68 Water Street (2)

68 Water St 2

This is our second look at 68 Water Street – and really it’s 68 and 76 (but now combined to be a single parcel, and so one address). We’ve seen the building that stood here until 1911 – the Gold House hotel, and also the first four-storey building erected by Edward Lipsett to the east, initially in 1906. That was built with a heavy wooden frame and brick infill.

There’s a second half of the warehouse in this picture (on the right), that looks at first glance like a repeat of the first building. We noted that there was a single storey building that initially replaced the Gold House hotel which can be seen on the edge of the picture of the 1906 building. The Gold House was still standing until 1911, and we think the single storey building was first built on the site, and then this building replaced it or was added later. That would be after 1920, assuming the May 5th 1920 date is correct in the previous VPL image. It’s construction is quite different – poured in place concrete, although the façade is a match to the original (although the window pillars don’t have to be as thick, as the beam above takes the weight). We thought Dalton and Eveleigh also designed this – they were still designing buildings up to 1920, although there wasn’t much work around. It now looks as if it’s quite a bit more recent: thanks to Patrick Gunn’s digging in the building permits we know P P Brown (probably structural engineer Philip Brown) designed a $25,000 Factory/Warehouse for E Lipsett, built by Baynes and Horie, in 1927.

This 1940 VPL image shows Edward Lipsett’s company was still the occupant. Edward Lipsett was still president of the company, which has expanded to include all sorts of ships chandlery and marine supplies. Ten years later the company was still here, and Mary Lipsett was president, although she had announced her intention to retire to California in 1949. Edward Lipsett had died, aged 80, in 1948, but there was another Edward Lipsett who was vice-president, living in West Vancouver.

Mary Lipsett started collecting native artifacts in 1900, focusing on the northwest coast. A couple of decades later, she got into Oriental art. Her collections eventually ended up at the Museum of Vancouver after having been exhibited in a former aquarium on the PNE Grounds from 1941, moving to the BC Pavilion on the PNE grounds in 1954. When the new Museum of Vancouver was built the Lipsett Collection was moved too, and is now an important part of the museum’s collection, including 1,075 items in the North American Ethnology and Archeology collections (650 of which are related to the northwest coast). Mary Lipsett died in 1952, at the age of 85.

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Posted May 26, 2014 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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