Archive for August 2014

Boulder Hotel – 1 West Cordova (2)

Boulder 2

We saw the Boulder Hotel, and told some of its story, in a post over two years ago. Here are two more images of the Boulder, one from 1890 (when the Fripp Brothers design was very new) and a more detailed one from the early 1900s. In both the building was only two storeys high; it had another floor added, but we weren’t sure exactly when (somewhere between 1907 and 1920 from the available pictures – the building’s heritage statement says before 1910, but we haven’t been able to confirm that, although there is a 1911 panorama that suggests it’s probably true). There were more alerations in 1916 when the hotel became home to the Royal Bank of Canada. Purdy and Henderson were designers of the conversion as well as contractors, and the work cost $10,000, so was a substantial piece of construction.

The Boulder was built in 1890, and before the fire (and from as early as the 1870s) Angus Fraser’s house were here, but as we saw in another post there was a wooden building that lasted less than four years on this spot.

Major Matthews records the experience of George Walkem in 1898 going to “that restaurant on Cordova Street run by Boehlofsky” which he identifies as the Boulder Salon on the corner. In fact it was the Boulder restaurant at 7 Cordova Street – the hotel was run by Arthur A Langley with W D Haywood in the mid 1890s until 1901, the year that G B Harris carried out $700 of alterations. Later that year W McNeish of the Columbia House in Golden took over. Boehlofsky moved on to the International Hotel before 1900. Mr Walkem recalled that “As I went in there was a waitress at the door with a napkin over her arm, and I asked her where I could find the proprietor, and she pointed to a man. I went up to him, told him I was without money, wanted something to eat, but I suppose he had dozens of such applicants and he did not grant my request. So as I was going out, dejected, the waitress at the door said to me, ‘What did Father say,’ so I told her. She replied, ‘You go and sit down there at that table,’ and I did, and she brought me as fine a meal as one could wish for, and after that she took one of those tickets for 21 meals and punched it for one meal and gave it to me.”

Boulder 3In the 1890s the restaurant occupied the western half of the building; the saloon and hotel were on the corner (and the upper floors). The restaurant advertised in 1900 that it was open day and night. Most recently it has been the Boneta restaurant, the No. 1 Noodle House, and briefly a pop-up version of Save-On-Meats while it was being renovated. Now it’s waiting a residential conversion upstairs that will see the SRO rooms (long closed) replaced by eight market rental units.

Image Sources, City of Vancouver Archives Str 349.1 and SGN 36

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Posted August 5, 2014 by ChangingCity in East End, Gastown, Still Standing

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Hamilton Hall – Dunsmuir and Hamilton

Hamilton Hall

We saw this building as the city’s second First Baptist Church in the previous post. Here it is in 1940, in a different role. The Baptists moved on to new premises in 1911, but the church building wasn’t demolished. It became Hamilton Hall, without the church spire, and was finally demolished in 1941.

During the economic depression in the 1930s it was used as a relief office to provide limited support to the city’s unemployed. In 1936 it was reported by the RCMP that “Approximately 300 single unemployed men invaded the relief offices at Hamilton Hall, Vancouver, B.C., at 10:00 a.m. on 13th October demanding relief. They forced through the doors striking a policeman on guard there, proceeded to break up furniture and barricaded themselves for 35 minutes until police reserves, using tear-gas bombs, forced them from the building. Sixty-three arrests were made after the clash with the police, bringing the total number of arrests made recently up to 110. Forty-seven other men were previously arrested on charges of obstructing the police. A number of those arrested as a result of the clash at Hamilton Relief Office have been charged with rioting.” (sourced from PastTense).

As we noted before the Vancouver Playhouse now occupies the site, a competition-winning design by Affleck, Desbarates, Dimakopoulos, Leibenshold, Michaud and Sise and completed in 1959.

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Posted August 1, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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