888 Burrard Street

This rather unimpressive structure on Burrard Street will surely be redeveloped one day – although the residential strata from 1983 to the north may add some complexity, unless that’s also redeveloped at the same time. Today there’s a yoga studio upstairs and a Thai restaurant, a diamond store and a pub underneath. In our 1974 picture Denny’s were alongside a realty company, a furniture renatl store, and Hertz car rental, who had a huge rooftop signboard that would never be permitted today.

Before the retail uses this building was an automobile showroom, with Sherwood Motors selling imported Hillman cars. They were here in the early 1950s having replaced McLachlan Motors, who sold cars (Kaiser Fraser cars – an obscure brand that operated from 1946 to 1951), but also farm equipment and Rototiller machinery as well as Firestone tires. By 1950 McLachlan were selling DeSoto cars, as this advert shows – another brand heading for closure in 1960, but part of the Chrysler empire selling mid-line vehicles.

The company had been here since 1938, when Frank Leonard took this picture of the new building, now in the Vancouver Public Library collection. The corner was originally cut away, with the gas pumps underneath the second floor – something else that wouldn’t be permitted today, although it might be the only way that Downtown will have a gas station if it were possible for this arrangement to return in future.

The architects for the garage were E Evans and Son, but the design would have probably been by George Evans, who was running the company. Enoch Evans, the founder died in 1939, and hadn’t been active in the company for several years.

Before the garage was constructed there were four houses here, built in the early 1900s – similar to those visible to the north in the 1938 image.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-29

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Posted April 30, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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