Windsor Apartments – 1924 Barclay Street

This relatively modest apartment building was approved for development in 1926. Costing $15,000, it was designed by W F Gardiner for A C Howard, and had six suites. The image in the Vancouver Public Library is undated, but the concrete looks very shiny, so we’re guessing it was taken around 1927.  The builder was listed as ‘day labour’, but Mr. Howard was a contractor, so he presumably supervised the construction. He built several houses for himself, which he also designed, so he probably had a pretty good idea of what he wanted built here.

We think Albert C Howard was born in Birmingham and was living in Yardley (these days a suburb of Birmingham) in 1901, with his wife Hilda who he had married in Solihull in 1900, and their daughter Nellie who was born in October 1900. Albert was a builder, and the family were living with his father, Charles, who was a coal merchant. Winnifred was born in 1905, in Birmingham, and Elsie in 1910, also in England. Albert John Howard was born in BC in 1916, and we believe there was a final daughter, Hilda.

Albert Howard first appears in Vancouver in 1911 as a carpenter, and a year later in the same employment but for J A Lund & Co. In 1916 Albert was on active service, and his military service was noted in the press. In 1923 he was vice president of the Grand Army of United Veterans, and from 1920 had been proprietor of Hotel Gifford on Robson Street. By 1927 he seems to have returned to being a building contractor. In 1929 he submitted the lowest tender for the addition to the University Heights School. In 1928 the family announced the marriage of Nellie to Archie Scotland, in 1933 the engagement of Winnifred to Robert Baldrey, and in 1936 of their third daughter, Elsie, to Frederick Woodward, of Edmonton. In 1943, Albert (who was in the RCAF) married Chesley Black.

Surprisingly, nothing had been built here before the apartments – this was the tennis court in the garden of a big turreted house on the corner of Gilford (to the left on this image), developed by (Henry) Harry McDowell in 1902. He arrived in the city immediately after the 1886 fire and established the first drug store. Partnering with another former resident of Milton, Ontario, he took McDowell and Atkins to one of the largest drug store businesses in the province. He was President of the Board of Trade, and an alderman, and retired at the start of the First World War at the age of 52. He got blood poisoning, which required a leg to be amputated, and he died in 1917. His former home was initially rented by his widow, Dell, and in the 1920s became a rooming house.

This version of the Windsor Apartments was here for only 38 years. The house next door was redeveloped as The Everest Apartments in 1960, (the year after both Albert Charles Howard and Hilda Howard died), and this site was developed in 1965 with a 42-suite building (still called Windsor Apartments) designed by Wilding & Jones.

1233

Advertisement

Posted 10 November 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: