Vancouver Motors – Seymour Street (2)

Vancouver Motors 2

As we noted in our previous post, Vancouver Motors had a non-identical twin on West Georgia Street. We saw this building first in an early 2011 post, when we first started this blog. That was a 1926 picture, when the building was only just completed. Here it is again as it looked in 1981, when it was home to Dominion Motors. They were a Ford dealership that operated here until the early 1980s. They replaced the Vancouver Motors Ford dealership some time in the early 1960s (also selling the Mercury line of cars in the 1940s, and Monarch in the 1950s). All three floors of the building were used by the dealership; a 1960s car jockey recalled driving a car that needed to be cleaned and serviced up to the third floor of the building.

Vancouver Motors, Seymour under constructionVancouver Motors VPLThe construction is poured in place concrete: presumably with the embossed lines on the columns incorporated into the mould. There’s an Archives picture of the building under construction, showing how it was built by Poole Construction. Although the current building by-laws don’t allow a gas station underneath a building, that wasn’t always the rule in the city. There was a gas bar across the corner of the building that operated here for many years, although by the 1980s it was part of the showroom. In the 1936 VPL image here it’s shown as being open all night, when gas cost 25 cents (presumably for a gallon).

Some years after the car dealership closed, in the mid 1990s the main floor was taken by Staples as an office supplies store. In the past year the upper floors have been fully restored and are now available as office space. The strange canopy that was initially added to the office store (visible in our 2011 post) has been removed, and the building looks mush closer to how it first looked 90 years ago.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1399-545, CVA 1399-533 and Vancouver Public Library.

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Posted October 19, 2015 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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