Nelson Street – 1100 block, north side

Sitting across from Nelson Park, this block was first developed in the early 1900s. The apartment building, which sat roughly mid-block, was the Nelson Court Apartments. Developed by O H Bush, it was designed by Grant & Henderson and built by C F Perry at a cost of $38,000. Oakley H Bush lived in a house here before the project was constructed. Oakley Halden Bush was recorded in the 1911 census, living with his sister-in-law, Rosella Mary Bush, both of them born in Ontario. In the previous census, in 1901, he had been living with his wife, Mary, and their two sons (one also called Oakley, and his brother Herbert) in Alberta, where he was shown as a farmer. In earlier census records he was in Ontario; in 1871 aged 19, still living with his parents and eight siblings in Medonte, Simcoe. George and Mary were both born in England. Oakley Bush and his family first show up in Vancouver in 1908, and he died in 1932.

His death notice in 1932 (when he was 80) showed him (accurately) as Oakley Hallen Bush, and mentioned a daughter as well as his sons, also living in Vancouver. In 1926 he had become a shareholder in the Bush Petroleum Corporation, with his son Oakley Beaumont Bush, who was described as a mine owner. He appears to have later moved to California.

There were two houses on the lot to the west, the first built in 1904 by John Parks who had Purdy and Lonergan build the $2,400 structure. The others in this 1966 picture were all built around the same time, late in 1904 or early 1905. Those are in the ‘lost permit’ period, so we don’t know who built them, although both 1155 and 1157 Nelson (one of which was built by Mr. Parks) appeared in the 1905 directory, as did the two houses beyond them, 1161 and 1171. Robinson McMorran, a canner, lived at 1155, William Whitmayer, an engineer, at 1157, Alexander J McPherson at 1161 and Hector Mackenzie, who worked in insurance at 1171. Charles Nelson, who owned a drugstore on Granville, was in the last house on the block that dated from the turn of the century.

Today there’s a brutalist 1969 concrete rental tower on the right of the image, called Nicholson Tower. Developed by CMHC and designed by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey, it is set in extensive grounds, which are all that can be seen from this angle. Beyond it is a 1985 strata tower designed by Oberto Orberti, next to a 1975 strata designed by Lort and Lort.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-415

0901

Posted September 5, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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