495 Railway Street

 

A R Williams 495 Railway 2

The A R Williams Machinery Company of Vancouver built these premises in 1909. We saw the building they initially occupied on Alexander Street in the previous post. The company commissioned the design of their own building from an architect who had originally had been born in Galt, Ontario, Frederick Mellish trained as a builder and then practiced as an architect in Galt for many years. In 1909 he moved to Vancouver, and picked up a couple of jobs, including this building. The Galt connection undoubtedly helped; A R Williams (a Toronto based enterprise) had a partner in the Vancouver operation, the McGregor, Gourlay Company, Limited, of Galt, Ontario. The building cost $8,000 and was built by George Shrunk (or so the permit says – although there was nobody called that in the city – or Canada – as far as we can tell).

A R Williams 495 Railway 1

There was another permit for a Williams-owned building designed by Mellish in 1913, with $3,337 of work built by Kinnett & Tinney & Co. We assume it was this building – the permit identifies ‘foot Jackson’ – and this building faces Jackson. The work was probably to enlarge the premises to allow the company to consolidate to one location; they moved out of their Alexander building around 1914, and remained in this building for many years – at least until 1955 when our supply of street directories dries up. Very little changed between the early 1920s (above) and 1935 (below). Today the building is home to a showroom and furniture manufacturer and an architectural model maker.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99 – 3235 and  CVA 99-4752

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