West Hastings from Homer – north side (3)

Hastings from Homer 2

More than half way up the block (barely visible in this picture, where the red brick can be seen in the contemporary image) next door to the Abbott Block and the Costobadie Block, E A Morris had his tobacconist store; the name can still be seen today on the restored building facade. Edward Arthur Morris was born in London in 1858, and came to British Columbia in 1877 and then went to seek gold in the Cassiar gold fields. After working at a variety of jobs, he went to Victoria in 1892 and opened a tobacco business. In 1899 he opened a tobacco business on Hastings Street in Vancouver. He sometimes advertised himself with the phrase “I am the man who imports cigarettes for ladies”. In 1919 ‘extensive alterations and repairs’ were carried out by contractors Dixon & Murray, including the installation of a new storefront.

Both stores were known for the elegance of their fittings and decorations. It’s possible that the building was designed by Thomas Hooper. The Statement of Historic Significance for Thomas Dunn’s warehouse at 1 Alexander Street (these days the home of the restaurant ‘Chill Winston’) says it houses “handsome oak store fittings dating from c.1897, designed by prominent local architect Thomas Hooper. This woodwork was originally installed in the E.A. Morris Tobacconist shop on Hastings Street, and moved here after a fire in 1982.”

Hastings 1931 detail

At the end the end of the block, on the corner with Richards, is the Scougale Block. It was replaced in 1938 with a new store for F W Woolworth, still standing today. We looked at this building last year. Quite possibly the original seen here was designed by W T Dalton, who designed a ‘Richards Block’ in 1897, and seems to have been designer of several of the buildings in this block.

This picture dates back to 1931 when Millar and Coe were the tenants of the other half of the Morris Block as they were in our previous post. On the corner of Homer, closest to us, Charles D Bruce had his clothing store, offering a ‘Special Underwear Sale’. Next door (and also on the lower floor accessed from Homer Street) was T B Lee, selling ladies read-to-wear and millinery. Several of the offices upstairs were vacant but Dr English was there, and so was the Vancouver English Academy. Dr. Lemons advertised his dental practice in the upper windows. There were also offices upstairs in the McMillan block to the west as well; James Lipp, a chiropractor was here, so was John Innes, an artist, Jack Allen, a music teacher and Miss Madeline Humes, a masseuse. Owl Drugs (by this time associated with Rexall) had a store downstairs and Copp, the Shoe Man was next door. Down the street on the other side of Richards Street the David Spencer company had built his Department store in 1926. Way down at the end of the picture it is possible to just make out the Metropolitan Building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str N281.1

 

 

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Posted June 6, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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