325 Howe Street (2)

325 Howe 2

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. It was designed in 1911 by Thomas Hooper for the National Finance Corporation (a Vancouver business), in partnership with J W Horne.

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, and completed it a year later at a reported cost of $108,000.

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). We finally discovered what they did – “The Canadian Witch Co., Vancouver, B.C., are marketing the Witch Soot Destroyer and Chimney Cleaner. They state this effectively cleans chimneys without taking down pipes, covering up furniture, taking down curtains, etc., and having the air of the rooms laden with sooty particles, besides other numerous annoyances. The manufacturers of this pro- duct claim that it will clean chimneys if directions are followed and thus the expense and bother of chimney sweeping is eliminated.

B B B Co (Can) Ltd 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



Posted 19 February 2013 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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