Archive for August 2018

120 Powell Street

Today, this former warehouse is an architect’s office with six generously sized (and expensive) strata residential units upstairs. First developed in 1910, it was converted to residential in 1991. Dalton and Eveleigh were hired by Pilkington Brothers, a British based glass company to design the $80,000 warehouse constructed by Smith & Sherborne.

The design is an early example of a concrete frame, allowing the creation of large spaces without internal walls. Pilkington’s were already on this block, as from the early 1900s they also occupied the warehouse buildings to the west, including the corner building that had been developed in the late 1880s by the Oppenheimer family for their grocery business.

The sale of 120 Powell Street in the late 1950s followed the completion of Pilkington’s new glass factory on Vancouver’s Southeast Marine Drive. In this 1985 picture it was being used as a warehouse by Army & Navy Stores, but was being offered for lease.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2417

 

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Posted August 13, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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East Hastings Street – 100 block, south side (2)

Here’s the eastern end of the 100 block of East Hastings in a picture from 2002. (We looked at the western end in an earlier post). On the left in Molson’s Bank building, while the tallest building is the Regent Hotel, and on the far right of the picture is the Empire Hotel. The pale brick Molson’s Bank was designed by H L Stevens, who was based in New York but had a branch office in Vancouver for a few years from 1911 and was responsible for several landmark buildings in Vancouver and the United States. Molson’s had an earlier 1898 branch on West Hastings, while this building, the East End Branch, costing $80,500, was approved for construction with a concrete frame in 1912. The bank continued to use the building until the 1930s, and the upper storeys were initially used for offices for doctors, dentists, lawyers, and other professionals, (including court interpreter and notary public W A Cumyow), but by 1922 had become the Graycourt Hotel (rooms).

Later the whole building became the Roosevelt Hotel, over the years becoming more run down and in the late 1990s home to some of the women who were victims of the Pickton murder case. It was acquired by BC Housing, and is now run by the Portland Hotel Society, with 42 units of non-profit housing for Downtown Eastside residents. The community members are largely individuals dealing with physical and mental health issues, social stigma, emotional trauma, substance dependence, and other issues.The building underwent a major renovation in 2015 as part of BC Housing’s SRO Renewal Initiative, and reopened, beautifully renovated, in August 2016.

162 E Hastings, to the west, was probably completed in 1913 (as 148 E Hastings), although it received its building permit in 1911. Designed by Parr and Fee for Adolphus Williams, it was purpose-built as a Billiard hall & cigar stand built by Hemphill Brothers and cost $10,000 to build. Mr. Williams was a lawyer, magistrate and former politician; (he represented Vancouver City in the BC Legislative Assembly from 1894 to 1898). Mr. Williams apparently quickly sold the building to real estate agents Hope and Farmer, who carried out a number of repairs and alterations including a 1919 permit to use it as the Veteran’s Canteen.

Next door to the east is the Regent Hotel, which the City of Vancouver are seeking to expropriate because of the condition that the owner has allowed it to fall to, and east of that was the Pantages Theatre, designed by E E Blackmore in 1907, and tragically demolished and redeveloped as a controversial condo building in 2011.

566 Powell Street

This modest 2-storey building has been around since 1911, when it was built as stores and a rooming house by William McNeil. In 1911 there was a William McNeil listed as a contractor, with premises on West Hastings and a home on East 36th Avenue. In 1913 he’s shows as being in real estate, unlike the other two William McNeils, who were both painters.

This property was immediately part of Japantown, with Kobeya & Co, a grocers on the main floor, and a Japanese rooming house upstairs. The occupants changed over time, but the uses stayed the same. In both 1930 and 1940 J Nishimura ran the grocers store, and in 1940 T Yamashita was upstairs, although in 1930 it was recorded as ‘Orientals’.

Everything changed with the war, forcing all the Japanese out of the city and into internment camps. By 1945 C C Carter had his electrical contracting business on the main floor, and upstairs was just described as ‘rooms’. This was still true a decade later. Carter’s were still in business here in the early 1970s, but by 1975 when Greg Girard photographed the picture on the right at 6am, the A-2 Café had moved in (but were still closed at that hour), offering Chinese and western Food. The café was still there in our 1985 image, although the reference to Chinese food was no longer on the window. Today there’s still a restaurant, but now with revived Japanese connection. “Dosanko serves a selection of home-style, seasonally inspired yōshoku and classic Hokkaido plates with an emphasis on fresh housemade ingredients and a mottainai or “no waste” philosophy“.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-0878

Posted August 6, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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122 Powell Street

This solidly built store and rooming house, seen here in 1985, dates back to 1912 when it was designed and built by Edgar Baynes as an investment for himself. That same year he also built the Hotel Grosvenor at Robson and Howe.

He was born in September 1870 in Bocking in Essex, England. His family were farmers – and pretty successful ones if his parents subsequent move to Broxted Hall in Dunmow is any indication. He was the oldest of at least six children (from the 1881 UK census) and left school ‘early’ to join his uncle’s building and contracting firm. How early isn’t clear – but he arrived in BC in 1889 with his uncle, J A Franklin, having learned his trade as a builder. A 1914 biography of Edgar says they worked together for a couple of years, then he moved to the Squamish valley as a rancher (which probably explains his absence from the 1891 Census). Family records say it was actually a homestead on the Cheakamus River, upstream from Squamish, and that he rowed there from Coal Harbour to establish his claim.

He returned to Vancouver around 1893, where he teamed up with William Horie to found one of the most prolific building companies in the city. The rooms here were built with a concrete frame, and when they opened were called the Hampton Rooms. The facade used bricks from the Port Haney Brickworks, owned by Baynes, Horie with Harold Burnet, and opened in 1907.

When the building opened there was a Pool Room on the main floor, and John Brown and Co managed both facilities. Within a few years the main floor retail units were occupied by Japanese businesses; in 1920 there were two rival barbers. Over the years the operators changed many times, but the building’s name stuck. Today, the MPA Society operate The Hampton Hotel, with 46 single room occupancy units, a communal meal program and onsite kitchen facilities. Mental Health workers are on site 24 hours daily to provide support to the Hampton residents.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2418

Posted August 2, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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