Archive for August 2018

Burrard Street from Pender – looking south (2)

We saw a similar angle from an earlier photograph of this block of Burrard from 1939. (We saw the building on the corner looking the other way east along Pender, in another recent post). Apart from the Hotel Vancouver in the background, and the cathedral, buried in the trees in both pictures, very few if any of the 1939 buildings had survived when this 1981 image was taken. Things have changed again; none of the 1981 buildings are still standing today, either.

On the left hand corner on Pender was the National Trust building, built around 1958, and designed by McCarter, Nairne & Partners, which replaced the Glenwood Rooms, built sometime around 1907. The remainder of the block consisted of modest mid rise office buildings also erected in the 1950s when the city’s economy started to pick up after a long slow period during the 1930s and through the war years. At 540 Burrard, McCarter and Nairne (who seem to have had a near monopoly on designing the city’s 1950s office buildings), designed the 1957 Mercantile Bank of Canada, which we think must be the smaller office building just behind the bus. Next to the cathedral the Georgia Medical Dental building came closer to the cathedral than its replacement, Cathedral Place. This image must be taken quite early in 1981 as the buildings on Burrard were still standing; another image taken the same year shows the site cleared to construct Park Place

On the corner today is a 1985 office, 510 Burrard, occupied by Manulife, completed in 1985, designed by Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership. The whole of the remainder of the block is Bentall 5, designed by Musson Cattell Massey and built in two vertical phases in 2004 and 2007, with the Cactus Club Café pavilion occupying the area reserved as a staging area for the addition of the final 11 storeys. Next door is the 1984 Park Place tower at 666 Burrard, also designed by MCM for the Daon Corporation. Additional density was permitted to protect the heritage of the Christ Church Cathedral by transferring the theoretical remaining permitted density under zoning onto the cathedral site to the office tower – the first example of ‘transfer of density’ in Vancouver.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W04.19

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Posted August 30, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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102 Powell Street

Pilkington Brothers built a new showroom, warehouse and glass processing building to the east of this building in 1910, completed a year later. They also occupied the former Oppenheimer Brothers warehouse to the west that had originally been constructed in 1886, one of the city’s earliest structures still standing today. This two storey warehouse might have been an Oppenheimer construction, but it’s more likely to have been Pilkington’s work. Pilkington’s replaced Oppenheimmer’s in 1903, and this was probably built soon after that, in the few years that the building permits are missing. It had the second floor added in 1916 at a cost of $4,000, designed by Somervell & Putnam, who were usually involved in much grander buildings.

In the late 1970s this was the warehouse home of US based furniture chain Pier 1 Imports, as seen on the left in a Mercantile Mortgage Company Ltd copyright image. In the early 1990s the building was bought by Bryan Adams, who converted the Oppenheimer’s part of the property to the Warehouse Studios, a world-class recording studio. The later 2-storey building was retained in the conversion (designed by Don Stuart Architects) as a screen wall, with parking behind.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2416 and CVA 810-155

170 Powell Street

 

These Powell Street buildings were designed by Fred Townley in 1912 for Major W R Dugmore, and constructed by Douglas & Ward at a cost of $45,000. We’re unsure whether the major was resident in the city, as he doesn’t show up in the street directories at all. We’ve looked for his history before in connection with the Dufferin Hotel, developed on Seymour and Smithe by Dickie & Dugmore.

We can find fleeting mentions of the Major in a few publications. In 1909 William A Dugmore of Vancouver was visiting Victoria, staying at the Dominion Hotel. In 1912 Major Dugmore was one of the invited guests at a military banquet in the Vancouver Hotel for a visit by the Governor General of Canada, the Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria’s seventh child and third son). In 1912 he was reported to have been appointed as the Canadian representative for the Canadian Services’ Land Co, capitalized at $100,000, and headed by Alfred St George Hammersley, KC, and Sir Francis Lowe, MP. Hammersley had extensive Vancouver interests, but the new land company was set up to acquire Beaver Ranch at the north end of Nicola Lake. The advertisement in the Evening Standard said Major Dugmore was from the 72nd Highlanders, and had been awarded the DSO.

We’re reasonably certain W R Dugmore and W F Dugmore are the same person – William Francis Brougham Radclyffe Dugmore. A professional soldier for many years who had fought in at least seven campaigns, and awarded the DSO, Major Dugmore had married in 1910, and was clearly spent time in Western Canada, and invested in Vancouver even if he lived elsewhere. (There’s no sign of him in the 1911 Census anywhere in Canada, but he appears to have been living in the Channel Islands, aged 42). He joined the war in 1914, and was killed in action in 1917.

When the building first appears in 1914 it was listed as the Crown Rooms, with J Kamada, a second-hand dealer and barbers Jellick & Michael in the retail units. The name was unchanged in 1920, run by I & T Kutsukake, with M Kamada’s pool room and W Satta operating as both barber and pool room on the main floor. In 1938 the pool rooms were still here as the Powell Pool Rooms, but the accommodation was now the Newton Rooms, run by Mrs H Iwata. After the war the Japanese community had been forced out of the city, and the Chinese community often replaced the; in 1945 J Gon had a grocery store under the Newton Rooms, now run by P Jung. A decade later H Chow & Co had a warehouse next to Fisher Metal Products and The Newton Rooms were being run by H Jung.

The building were replaced in 2009 with ‘Smart’, an eight storey condo and retail building developed by Concord Pacific, and designed by Busby, Perkins + Will. The building has exterior corridors and minimal interior common space to keep monthly maintenance fees down for the 90 owners. The building sold out in five hours, and initial owners included 9 members of the architects’ office.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2419

Posted August 23, 2018 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Gone

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525 Carrall Street

This 1985 ‘before’ image of a Chinatown society building would have looked very similar, although somewhat more battered, up to two years ago. Now after extensive repair and restoration work the building looks almost identical to when it was first built in 1903. Known today, and since 1923 as the Lim Sai Hor Association Building, it was first developed by Chinese scholar Kang You-wei, with financial support from leading local merchants (including Chang Toy, owner of the Sam Kee Company, who probably donated the land). It was the Vancouver home to the Chinese Empire Reform Association, an important Chinese-Canadian pre-Revolutionary association.

Kang You-wei arrived in Victoria in 1899 as a political refugee who escaped a death sentence in China after he supported the Guangxu Emperor’s short-lived reforms aimed at modernizing Chinese political, economic, military and educational systems. The Emperor’s aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi, was opposed to modernizing the country and she carried out a coup d’etat three months after the reforms were announced, placing the Emperor under house arrest.

Kang You-wei hoped to raise support from American and British governments to restore the Emperor and the reformist movement, but he was barred from entering the United States due to the Chinese Exclusion Act and received little assistance from the British government. He was, however, warmly received by Chinese communities in Victoria, Vancouver, and New Westminster. Kang founded the Chinese Empire Reform Association (CERA) in Victoria on 20 July 1899. This organization was also known as the Society to Protect the Emperor, or the Baohuanghui. One of their first pieces of business was to send a birthday telegram to the Empress Dowager which started: “Birthday congratulations. We request your abdication.” In 1903 Kang’s equally famous associate, Liang Qichao, laid the cornerstone of this $30,000 building.

Oddly, the original architect appears not to be known, although in 1914 W H Chow designed $2,000 of repairs to the building. It appears to have been built as two separate structures, with the Shanghai Alley part built separately and then linked. The original façade elements of the building that were recently replaced could have been removed when Lim Sai Hor Kow Mock Benevolent Association purchased and renovated the building in 1944-45. The family association for ‘Lim’ Chinese named members was established in Vancouver in 1923, although dating back to 1908 in Victoria. When the Association bought the building they paid just $10,250, and raised $26,000 by issuing shares to members to pay for the building and the renovations. There was a retail unit on the main floor, leased out; 18 rooms on the second floor, and the meeting room and offices of the organization on the top floor as well as another 8 rooms, which like the second floor rooms were leased to members as living space.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2408

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

 

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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