112 East Hastings Street

Today, a 1989 retail building has been converted to multiple art studios, operating under the catch-all name of the Acme Gallery. Inside various individual and collective artists occupy a warren of spaces, along with the accurately titled ‘Labyrinth Gallery’. Before the artists moved in a few years ago, the building had stood empty for 14 years.

Before the current building there was an early wooden building. That too had been repurposed, starting life as a Livery Stables, the Fashion Stables, run by Chas Leatherdale, around 1894. Previously Leatherdale, who a carriage builder and painter from New Westminster, had bought out his partner, Mr. Smith’s interest in Leatherdale and Smith.  In 1893 the Daily World claimed ‘The Fashion Stables are almost as famed as is Vancouver itself, and they have been doing a rushing business of late.‘ The census of 1891 suggests Mr. Leatherdale’s name might have been Robert, and that he came from a Scottish family, but had been born in Ontario.

By 1898 Rose Brothers had taken over the livery stable, and a blacksmith, William Johnston was also working here. In 1901 Rose Bros still had the stables, and J W Bland, a veterinary surgeon who lived on Richards Street, also operated here. For the next few years Findlay Rose operated the stables. Like Mr. Leatherdale he was also from Ontario from a Scottish family. He lived nearby with his wife, Jessie and their son Donald; George Walker, a customs officer lodged with the family. The stables had closed by 1904, and a year later White & Bindon, stationers, moved in. That would seem liklely to be when the building was altered to the appearance seen in our 1972 Curt Lang Vancouver Public Library picture. As a stables there was probably a hoist to a doorway in the upper floor, which would have been used as a hay loft.

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Posted November 27, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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