Sometimes the Vancouver Archives have the wrong location identified on an image. This 1981 shot should win some sort of prize for being titled ‘1200 block Richards, west side’. Actually it’s the 1100 block of Seymour, showing the east side.
On the corner was Buller’s Glass, dealing in windshields and sunroofs. This was almost entirely a commercial area, with a mixture of light industrial and service businesses in modest and cheaply built structures. The location on the corner of Davie and Seymour looks like it had started life as a gas station, and indeed, in the mid 1950s it was home to R Holbrook’s garage, run by Ray Holbrook. In those days there were a great many automobile focused businesses around here, including parts suppliers and body shops. That was still true in the 1980s, and it was also true in earlier years: this was the location of Consumers Tire Co for over twenty years through the 1930s and 40s.
In this 1937 Vancouver Public Library image the building’s original architecture can be seen, along with the huge advertisement for Seiberling Tires, an American brand owned by Frank Seiberling who had originally founded Goodyear in 1898. The building first appears in 1929, which would seem to fit in with the tiled mission style of the canopy.
At the far end of the block are the Lightheart Apartments, completed in 1910 by William and Joseph Lightheart on the site of the family home and contracting business.
Today this is Emery Barnes Park, named after former BC Lion, social worker and NDP MLA who was the first black politician in Canada to be elected Speaker of a Legislature. The site was acquired over several years using funds accumulated from Development Cost Levies from the surrounding market residential towers. The corner was the final, third phase of the park’s construction. In its final years the garage was used as a dry cleaning establishment, so the potential for pollution of the site was particularly high given its previous automotive uses over many decades.