859 Thurlow Street

859 Thurlow

Today this is called ‘Le Guernsey’ and it’s an apartment building on Thurlow Street on the corner with Haro. It was built in 1912, although there was a house built here in 1896 occupied by M T Quisley, the assistant chief operator for the C P Railway. It started life with 20 units, but over the years they’ve been reconfigured to 34. A J Bird was the architect for owner Peter Agren, although the Permit (for $125,000) suggested Agren himself designed it. An earlier 1909 permit that wasn’t pursued would have only cost $50,000. When it was built it was called Victoria Court, and later it became known as Bush Manor, although not until some time after this 1935 Vancouver Public Library photo.

Agren was a contractor, so he almost certainly did build the apartments. He has a number of other permits for houses that he designed, including two still standing today in the Mole Hill development. He was a Swede, and in 1911 he was lodging with Charles and Hilda Anderson (also Swedish) with Manuel Agren, who was probably his younger brother, a carpenter (and probably really Emanuel). The two appear for the first time in street directories in 1904, although they disappear again until 1908 when they were at 1136 Comox. Charles Anderson was probably either a close friend or a relative, as he was the resident manager of this building later in 1911.

The  34 unit building was recently offered for sale for $8.5 million. Next door is the much smaller 1926 ‘Cameron’ apartment building designed by A E Henderson.

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