900 Granville Street – west side (2)

 

900 block Granville 1

We’ve seen one building on this end of the west side of the 900 block of Granville Street in an earlier post – the Vermilyea Block (painted cream these days) – the fourth building along. Beyond it is a pair of warehouse-like buildings that today are Tom Lee Music. They’re a Dalton and Eveleigh design for C H Wilson, and so were once known as the Wilson Block.

On the corner (and just showing on the right of the picture) is an early rooming house. We’re reasonably certain this is another Parr and Fee building. A Granville and Smithe corner site was granted a building permit in 1906 for McCaulay & Nicolls, and those were still the owners of this building in 1915 and 1916 when two sets of repairs were carried out. Today they’re known as the Gresham Hotel, and they are non-market housing, converted from Single Occupancy Rooms  in 1993. When it was first built they were called the Gresham Apartments, and they don’t seem to have been occupied until 1909. The 1912 insurance map for some reason mislabeled the building as the Gresman Apartments. The City Drug Store were the first tenants in the corner retail unit – in 1967 it was Electronic World, selling TVs and tape Recorders.

The developers,  Macaulay & Nicolls, were insurance and real estate agents. We looked at John P. Nicoll’s history when we featured his house on Seaton Street. Charles H Macaulay was from Nova Scotia, born into a family that left Scotland in the late 1700s. He was part of the Canadian Pacific development team, working for the railway from 1887. In the same year he partnered with John Nicoll, 1898, he married his wife Ethel, and they had four children, Donald, Douglas, Margaret and John. As well as being a member of the Board of Trade and a Freemason, Charles was a member of the Terminal City, Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club, Jericho Country Club and the Canadian Club.

Next door was once another rooming house, the Henley Rooms, built for Mr Musgrove in 1910, and also designed by Parr and Fee (although with a traditional sash arrangement in bay windows, rather than the centre-hung design they often favoured). Baynes and Horie built the $18,000 property. We don’t know who Mr Musgrove was – there were only two people in the city  with that name at the time, and neither seem a likely candidate for an $18,000 investment. The rooms went through a lot of changing management – in 1911 they were run by Mrs. Maud Sherman, an American who had arrived the year before the 1911 Census and who only one lodger that year, Edith Cochran who had also arrived from the USA in 1910 and was listed as having no occupation. In 1912 the rooms were run by Mrs. Maud Ogle, in 1913 John Pausche took over, replaced by Norman Andison in 1915, Paul Parent in 1916 and Thomas Dyde in 1918, who finally provided stable management through the early 1920s. The building was demolished to be replaced in 1993 with the smaller building there today designed by Gower, Yeung & Associates. In 1967 it featured Mr. Mike’s $1.49 char broiled steaks.

Next door was the Studio Theatre, designed by H H Simmonds in 1948. It was one of his last designs, and he had been the architect for a series of theatres (really cinemas) from the early 1920s. It was still the Studio when this 1967 image was shot, (showing The Graduate), but not too long after it became the Eve, then the Lyric, and after that the Towne Cinema (with a protest outside the showing of Bob Guccione’s Caligula) and finally the Paradise Cinema, before it closed and fell into disrepair. Buying a liquor licence that once belonged to the infamous Pony’s Cabaret in the Downtown Eastside, David Kershaw and his partners transferred it to Granville and then began renovating the building as the Tonic Nightclub. More recently it became the oddly named Joe’s Apartment (which was still a nightclub, despite the name). Earlier this year the establishment once again reverted to the Studio name, with a record store and live music venue combined, and a fabulously faithful replica of the original 1940s sign.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-53

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Posted August 27, 2015 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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