751 Burrard Street

751 Burrard

Here’s the new property occupied by The Battery House on Burrard Street as it appeared in 1921. The building first appeared in the 1922 Street Directory, and the Battery House were the first occupants (so this was probably taken to record the new premises). We thought the Battery House were the developer as the company was incorporated in 1919 with a value of $150,000, although it had existed as a business in leased premises for some year before this. However, we now know that the building permit from 1921 identifies W E Anderson as the owner, and A Rodger as the builder of the $9,500 structure. Mr Rodger was probably Archibald M Rodger, a contractor who lived at 1123 Comox in 1921 and 1121 Davie St in 1922 (and a year later on W3rd – Mr Rodger seems to have liked moving). No architect is identified on the permit, but Mr Rodger seems to have been a contractor favoured by Townley & Matheson, as well as W F Gardiner and J A Benzie, so that may point to a possible designer.

The most likely candidate as the owner was William E Anderson who moved to Vancouver from Victoria in 1921, to a new $20,000 mansion on Angus Avenue. He was president of the Hayes Anderson Motor Co, at the time newly created truck company based on Granville Street.

The company were still here in 1930, when the Manager was identified as William Izett Walker and this building as their general office, Warehouse and Service Station. Mr Walker was born in Glasgow in 1878 and married Elizabeth Macfarlane from Sterling, Scotland in Vancouver in 1913 (presumably a relative of his second business partner P M Macfarlane). Mr Walker appears to have arrived in the city around 1910; he was still listed in an Edinburgh Directory in 1909 and first appears in the Vancouver Directory in 1911 His first business partner, William Ure, seems to have switched from a career in real estate where he initially worked for his father, John Ure, the family having arrived in 1908.

In 1931 The Battery House seem to have down-sized, sharing the premises with The Bell Garage, and a year later the building was home to the Canadian National Garage and the A A Brake Shop. Presumably Mr Walker sold up, as he continued to be listed as an electrical engineer. He died in 1948.

This wasn’t the first building on the site – there was a house built here around 1896, when the street was still almost entirely residential in character, which seems to have been demolished in 1920. We’ve posted an image of one of houses to the south, owned by jeweller C N Davidson (when the street numbering was slightly different), and the other side of the street.

Today it’s a four-storey retail and office building completed in 1993 and designed by Musson Cattell Mackey.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3354

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Posted February 19, 2014 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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