Archive for the ‘Altered’ Category
The biggest building on the unit block of Cordova was built by Thomas Dunn and Jonathan Miller in 1889 as a sort of loose alliance – one architect, (N S Hoffar) two owners and a variety of tenants. We’ve featured Wood, Vallance and Leggat who were in Thomas Dunn’s part of the building. There was also a hotel, a reading room, the headquarters of the Electric Railway and Light company and the Knights of Pythias Hall, located on the second floor of the building.
Today the facade says it’s the Lonsdale Block; North Vancouver property magnate Arthur Lonsdale acquired the building and had the facade plaques reworked with his name replacing the original. Despite Mr Lonsdale’s attempt to recast history, the building is still generally known as the Dunn-Miller Block. Arthur Pemberton Heywood-Lonsdale (as he became when he was allowed to change his name in order to inherit a fortune of a million and a quarter pounds under the will of his maternal uncle, John Pemberton Heywood, who died in 1877) used some of his funds to finance the Moodyville Mill in 1882 (several years after Sewell Moody’s untimely death at sea). He acquired property on the north shore and in the city, although he continued to live in Shropshire in England where he became High Sheriff in 1888.
The Army and Navy Store occupied their West Hastings premises from 1919 when San Francisco native Sam Cohen established the store, and the company purchased the Cordova buildings later. Through the 1940s there were a variety of restaurants, a barbers school and two tailors shops as well as the Skidrow Store grocers. Army and Navy restored elements of the Classical-style façade in 1973-74 in a remodelling of the entire store. What you can see here is the original building in the 1960s, before it became effectively a facade in front of a more modern (although now 40 year old) interior.
Image source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-768
Our building on Granville Street is almost certainly designed by W T Dalton for Hope and Fader Co., Granville Street, ‘next to the Imperial Bank’, 1898. The Imperial Bank was the building to the north – still standing today, although it ceased to be a bank many years ago.
The ‘Hope’ in Hope and Fader is almost certainly Charles E Hope, partner with Walter Gravely in the firm of Hope and Gravely, real estate agents. Hope was English, and in 1891 was living in New Westminster where he was identified in the census as an architect. He was born in Bradford, trained as an architect with his father and brother and then moved to Vancouver in 1889. He designed a public market in 1889 and the Alexandra Hospital, West 7th Avenue at Pine Street in 1891. He didn’t pursue an architectural career for very long; after 1896 he became interested in mining development at Rossland, B.C. but clearly remained linked with the city as he was on the Vancouver School Board from 1906 to 1909. He opened a real estate office in Fort Langley in 1910. His brother, Archibald followed him to Vancouver and was responsible for the design of Postal Station C on Main Street – today known as Heritage Hall.
Silas Fader was the owner of the site, living at 544 and selling groceries from 546 (he’s described in the street directory as a “provision dealer”). His family were originally from Germany, but he had been born in Nova Scotia, as had his wife Edith and two older children. He had moved to British Columbia somewhere between 1886 and 1894, when the first of three more children had been born.
In 1901 when our picture was taken the building was occupied by Walter Boult, a music dealer, and Norman Caple’s stationers. Dr Campbell had his consulting rooms upstairs. Caple had been in the city from before 1890 and was one of the city’s earlier photographers – we’ve seen his first premises on another post. He moved a little later up the street. The September photograph shows the building decorated for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. Mrs Bonnallie, in conversation with Major Matthews, recalled that the first run of the city’s first motor ambulance (that she had helped to raise funds for) ran over and killed American tourist outside Fader’s grocery store on Granville, becoming the first passenger to be transported in the vehicle.
Later in the 1920s Arnold & Quigley men’s clothing would occupy the building, and by 1981 as this picture shows Marks and Spencers were the tenanta and the building had been extensively changed. Most recently another clothing store has taken the space, with a total rebuild to modern retailing standards for the Loblaw ’Joe Fresh’ brand, designed by Turner Fleischer with interior design by Toronto company burdifilek. Underneath it’s possible that a few sticks of the original 1898 structure still help keep the roof up (although if they do, it’s at the back – the front of the building has been totally rebuilt at least twice in recent years).
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives LGN 572 and CVA 779-E02.01
We don’t know who built this structure, although we know it dates from around 1908. The 1901 Insuarnce map of the city shows there was a house on a lot located 25 feet north of Georgia (just on the right edge of this picture). The lot had been owned by A K Stuart since 1886.
Mrs A K Stuart obtained a permit for a house on Richards Street in 1902, and A K Stuart obtained another for a house on Georgia Street in 1906. In 1903 James L Duff, a dentist lived here, and next door, to the west, was William Lonergan, a contractor, who stayed for a number of years. In 1905 the dentist had been replaced by Oswald Trowse, a dyer, and in 1907 A K Stuart, recorded as being a civil engineer, was shown living in the house.
Mrs A K Stuart would have been Margaret, who Allan Stuart had married in 1892. Stuart was a former CPR draftsman who helped bring the railway through the Rockies, and then settled in Vancouver in 1885 working for Thomas Sorby, helping design the first CPR buildings including the first Hotel Vancouver. From 1893 to 1901 he worked as Assistant City Engineer, before joining an engineering company supervising mines in Canada and Mexico.
By 1908 we’re reasonably certain this structure had been completed, as the building here housed the Cabello Cigar Manufacturing Company. (The Archives image is dated 1906, but we think it’s probably a year or two later). A K Stuart had obtained two further permits in1907 for alterations and remodelling on bothe Richards and Georgia, and it seems likely that this building was the outcome. The building lot was turned through 90 degrees and subdivided north-south rather than the original east-west alignment.
In 1909 Philip Timms, one of Vancouver’s leading photographers of the day was based here, to be replaced by Stuart Thompson, another photographer, in 1912. Timms had been born in Toronto in 1874, but had arrived in Vancouver with his new wife Lizzie in 1898. His first employment was working for Stephen Thompson who was already established in New Westminster, taking high-quality platinum photographs of the scenery of the Rockies.
Timms was initially a picture framer, but by 1903 he was a photographer, deliberately trying to create a record of the rapidly growing city of Vancouver (a legacy we rely on for this blog). He produced at least 3,000 images, many of them printed as postcards by his brother, Art.
Stuart Thompson was born in Hampstead, England in 1881. He came to Vancouver via Australia in 1910, where he became a well-known professional photographer, noted for his aerial photography. Timms had moved his business to his home address on Commercial Drive. He maintained his studio at 501 W Georgia until 1922 when Aras Pantages became the tenant.
Over the years the occupant of the building changed many times, including the National Cash Register Co who operated from here in the late 1930s, until today when a car leasing company operates from the building. But we can’t help thinking that underneath the 1934 exterior we see today are the bones of the 1907 original structure.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-592
This image was commissioned by City Archivist Major Matthews and was titled by him “The first house on Davie St. as it appeared in Aug. 1931. Vintage print attributed to Rowland J. Towers.”
Elsewhere he noted that in this 1890 picture by W Chapman ”The one at the top is on Davie Street; it is on the skyline. Today it is numbered 1112 and 1114 Davie Street, a three-storey building with balconies on the second and third floors, and stands on the south side of Davie Street, third building from the Capitola Apartments. Two large rowan or mountain ash trees, at least twelve inches through, which shows their age, stand on the lawn. It was built by Mr. Bouchier, who died in the spring of 1931. Walter Leek, president of the Vancouver Exhibition Association, once lived in it.”
A Frenchman, Mr. Bouchier, later employed by the late Senator S.J. Crowe, built it. He died in the spring of 1931.
The assessment roll, at the City Hall, dated 1888 of this property:
F.D. Boucher, Lot 2, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00
Alfonse Moriw (?), Lot 3, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00
From the street directories of the 1890s it appears that this may not have been the first occupied house on Davie Street, although it was undoubtedly one of the earliest, and from the picture above it was almost completely isolated. It looks as if it was completed in 1890 but was still vacant in 1891. By 1894 Mr F D Boucher (the correct name) was living there.
Ferdinand Desire Boucher was born in Quebec and arrived in Vancouver in 1885. He was a carpenter, working at the Hastings Mill and in 1898 the Vancouver Sash and Door Company. He married Allia, (or that’s what the name looks like) another Québécois and in 1891 they had May, Gracie and Albertine Labrecque living with them, described as daughters-in-law but probably actually Ferdinand’s step-daughters. The 1901 census calls his wife Mary, and Albertius and Grace (now aged 22 and 24) are still at home.
Remarkably, behind the added retail units of the Cotton Mouth Smoke Shop and Megabite Pizza the original structure gives every suggestion of still standing - one of the oldest building in the West End.
Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Str N63 and CVA 1376-204
The Percival is one the more dramatic transformations from when our 1981 photo shows that this Hamilton Street warehouse facade was mostly blocked up. The concrete window infill was added to the 1912 building after a fire in the 1950s. The building structure today is a mix of poured in place concrete, reinforced concrete floor beams and masonry brick walls which was how it was designed by G P Bowie - being described as a “six-storey brick & concrete warehouse”
Although it’s sometimes called the Stewart and Cromie Warehouse, and that was the name of the owners on the permit, it appeared in the Street Directories from the year it was finished as the Percival Building. The most likely candidates for having built it are Robert Cromie, who was Manager of Foley, Welch and Stewart who were railway contractors based in the Winch Building. Mr Cromie was later well connected, as his wife was the daughter of Vancouver hardware magnate Edward McFeely. He was originally from Quebec and only 25 years old when the building went up. There’s also a connection to the Vancouver Sun, as this 2012 article by John Mackie explains
“The Sun was launched on Feb. 12, 1912, at the crest of a boom that had seen Vancouver’s population quadruple in 10 years. But the boom went bust as foreign investment stalled around the First World War, and the paper floundered financially. In 1915, The Sun was rescued by an infusion of cash from railway contractors Timothy Foley, Patrick Welch and John Stewart. Foley, Welch and Stewart had cut a shady deal with the provincial government to fund the Pacific Great Eastern railway, and thought a newspaper might be useful in advancing their interest in the PGE. But the deal became a scandal, and they had to repay $1.1 million to the province. In the midst of the scandal, running an unprofitable newspaper wasn’t a priority, and the trio gave control of the paper to Stewart’s secretary, Robert Cromie. One story has it that Cromie fished out some Sun stock that was being thrown out from a wastebasket, which gave him control of the paper. Robert Cromie’s grandson, Ron Cromie, says “family legend” is that Cromie was “given The Sun in lieu of wages owed him for a construction company McConnell [or Foley, Welch and Stewart] also owned that had gone bankrupt.” In any event, Cromie managed to make the paper profitable after acquiring financing from the owner of the Seattle Times and then buying up some competing Vancouver papers (The News-Advertiser and The World) to increase circulation.”
In 1995 the building was given a comprehensive restoration and converted to residential uses on the upper floors. Marshall Fisher Architects and Acton Johnston Ostry were the architects of the newly named ‘Del Prado’ – although these days as often as not is known by its original name – The Percival Building.
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E13.32
Here’s the Louvre Hotel as it looked in 1889 (the year it was built), and what’s left today. This somewhat anonymous building in the 300 block of Carrall Street has been the home of the Gospel Mission since the 1940s. The Mission has been in operation in Vancouver since 1929 and is one of the oldest missions in the city. The image shows the building’s first tenants at street level, the Vancouver Drug Company run by Dr. James Rolls and the Vancouver Tea and Coffee Company whose manager is listed as W A Cumyow. The 1889 Directory lists a Louvre Hotel as being on Pender Street – this building wouldn’t become the Louvre for a few more years.
Won Alexander Cumyow was the first Chinese born in Canada, in Port Douglas at the head of Harrision Lake. He was secretary of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association when it was founded in Victoria in 1884 and later its president in Vancouver. Cumyow would later become a court interpreter for the Vancouver Police and while in Vancouver he helped form the Chinese Empire Reform Association to promote the modernization of the Chinese monarchy. He worked in a variety of businesses including real estate and retail.
The Tea and Coffee company moved out and was replaced by a Robertson’s Men’s Furnishings, Hats and Caps. In 1891 Arthur Haines opened his real estate office next to the drug company and took rooms upstairs. Haines would remain in the building for the next six years. In 1896 the Brown Jug Saloon replaces the drug company and is renamed the Louvre the following year when Reinhold Minaty moves over from the Old Fountain Saloon on Cordova Street. Minaty advertised the Louvre as having the only circular bar in the province and suggested customers “call in and lubricate”.
The wall in the lane (once known as Louvre Alley) still features painted signs for the saloon and advertises clean beds for 20 cents a night at the Boston Rooms a few doors down the lane. The rooms above the store fronts seemed to be operated as a rooming house until 1898 when they are listed as the Louvre Hotel. Fire insurance maps of the period show the hotel had six fireplaces when it was built. On the ground floor a variety of businesses including cafes, confectionary stores, barber shops and tailors come and go over the years.
In 1940 the old Bijou Theatre next door to the hotel was torn down and, for some reason this included the demolition of a section of the Louvre Hotel that faced onto the CPR right-of-way at Carrall. It’s at this point the hotel disappears from the directories and when the Gospel Mission moves in. The Bijou may have been designed by James Donnellan (it was rebuilt in 1913 by Donnellan and Stroud) and for some reason his name appears (wrongly) as the architect of the Louvre on the city’s Statement of Significance. One possibility for the correct architects are Mallandaine & Sansom, who designed a block for Alderman McConnell on Carrall Street in 1889.
Here’s the Bank of Ottawa on the corner of Seymour and West Hastings in 1912. The new eight storey building was designed by W Marbury Somervell, but probably slightly changed by Somervell and Putnam (as it has a 1911 building permit in their name). It cost $225,000, and pictures of the construction show a reinforced concrete frame rather than all steel. The building bears a very strong resemblance to the BC Securities Building which is three blocks away and completed a year later to HS Griffith’s design.
The speed that construction could be completed on commercial buildings can be seen from the Contract Record report of September 1910. Work was just starting on the building site, clearing the existing buildings and excavating the basement, and it was expected the whole thing would be complete by May 1911, with occupancy coming a month later. There were 16 offices per floor above the banking floor, and the quality of the building was obviously aimed at all the other office buildings competing for tenants “The entrance to the vestibule and lobby will be handsomely done in marble, while the floors above will be trimmed throughout in birch and finished with mahogany. Other features of this latest addition to Vancouver’s tall buildings will be a vacuum heating system throughout, hot and cold water in all the offices, the Durham plumbing system, mail chute equipment, vacuum cleaning system for all the offices, and commodious toilet rooms on every floor.” The successful contracting bid came from McDonald and Wilson who started work in October 1910 and as far as we know completed on time.
In 1919 the Bank of Ottawa were merged with the Bank of Nova Scotia, and it stayed a branch of the new owners for over 30 years. In 1956 noted local architects Sharp, Thompson, Berwick and Pratt were given the design job of enlarging the bank building. The new project stripped the old building to its frame, replaced the small tobacco store with the billiards room behind (The Maple Leaf Club in 1946) that was next door and the restaurant with rooms over beyond that, and created a simple new office building which was nearly twice the size of the original. A more recent building upgrade in 1987 added an elegant projecting metal cornice to the building.
Here’s another view, taken a later than our last post (probably in 1911) of the south side of Hastings from Granville, looking east. Now you can see the facade of the Bank of Ottawa Building. The Bank of Nova Scotia absorbed the Bank of Ottawa in 1919 and continued to occupy the building. The Ottawa Citizen in 1909 reported the acquisition of the 52 foot wide corner property, and that the six storey building would cost the bank $250,000. In they end they seem to have got a bargain – although the initial design was attributed to W Marbury Somervell, the building permit was to Somervell and Putnam for $225,000 – and the building was eight storeys.
The new bank building replaced earlier structures that included a billiards hall and the Pill Box Drug Store. The Strand Hotel was also known as the Delbruck Block, and where the recently completed Canada Life Assurance Company building stood had been the site of the Leland House Hotel. The Canada Life Building had a branch of the Imperial Bank of Canada as well as lawyers, brokers and government offices. The Bank of Commerce on the corner also had tenants upstairs in ‘rooms’ including a number of land brokers and William M Dodd, architect. Mr Dodd, although not widely recognised, obtained some sizeable contracts including a $200,000 apartment building at Granville and 12th that is still standing today.
W J Cairns took the City of Vancouver Archives original CVA Str P411
Here’s the 600 block of West Hastings early in 1910. At the eastern end of the block, on the corner of Seymour Street the Bank of Ottawa is under construction to the design of W Marbury Somervell, one of only two buildings he designed before he teamed up with fellow American John Putnam (although a 1911 building permit has both names attached). Their design was quite similar to - but somewhat taller than – the Darling and Pearson designed bank on the other end of the block. This Bank of Commerce commission was completed by the Toronto-based architects in 1908. Today it is home to Birks jewelers, with a more recently recreated ‘heritage’ interior designed by Oberto Oberti. Next door was the Canada Life Building, completed in 1910, and next door to the east was the Strand Hotel, in this picture as it looked after it was remodeled in 1907 to J S Pearce’s design. There’s a permit issued to ‘Darling and Pearsen’ for a Canada Life office in 1910, but all the contemporary records of construction progress reference A A Cox as the architect – it’s probable that Cox was the local supervising architect of Darling and Pearson’s design (although Cox also designed buildings of a similar scale on his own – like the Carter Cotton Building)
Today both the Bank of Ottawa (which soon after became the Bank of Nova Scotia) and the Canada Life building are still standing. Or at least, the building frame is still standing; both buildings were increased in width and given a contemporary skin. The Canada Life Building was rebuilt in 1952 and the Bank of Ottawa four years later, to the designs of Sharp, Thompson, Berwick Pratt, in 1956.
Picture source City of Vancouver archives CVA 371-2426
The picture shows Water Street in 1888, just two years after the fire that destroyed the buildings of the newly named city of Vancouver. Since then the railway arrived (with a station way off beyond the end of the picture) and the tracks ran on trestles on the beach, behind the buildings to the right. That’s the Alhambra Hotel in the Byrnes Block on the left, and the Sunnyside Hotel on the right, a replacement for the hotel of the same name that was burned down in the fire. The original sat on stilts over the beach and Burrard Inlet, but there’s been a lot of filling and adding to the beach and the street level in a short time (the 1901 Insurance map still referred to Water Street as ‘Plank Roadway on Piles’).
Beyond the Alhambra is the fire station – much more important to citizens with their recent experience of fire. This is the location that city historian Major Matthews identified Constable Miller’s cottage as having been located (before the fire) with the unlocked cells in the back to allow the more inebriated citizens to sleep it off. This was stretched to the ‘Gaolers Mews’ of the 1970s – actually a yard behind a former car garage (which can be see today with three extra floors added a couple of years ago, in a conversion to residential use designed by Acton Ostry).
These days the site of the Sunnyside features the former premises of Swift Meat Packing – today it’s retail and office space, but in between it became the Alexandra Hotel. There’s very little else on the right hand side in the picture – the beach was still accessible, although cut off by the rail tracks. There were sail makers in the buildings beyond the Sunnyside and beyond the gap, while on the left were a series of bars, hotels and stores. Most had been rebuilt in wood in only a few days after the fire, and all but the Alhambra would be replaced in the next few years.