Heritage Register

59 Cook Street

Built 1913
Heritage-Designated 2016

For: Christina L. Haas

Architect: Thomas Hooper

75 Cook


59 Cook Street is a four-square house built in the Classic Revival style featuring a known for its semicircular front porch with double-storey classical columns. Other exterior features include a porte-cochère and two verandahs.

59 Cook Street is notable due to its very close proximity to Beacon Hill Park. The layout of the house on the property is evidence of the importance placed on park in designating the alignment of the house on the lot. The many windows on the front of the house, coupled with the large, columned entrance were designed to take advantage of the view to and from the park just across Cook Street. The location and permanence of the Beacon Hill Park influenced the construction of the surrounding neighbourhoods and the development of the transportation corridors which serviced them.

Development along the Cook Street corridor and of the FairField neighbourhood was a result of the subdivision of the original farms and houses such as 59 Cook Street are evidence of this residential expansion. The creation of a residential infrastructure during the post war period, with development along a strict rectilinear grid, similar to that in downtown Victoria, reminds us of speculative confidence in the early years of the twentieth century in the anticipated growth of the city population. A building permit was issued in 1912 for 59 Cook Street with a value of $15,000, which reflects the development of the Fairfield neighbourhood and its relationship the historic downtown core.

The house is also notable for its association with Thomas Hooper, whose name appears on the plans but does not appear in his portfolio. Hooper arrived in Vancouver in 1886 and established a flourishing practice in that city in 1887. Notable building in Vancouver include the R.V. Winch building, the Homer Street Methodist Church and additions to the Vancouver Courthouse. He established an office in Victoria in 1890 and proceeded to design such notable buildings as Saint Anne's Academy, E.A. Morris Tobacconists, the Carnegie Library and several substantial private residences. Hooper also worked on projects around the province which include the Vernon Courthouse.


1913-20: 59 Cook Street is notable due to the personal history of the first owner. The house was originally built for Christina Haas, of whom little is known before she arrived from California in 1912. She then took over an establish brothel on Broughton Street and bought the two lots where 59 Cook Street stands and commissioned Thomas Hooper to build the house which was then used as another brothel. Christina is listed as the owner of the property in the city directories until 1920 when she moved back to California.


1920-44: The house was sold to John Day, a wealthy businessman, and his wife, Eliza Amelia. Day and his previous wife arrived in Victoria in 1891, after an extensive naval career, where they built two houses in Esquimalt. He owned the Esquimalt Hotel until it was taken over by the Navy in 1943, and later managed the Silver Springs Brewery and the Phoenix Brewery with his associates Harty Maynard and Phillip Crombie. Eliza sold 59 Cook Street after his death in 1944. .

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