Archive for the ‘Thomas Hooper’ Tag
We’ve seen this building from a different angle. From this position it’s easy to see how much of the building has ‘disappeared’ from sight today – the street level today is three storeys above the ‘beach level’ below. If you look in the foreground you can see the expansion joints on what are really a series of bridges. If you walk up to the railing you can see in front of the building, you can look down the three floors that are still there.
In 1920 when this image was taken the building was known as the Pacific Coast Fire Building, and was home to a wide variety of companies including the Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Company and Adkinson and Dill, contractors, who had built the Thomas Hooper designed building back in 1911. Greenshields were one of the tenants to get their name on the outside of the building. They had originally built a warehouse for their dry goods company on Water Street in 1902. The most intriguing company here was the Canada Witch Co who were in Room A (B R Harrison was company president), closely followed by B B B Co (Can) Ltd who were in Suite 401 where George Horton was manager. They weren’t the better business bureau, or the Bangkok Beer and Beverage Co, but a wholesale tobacco company.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3307
Here’s another of the warehouses built on the land released by the CPR which came to be called Yaletown. This is on the corner of Davie and Hamilton – here we’re seeing the side that doesn’t have the raised platform that was built at the height of the railcars that lined up down the street. From the Building Permits made available by Heritage Vancouver, we think we’ve worked out the history of the building. There’s a permit for a three storey brick pier warehouse in January 1913, designed and built by builder George Baker for the Gray Brothers. Then later that same year there’s another permit for George Baker to build a two storey brick addition to a warehouse, designed by Thomas Hooper, once again for the Gray Brothers. The address is gives as 1198 Helmcken - which is distinctly odd as Helmcken Street ends at the 900 block. If the clerk had meant to record 1198 Hamilton, then that fits this building, and explains how a three storey building is today a five storey structure. It also suggests Thomas Hooper may well have been responsible for the design of the whole thing. One reason we think this is more likely is because even when George Baker was building a warehouse for his personal ownership elsewhere in Yaletown, he hired an architect to design it. Baker has arrived in Canada from England in 1889 and in 1911 was living at his home at 835 10th Avenue with his New Brunswick-born wife, three daughters and two nieces.
There were two Gray Brothers. J Russell Gray (he was christened John, but apparently known as Russell) emigrated to Canada in 1906. That was the year he married his Canadian wife, Ada. His brother Donald probably arrived a few years later, although we don’t know for sure as Donald somehow avoided filling in the census. Both were from Scotland, born in Rutherglen in Lanarkshire. Their father was also John Russell Gray (which may be why Russell was known by his middle name). Their first appearance in the City Directories is in 1907, when J Russell Gray is living at 1339 Barclay (a house he stayed in for several years) and John R Gray, retired, is at 850 Broughton Street. A year later Mr Gray senior is no longer retired, but an advisory Director with the Dominion Trust Company, while Mr Gray junior is working for Coast Quarries. In 1909 Donald has arrived and is living with his father, and both Donald and Russell are associated with their new company, Gray Brothers.
In 1996 the building was converted to residential use on the upper floors, designed by Howard, Yano Partners. Renamed The Hamilton, it’s one of the more sensitive conversions, retaining the original glazing and avoiding adding balconies or residential details.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E13.25
Here’s an earlier (1930) image of the Cordova Street frontage where Seymour ends. As we saw in the previous view of this corner Clarke and Stuart’s printing works and warehouse was built on the corner in 1906, and alongside David Spencer (and later his sons) has established a massive retail emporium. Before Spencers started building there had been two sets of earlier buildings, wooden ones erected soon after the fire, and then brich replacements, including one of the many ‘Horne Block’ developments.
In 1920 Clarke and Stuart still had a store here, and also one at 550 Seymour. A year later they only had the new store, and Spencer’s had taken over control of the entire block. From the look of the chimneys on the roof, they used the upper part of the Clarke and Stuart warehouse to add new boilers for the entire complex. From this angle it’s also possible to see how Spencer’s 1907 and 1911 store buildings were actually taller than the 1976 Harbour Centre that replaced them. The complex incorporated most of the store facade but did some really terrible things to the lower part of the Cordova Street frontage (and no favours to Seymour Street either). These days SFU Harbour Centre are in the Spencer’s part while offices fill the Harbour Centre tower and the lookout on top offer views over The Changing City
This 1973 image shows the St Francis Hotel on the west side of the street, and on the opposite side of Seymour, Clarke and Stuart’s printer’s store and warehouse. Clarke and Stuart occupied the building from when it was built for them in 1906 (to Grant and Henderson’s design) until 1920, when Spencer’s took it over. The rest of the block was also occupied by various iterations of David Spencer’s department store. The next building to the east is a Thomas Hooper designed 1911 addition to the larger building he designed a few years earlier next door to the east. The much bigger building beyond that is McCarter and Nairne’s 1925 massive expansion of the Spencer store.
Clarke and Stuart had been located further east on Cordova from before the turn of the century, operating as a bookstore but also selling typewriters, pianos and organs. Their former building had a makeover at some point, losing the cornices and details, but apparently retaining the original windows.
David Spencer, a Welshman, arrived in Canada just slightly too late to join the Cariboo gold-rush and instead bought the Victoria Library, a stationers and bookshop, in 1864. Following the success of that he partnered with William Denny to buy ’The Victoria House’, a dry goods store in 1873, and five years later a new store under his own name. In the 1890s he bought a site on Hastings street for a location in Vancouver but a rival, Drysdale-Stevenson Company built a store on an adjacent site before he was able to develop his own building. Spencer acquired his rival’s business in 1905, and immediately built a $150,000 expansion. The store had immediate success in Vancouver, and the Spencer company and Charles Woodward out-competed each other to add new extensions and departments year after year.
In the mid 1970s the Harbour Centre was built to replace Spencer’s store (which had been taken over by Eatons in 1948, and who then vacated to the new Pacific Centre Mall). The building was designed by Toronto-based Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership (who had also designed the CN tower at around the same time). The 1920s part of the Spencer’s store was incorporated into the building, which these days also includes the Downtown campus of Simon Fraser University.
Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-379
The YMCA was active in Vancouver early in the new city’s life. The newspaper records suggest their new premises on West Hastings Street were completed in 1893, to designs by Thomas Hooper. However photographs, like this Vancouver Archives image and the BC Archives picture below are dated 1890 – so perhaps it wasn’t completely finished for a while.
A city library started initially in the Hastings Mill and later moved around as it grew. In January 1894, the Free Reading Room and Library leased a 46×46 foot room in the new YMCA Building for use as a new library.
By the late 1890s it was already overcrowded, and in 1901 the City Council approached Andrew Carnegie about funding a new library, which he duly agreed to, helping fund the building that today is the Carnegie Centre (and still a branch of the City Library).
The YMCA building itself didn’t last a lot longer. Around 1909 it was replaced by the Astor Hotel. We hadn’t realised until we posted here that the Astor took the 1890 building and remodelled it for hotel use.
These days it’s part of the Woodwards development where SFU operate their Arts Faculty, designed by Henriquez Partners.
Image Sources: City of Vancouver Archives YMCA Building CVA BuP118, BC Archives F-07610
We looked at this block previously, but here it is again quite a couple of years earlier before the Vancouver Block made its dramatic intervention. On the right of the picture, on the corner is 792-798 Granville Street. It was built in 1904 by J Rogers – almost certainly Jonathan Rogers, a developer and builder who developed the Rogers Building down the street a few years later. He hired T E Julian to design the building, and by 1906 it had tenants; Le Patourel and McRae, Druggists were at 792, the Sunset View apartments were upstairs and Joseph McTaggart, grocer was on the corner at 798. It’s likely that Mr McTaggart bought the building because in 1912 he got a permit worth $400 for repairs designed by Thomas Hooper. It’s not clear if he actually completed that work as in the same year the Royal Bank of Canada also hired Thomas Hooper to convert the building to a bank branch at a cost of $10,000, The Bank finally closed in 1961, and looked very similar then to 50 years before as this Walter E Frost shot from the Vancouver Archives shows.
And that’s not the end of the story on this corner. The new Future Shop didn’t appear until 2003, but in the interim another Royal Bank building appeared, that lasted under 40 years. This 1980s City Engineers photo in the Vancouver archives shows it on the left, designed in uncompromisingly contemporary style by Underwood, McKinley, Cameron and Associates and completed in 1963.
The Labour Temple at 411 Dunsmuir was built for ‘Vancouver Labor Temple Co’ after a number of false starts in 1911 by Norton Griffiths in reinforced concrete to a design by Thomas Hooper. This photograph was taken some time during the first decade of its existence. It didn’t stay as the Labour Temple for long - in 1921 it became the Vancouver Technical School, and through the 1930s it was known as the Worker’s Comp Building, but had a significant number of small offices including Old Age Pensions and the Inspector of Schools. In more recent years it was owned by the Province of BC, who in turn leased it to a Senior’s Centre. They were given the building a few years ago, and in 2011 they sold it. What the future holds for this 100 year old building has now been revealed as a seismic restoration, and a small addition on the back of the building.
Three buildings on the top end of Seymour Street, just below Dunsmuir, seen here in 1926. On the left is a Braunton and Leibert designed building built by Hoburg Surges Co for Standard Trust & Industrial for $50,000 in 1913. It’s a wonderfully complex terra-cotta facade that has seen better days, but was preserved when the rest of the building was refitted for Sam the Record Man. Next door is the Arts and Crafts Building. As can be seen, it was built in two stages. The first phase was designed by Thomas Hooper for Evans and Hastings (who were printers), and constructed by Norton Griffiths Steel at a cost of $45,000 in 1911. In 1927 R T Perry was hired to add another three storeys, which he achieved without dramatically altering the building’s style. The architect of the 1920 Railway Club building (in 1926 George H Hewitt & Co) is still a mystery, but the developer was probably Viggo Laursen.
This is one of favourite views showing how things change, and yet remain unchanged (if subtly disguised!). The image on the left shows The National Finance Corporation’s reinforced concrete building reaching the end of its construction in 1911. Designed by Thomas Hooper, it very clearly shows the 3-storey difference between the Hastings Street grade and the bottom of the escarpment at Coal Harbour, with the road running in the foreground down to the beach level where the rail tracks were. Remarkably, the building still stands almost unchanged (apart from the lost cornice), although the three lower floors are now beneath the new elevated street level of West Cordova Street. The red brick building on the left is the 1913 Customs Examining Building designed by David Ewart, which since 1986 has been part of the Sinclair Centre.
Here’s the Hotel Astor in 1910. The Ormidale Block is just to the west, Woodwards Department Store is to the east, and it was probably designed by Dalton and Eveleigh for Crowe and Wilson and finished the year before. Swain Sherdahl, who also owned the Dominion Hotel on Water Street, had a controlling interest in the building. Until recently we hadn’t realised that the hotel use took Thomas Hooper’s 1890 YMCA building and converted it for hotel use, adding a canopy but removing the fancy cornice.
By 1917 it was owned by Mr Frank McIntyre of W H Malkin and Co decided to have the hotel remodelled for store purposes, and T A Fee got the design job.
Now it’s the western end of the huge redevelopment of the Woodwards property, and part of the Simon Fraser University presence in the scheme. Developed by Westbank and designed by Henriquez Partners it was completed in 2010