500 block Granville Street – west side (4)

Here’s another image of Granville Street; the west side of the 500 block looking north from Dunsmuir in 1910 in a Vancouver Public Library image. On the corner is the Tunstall Block, built in 1902 by D Saul for Dr Simon Tunstall at a cost of $22,000, designed by G W Grant. In 1909 he added two more floors at an additional cost of $20,000. That suggests that our Vancouver Public Library image isn’t as dated from 1910, but probably from a year earlier. The next three-storey building to the south was another designed by G W Grant for Bedford Davidson in 1903, at a cost of $10,000.

The biggest building on this end of the block was the four-storey Gordon Drysdale block, built for his dry goods business in 1907 and designed by Hooper and Watkins with an addition in 1912 by S B Birds. Next door the smaller building to the north was known as the Anderson block, dating from before 1888 when there’s an Archives image of the building standing alone on the street, with the fire brigade filling their fire engine with water outside. At the time C D Rand and Co, the real estate company, operated from the building.

The fifth building down is the Inglis Reid Building, another G W Grant design for builder and Investor Bedford Davidson, who also owned and built the building beside it in 1902. The steel frame is where in 1909 Miss Spencer decided to replace her eight year old 3-storey building with an 8-storey steel framed office, designed by E W Houghton of Seattle.

None of the buildings on this side of the street are still standing: today this is part of the northern block of the Pacific Centre Mall, designed by Zeidler Roberts Partnership and completed in 1990. In 2007 the corner of the block had a radical redesign by Janson Goldstein of New York for the new Holt Renfrew store, incorporating panels of slumped glass in the design.

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Posted October 16, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Vancouver Community College – Dunsmuir Street

The Downtown campus of the Vancouver Community College started life as the Vancouver Vocational Institute, designed by a leading local architectural firm of the day, Sharp Thompson Berwick and Pratt. It was one of the earliest examples of the International Style in Vancouver, and the Pender Street façade is still looking much as when Bob Berwick designed it in 1948.

Here on Dunsmuir Street the façade of the building is quite different from our 1974 ‘before’ image. A 1983 expansion added a new larger structure, and reclad the street wall with reflective glazing. Today the whole building is a heritage structure, although it’s unlikely that redevelopment of this heavily altered element would raise many objections.

The Community College was built on the site of the 1892 High School, which in turn was re-purposed as the city’s Art School in the 1930s.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-68.

Alexander and Gore – sw corner

This 1934 Vancouver Public Library image shows the Nippon Auto Supply garage run by S Maikawa. Sadakichi Maikawa was one of five brothers, four in Vancouver owning a variety of Japantown businesses including hotels, rooming houses, communal bath houses (furoya), restaurants like the Maikawa Fuji Chopsuey, Taishodo Drug Store, Furuya grocery store and the Maikawa Fish store. T Maikawa was the largest store in the area, owned by Tomekichi Maikawa, who divided his time between his Vancouver business interests and a lumber business in Japan. This garage first appears in the street directory in 1926, but the business operated two years earlier than that at 102 Main street.

The Nikkei National Museum have Sadakichi Maikawa’s story. He was born in Matsubara Mura, Inugami gun, Shiga prefecture. He came to Vancouver on May 31, 1906 and went to a cannery in the Skeena to work. He opened a fish shop at 246 Powell Street in October of the same year with his brother Tomekichi. They moved to 369 Powell Street in November of 1907 and opened a grocery store. He worked hard for five years and then called his wife Chieko from Japan in 1911 who helped with the store. Kazuyoshi, Mickey Maikawa was born November 23, 1911 on Powell Street. Sadakichi went back to Japan in 1912 for business and when he came back, his brother Sannosuke helped this business and he opened Maru Man. At that time there was no competition, so Maru Man did quite well. But his wife got ill and passed away, and he had to abandon the store and begin a transportation business in December of 1913 at 369 Powell Street. He was ahead of his time in using automobiles instead of horses and had a lot of customers, enabling him to expand his business. He opened another fruit store at 324 Powell Street as well. He married Tetsuko, his second wife and eventually had eight children in total, by 1928 they had a nice large home at 551 Powell Street. His Transfer business grew into Nippon Auto Supply which had the largest garage and storage for automobiles perhaps in Vancouver. Sadakichi was a keen fisherman; his nephew recalls him driving his Buick at high speed to get to the Fraser river to fish.

Mickey Maikawa later ran the automobile business, and was also a star Asahi Baseball team player. He started playing in 1923 at the age of 12 and became a versatile pitcher. He was on the team from 1928-1934 who won the Terminal League Championship in 1930 and 1933 and played against the Tokyo Giants in 1935. Mickey also played for the Seattle Taiyos every weekend. Sadakichi supplied the trophy which was awarded to the team batting champion every year from 1934 to 1941.

The Maikawa family moved to Bridge River, a self supporting camp at the time of internment. The children had to be educated by correspondence as there were no schools there. Eventually they moved to Toronto, having had their business confiscated. The original structure is still standing, and looked the worse for wear for many years. A recent renovation has seen it used for a number of film and TV shoots.

Posted October 9, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

300 Alexander Street

300 Alexander Street was built in 1922, and designed by F W Macey, an English architect who was living in Burnaby . It was built for the Victoria and Vancouver Stevedoring Company; based in Victoria, who adding this Vancouver office some years into their existence. We haven’t found an early image, so don’t know if the stucco finish on the façade is original. The building has something of the Mission Revival style, with nautical details like the oval insets (looking a bit like ship’s portholes) and an anchor and ship wheel motif at the top of the parapet. The building has two entrances, and sometimes had two businesses operating inside. In the 1940s, for example, 302 Alexander was listed as the Vancouver Girls School of Practical Arts, and in 1950 Washington Laboratories had their offices here, although their plant was in North Vancouver, while Vic & Van Stevedoring were still at 300 Alexander.

Originally this was the location of R H Alexander’s ‘mansion’ – the first building in the city to obtain a hook-up to the public water system. Richard Alexander, a Scot, managed the Hastings Sawmill from 1882, having been the accountant there from 1870.

Later in the 1950s this building was home to Universal Sales & Service, a refrigeration company. In the 1975 image by W E Graham, Hall Les Filter Service was operating here along with United Gear & Machine Works, and later Lawrence & Redpath Architects.

Today, the back section is used as a warehouse/shipping portion for the adjacent China Cereals & Oils Corporation on Gore Street, while the front appears to be boarded up. It isn’t currently included on the list of heritage buildings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-33

459 East Pender Street

When this picture was taken, around 1900, this was addressed as 427 Princess Avenue, (it only became Pender in 1907) and the picture shows Mrs. Delia Gore and some of her family at the front entrance of their house. Mrs. Gore was head of the household, and aged 43 when the picture was taken. She was American, and in 1891 was living with her five US-born children aged 22 to 15, and two much younger; four-year old Georgie and tw0-year-old Jessie, both born in BC. The four oldest children had jobs; one was a marine engineer, her daughter was a seamstress and the youngest was an apprentice.

The street directory tells us Mrs. Gore was the widow of J M Gore, who shows up for the first time at this address in 1898 when he was listed as a hostler; a stablehand who looks after the horses at an inn. A year earlier there was a James M Gore living on 9th Avenue (Broadway today) who was a druggist. The 1901 census tells us that Mrs. Gore had arrived in Canada in 1894. The house appears to date back to around 1889,

By 1899 Mr. Gore had died; only Mrs. Gore was listed. The ‘Daily World’ of May 3rd reported the death “At noon to-day, James Gore, a well-known resident of the East End died at the City hospital. The deceased was injured at the time of General Booth’s visit to Vancouver and was walking in the Salvation Army parade when he was kicked in the stomach by a horse. He has been in the hospital ever since.” This turned out to be an inaccurate report. Perhaps ‘death by horse’ was as common an occurance as fatal car accidents. The May 4th newspaper corrected the news. “James Gore, who died at the City hospital yesterday, was not the gentleman injured in the General Booth parade, as stated in last evening’s World. Prior to removing to the East End, Mr. Gore was manager of the Great West Stock Yards, and, with his family, resided for some time at Central Park, and was kicked by a horse on Lulu Island on Saturday April 23rd, which resulted in his death at noon yesterday”.

On May 5th they reported “The funeral of the late James Gore was held to-day. The cortege left the family residence on Princess street at 5 o’clock this morning and the remains were interred this afternoon at Blaine, Wash., under the auspices of the Knights of Pythias. Rev. J. Irvine was the officiating minister and he accompanied the remains to Blaine”.

Mrs. Gore stayed in the city for a few years, but moved to Keefer Street. It’s likely that she returned to the United States, settling in Washington state, where she was apparently living with her son in 1930, and in 1940, aged 83, with her daughter Ruby. Ruby died, having returned to Vancouver, in 1949. Her death certificate tells us that her mother had been Delia Taylor before she married James Gore. They had married in Oregon in 1876, when James was 20 and Delia was 18.

Today the house is the home of the Hoy Ying Association, a Chinese benevolent association active in the city for at least 100 years. Their early records were rescued by historian Paul Yee when their earlier building was demolished, and are now in the City Archives. The biggest difference between 1900 and 2017 is the street level. The areas’s streets were regarded in the early 1900s, leaving some homes as much as 15 feet below the new street level, and others, like this one, a full storey above the street. The former basement was at some time turned into a basement suite.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-891

Posted October 2, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

1010 – 1032 Seymour Street

Here are four more houses on the 1000 block of Seymour Street, showing how low-density and relatively unchanged the Downtown South area remained as recently as 1981. We don’t have any records for who the builders of these houses were; 1010 at the northern (left hand) end of the row appears on the 1901 insurance map. The others were all built around

In 1905 the resident of 1010 was shown as Hill Peppard, speculator, although elsewhere in the same publication he’s described as a horse dealer. By 1908 all four houses were occupied: Waldron Edgecombe, a bookkeeper lived at 1010, Norman Thomas, foreman was at 1022, Thomas Smirl,  a millwright was at 1026, and Rose McDade was running a rooming house at 1032. From the frequent name changes it seems likely that some of the houses were rented; in 1911 Mrs Emma Walch lived at 1010, Norman Reynolds was at 1022 and Mary Bernahrd, widow of Jacob, was at 1032. Only Thomas Smirl was still in the same home as three years earlier. Alonzo Reynolds appears to have been an owner, because he added a frame shop to the building in 1909 (where he operated his business as a cigar maker). Emma Walch was aged 26, and was a housekeeper living with her six-year-old son George. Bother mother and son had been born in the US. In the census of 1911 Thomas was shown as Thomas Smerle, a millwright living with his wife Hughena; both born in Ontario, Their 17-year old son, William, and 13-year-old daughter, also Hughene, had both been born in BC. They had a lodger living with them; Henry Norris. In the street directory Thomas was a foreman at Robertson and Hackett, a sash and door manufacturer with a factory at Granville Bridge.

The houses were cleared and eventually replaced with ‘Level’ – a condo tower that the owners have for the time offered as furnished apartments. There are also three floors of office space in the building’s northern podium.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E06.35

Posted September 28, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

600 Main Street

Wayfoong House was built in 1996, and was home for 20 years for the Chinatown branch of the HSBC Bank. They recently moved across Main street, and it now looks as if VanCity Credit Union will take some of their space over. Back in 1973 when Art Grice photographed this corner there was an old building here. Quite how old isn’t clear: in 1903 Dalton & Eveleigh were hired by Mr. Martin to design stores here, but the cost was only identified as $500, so they were unlikely to be the building seen here (unless the figure was inaccurate). As the city’s building permits are missing for a few years after 1903, it’s possible that the initial building was altered, perhaps with the addition of the upper storey.

We make make an educated guess at who Mr. Martin was. Robert Martin owned the Martin and Robertson warehouse on Water Street, with an addition designed by W T Dalton in 1903; he was listed as Mr. Martin for that work. He also hired Dalton to design another building on Westminster Avenue (as Main Street was then known) in 1903, a block north of here. We looked at Mr. Martin’s background when we featured the Water Street warehouse.

A variety of different businesses occupied the space: Quigley and Co, dry goods in 1904, E H Roome’s real estate offices in 1906, J Donald’s grocerery in 1909, J K Campbell’s clothing store in 1910, Krasnoff Brothers in 1912 (when it had become Main Street). Max and Samuel Krasnoff sold clothing in two different location. Max had a legal problem the year before, reported by the Daily World. In the police court Max Krasnoff was charged by the health Inspector with keeping his premises at the rear of 621 Main street in a filthy condition. “The Inspector vividly unfolded a tale of garbage cans and bountiful dirt, the most of which Max did not deny. At the end of the Inspector’s story, Max, who coma from Russia where there are no garbage cans, agreed to do anything that the inspector might suggest. “I’ll do It, I’ll do It,” he fervently replied to the magistrate’ question as to whether or not he would carry out the Inspector’s Instructions. It was on that understanding that he was allowed to go.”

Max retained his store until 1913, but a year later this was a branch of the Imperial Bank of Canada. In 1916 Clement & Haywood, who owned the building carried out repairs, and in 1916 Dominick Soda, a confectioner was occupying the space and seems to have owned it, as Mrs Soda paid for repairs in 1919. As with many of the area’s residents, Dominick was from Italy: in 1921 he was living in Burnaby with his wife Rosina and their children; he had originally left Italy in 1909. In 1921 G Cadona was listed as owner for more alterations, although the street directory shows Joseph Cilona, another Italian, and also a confectioner, although his wife, Leontine, had been born in the US.

By 1973, although Harry James had claimed much of the building’s brickwork for his advertising for his office up the street, Tom’s Grocery occupied the main floor, offering a wide (and broad) range of goods. In the background, on the other side of the street, the Vanport Hotel offered a night out for a colourful clientele, as we discussed in an earlier post.

Image source, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 70-70

Posted September 25, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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