1216 Burrard Street

1216 Burrard

In the very early 1900s C F Mills, and two years later Mills and Williamson, obtained permits for a pair of houses on the corner of Burrard and Davie, which were clearly shown on the 1912 insurance maps. Mrs Alice Lyon built a house in 1901 on the third lot south at 1212 Burrard.

Over time Burrard Street shifted from a quiet tree-lined residential street to part of the Downtown’s commercial area. This corner was redeveloped around 1928 to reflect the city’s expanding connections to the movie industry. The Vancouver Public Library title for this image says it was the Vancouver Motion Pictures Ltd.  That company was incorporated in 1928 by R.E. Bourne, Charles McKenzie and Harry Rosenbaum. It was operated by Leon Shelly of Shelly Films Ltd. and an important early independent production company of documentary industrial films. Some films were produced on contract for the National Film Board of Canada.

However, there were a whole series of other movie companies based in the building – a virtual who’s who of movie making. Canadian Educational Films, Limited, Canadian Universal Film Company, Famous-Lasky Film Service, Limited and F.B.O. Pictures Corporation of Canada, Limited were all listed here, as well as Regal Films Ltd, Warner Bros Pictures, RKO Distribution Corp of Canada, Fox Film Corporation and United Artists.

We recently discovered the architect of this building – like many in the late twenties and early 1930s it had design references to Mission revival style – even more popular (and appropriate) in California. It was designed by H H Gillingham, an English-born architect who is better known as the architect of the Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street. We haven’t identified the architect of the 1978 office building that replaced it. Sold in 2009 for $19m to Hong Kong World Holdings, the building is full of doctors and dentists with increasingly hi-tech gadgetry that added together might be worth more than the building.

 

 

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Posted August 14, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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