features the vertical proportions and tall, rounded windows and doors typical of this style.

The Occidental Hotel is significant because of its association with prominent Victoria architect John Teague. Remarkably prolific, Teague designed over 350 buildings and greatly influenced the character of early architecture in Victoria. His buildings include Victoria City Hall, the Freemason's Meeting Hall, the East Block of St. Ann's Academy, Scholefield House and the Church of Our Lord.

The substantial and handsome Occidental Hotel speaks to the mood of prosperity and possibility prevalent in the 1880s by the completion of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway and the expansion of the huge No. 1 Coal Mine. Located one block from the train station, the Occidental Hotel was the first business to take advantage of the opportunities the nearby train station provided. Over time, the area eventually became an important secondary retail district within a predominantly residential neighbourhood.

The Occidental Hotel has been in continuous use as an eating and drinking establishment for over 100 years.

Source: City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/432 Fitzwilliam Street

Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

432 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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