Archive for October 2017

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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459 East Pender Street

When this picture was taken, around 1900, this was addressed as 427 Princess Avenue, (it only became Pender in 1907) and the picture shows Mrs. Delia Gore and some of her family at the front entrance of their house. Mrs. Gore was head of the household, and aged 43 when the picture was taken. She was American, and in 1891 was living with her five US-born children aged 22 to 15, and two much younger; four-year old Georgie and tw0-year-old Jessie, both born in BC. The four oldest children had jobs; one was a marine engineer, her daughter was a seamstress and the youngest was an apprentice.

The street directory tells us Mrs. Gore was the widow of J M Gore, who shows up for the first time at this address in 1898 when he was listed as a hostler; a stablehand who looks after the horses at an inn. A year earlier there was a James M Gore living on 9th Avenue (Broadway today) who was a druggist. The 1901 census tells us that Mrs. Gore had arrived in Canada in 1894. The house appears to date back to around 1889,

By 1899 Mr. Gore had died; only Mrs. Gore was listed. The ‘Daily World’ of May 3rd reported the death “At noon to-day, James Gore, a well-known resident of the East End died at the City hospital. The deceased was injured at the time of General Booth’s visit to Vancouver and was walking in the Salvation Army parade when he was kicked in the stomach by a horse. He has been in the hospital ever since.” This turned out to be an inaccurate report. Perhaps ‘death by horse’ was as common an occurance as fatal car accidents. The May 4th newspaper corrected the news. “James Gore, who died at the City hospital yesterday, was not the gentleman injured in the General Booth parade, as stated in last evening’s World. Prior to removing to the East End, Mr. Gore was manager of the Great West Stock Yards, and, with his family, resided for some time at Central Park, and was kicked by a horse on Lulu Island on Saturday April 23rd, which resulted in his death at noon yesterday”.

On May 5th they reported “The funeral of the late James Gore was held to-day. The cortege left the family residence on Princess street at 5 o’clock this morning and the remains were interred this afternoon at Blaine, Wash., under the auspices of the Knights of Pythias. Rev. J. Irvine was the officiating minister and he accompanied the remains to Blaine”.

Mrs. Gore stayed in the city for a few years, but moved to Keefer Street. It’s likely that she returned to the United States, settling in Washington state, where she was apparently living with her son in 1930, and in 1940, aged 83, with her daughter Ruby. Ruby died, having returned to Vancouver, in 1949. Her death certificate tells us that her mother had been Delia Taylor before she married James Gore. They had married in Oregon in 1876, when James was 20 and Delia was 18.

Today the house is the home of the Hoy Ying Association, a Chinese benevolent association active in the city for at least 100 years. Their early records were rescued by historian Paul Yee when their earlier building was demolished, and are now in the City Archives. The biggest difference between 1900 and 2017 is the street level. The areas’s streets were regarded in the early 1900s, leaving some homes as much as 15 feet below the new street level, and others, like this one, a full storey above the street. The former basement was at some time turned into a basement suite.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-891

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Posted October 2, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing