Joseph A. Vance (1872-1948), born in Quebec, Canada, moved to Tacoma in 1890 for work in railway construction. By 1897, he had built and begun operating a small lumber mill operation in Malone, Washington — close to the site of Vance Creek County Park , which opened in 1988. He founded the Vance Lumber Company in 1908, a highly successful milling operation which he sold in 1918.
Vance moved to Seattle and began to invest in real estate through the Vance Company. He became involved with developing personal business and commercial properties in downtown Seattle, including the Vance Hotel (1927, later known as Hotel Max); the Lloyd Building (1928, named for one of Joseph’s sons and in 2010 designated a City of Seattle landmark); and the Joseph Vance Building (1929), where the Vance Company operated.
Victor W. Voorhees designed all of these buildings. For the Vance Company, Voorhees designed the 1926 remodel of the Seattle Engineering School, which trained auto workers, into the Marqueen Apartments — now MarQueen Hotel — in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Voorhees produced the plan book catalog known as the Western Home Builder, the source of designs for homes throughout Seattle, including on Queen Anne.
By 1931, the Vance Company had acquired hotels in downtown Seattle: the Camlin and Hotel Continental — later known as Hotel Seattle and then renamed Hotel Earl for one of Joseph’s sons. Vance’s son George took over the company in the 1930s and ran it until his death in 1981.
As of 2021, the Vance Corporation continues to develop and manage Seattle properties.
Reference: “Vance Corporation returns to local ownership” (1998)