300 Alexander Street

300 Alexander Street was built in 1922, and designed by F W Macey, an English architect who was living in Burnaby . It was built for the Victoria and Vancouver Stevedoring Company; based in Victoria, who adding this Vancouver office some years into their existence. We haven’t found an early image, so don’t know if the stucco finish on the façade is original. The building has something of the Mission Revival style, with nautical details like the oval insets (looking a bit like ship’s portholes) and an anchor and ship wheel motif at the top of the parapet. The building has two entrances, and sometimes had two businesses operating inside. In the 1940s, for example, 302 Alexander was listed as the Vancouver Girls School of Practical Arts, and in 1950 Washington Laboratories had their offices here, although their plant was in North Vancouver, while Vic & Van Stevedoring were still at 300 Alexander.

Originally this was the location of R H Alexander’s ‘mansion’ – the first building in the city to obtain a hook-up to the public water system. Richard Alexander, a Scot, managed the Hastings Sawmill from 1882, having been the accountant there from 1870.

Later in the 1950s this building was home to Universal Sales & Service, a refrigeration company. In the 1975 image by W E Graham, Hall Les Filter Service was operating here along with United Gear & Machine Works, and later Lawrence & Redpath Architects.

Today, the back section is used as a warehouse/shipping portion for the adjacent China Cereals & Oils Corporation on Gore Street, while the front appears to be boarded up. It isn’t currently included on the list of heritage buildings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-33

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