Here’s one of the West End’s apartment buildings that were built over 100 years ago. It’s Washington Court, built in 1910 for Peter Agren and designed by Arthur J Bird. Today it has 44 apartments on five floors. When it was built it cost $95,000 and had five floors, but subsequently, about seven months after the initial building permit another floor was added at an additional cost of $18,000.
We’ve seen the other building that Agren developed on Thurlow Street, where again A J Bird was the architect. We identified what we had found about Agren, a Swedish contractor and builder, in that post. Agren’s home on Comox Street (now part of Mole Hill) is still standing as well. Agren appeared in Vancouver in 1904, and two years earlier we can find him applying for two timber cutting licences in Revelstoke on his ranch there.
What seemed curious is that today that additional top floor has been removed, and the building is back to five storeys. It took place some years after 1928, when this picture was taken. Thanks to Dennis who told us when it happened – this VPL image from November 1966 shows the building on fire. The top floor was so badly damaged that it was removed, and only the original five floors were restored.
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-264