700 block Homer Street – west side

We saw the building on the right of this image in an earlier post. Until recently it was home to Budget Car Rental: as this 1981 image shows the company operated on this lot for many years. Now you have to go to the airport to hire a Budget vehicle: the site is intended to have a new office tower built in the near future. As early as 1920 this was public parking – C A Hughes obtained a building permit for the southern end of the Budget lot for a ‘parking station’ that year.

Down the street is a single storey garage structure, that replaced a series of dwellings built in the early 1900s. In 1933 Madame Reo, a clairvoyant (known to her friends as Mrs Ella Evans) operated here. In 1937 Stonehouse Motors moved into their new premises on the corner, and the Superior Plating Works were located down the street, staying here for over 25 years. The Stonehouse Motors service department was located further along the street, replaced in the 1950s by Collier’s Motors who had their sales office nearby on West Georgia.

The largest building on the block today is a church, that started life as a theatre. Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, the theatre was originally known as The Ford Centre for the Performing Arts when it opened in 1995, designed to bring Broadway shows in an 1,800 seat auditorium designed by Moshe Safdie for Garth Drabinsky’s Livent (who declared bankruptcy in 1998). It sold in 2001 to new owners who renamed it The Centre for Performing Arts, and for several years they brought touring shows to the theatre. The theatre’s sale to the Westside Church took place in 2013, although more recently movie and musical performances have continued to use the theatre from time to time.

On the left the city’s Central Library has been built, and beyond the theatre thousands of apartments have been developed, from the early 1990s onwards.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E09.31


Posted 23 October 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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