Helmcken and Richards Street – south-east corner

In 1981 this was yet another Downtown gas station. The first development here were a row of four houses facing Helmcken. They were duplexes, as there were eight street addresses. They first appear in 1907, and they were probably rental homes as only two of the named occupants are the same in 1909, and they had all changed again by 1911. The houses were still standing in 1951, but the following year The Eveready Tire and Motor garage was here. It was run by Roy Ellis, Doug Rolls and Fred Macey. Doug Rolls was born in Hedley, but came to Vancouver at 16 where he started work at a Granville Street service station. During World War II he worked at Boeing, where he rose to the position of Superintendent building aircraft that included the B17 ‘Flying Fortress’, and after the war he built houses in Vancouver, before setting up the garage.

The garage use, which included a Shell gas bar, only lasted a few decades. In 1995 one of the earlier Downtown South residential towers was completed here. Designed by Raymond Y Ching and Associates for Diamond Robinson, the Robinson Tower has 124 apartments in 17 floors, with some retail on the main floor.,

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E08.23

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Posted November 25, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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