514 West Broadway

Like the previous post, this small commercial building was developed on West Broadway when it was a much less important, mostly residential street. This one also lasted 100 years, but has been recently redeveloped with a W T Leung designed office and retail building.

E Stanley Mitton designed the building in 1910 for F D Elkins. G Griffiths was the builder, and the permit was for a modest $13,000. Francis (“Frank”) Dawson Elkins was a realtor and insurance broker, born in Reading, England probably in 1873 (on his death certificate and census return), but possibly 1874 (his marriage certificate), or 1875, (his US Naturalization) . The 1911 census said he arrived in 1891, and he’s on a Manitoba entry in Broadview Manitoba in that year, and in Winnipeg in 1901 (with his widowed mother).

He was in Vancouver in 1906, the superintendent for the London Guarantee and Accident Company. He married in 1908, and a year later had a real eatate office on West Hastings with his brother, James. His bride was Edna Cook, the daughter of a prominent Vancouver builder, agent for Otis Elevator (and former alderman), Edward Cook. In 1911 they moved to Shaughnessy Heights, but in 1914 Frank joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, serving in Canada, England and France. He was a captain when was released from military service in 1919.

He returned to working as an insurance agent, but in 1925 Frank, Edna and his mother headed south to live in California. He set up in Santa Monica, (where he had two sisters living) and became a US citizen. His mother died in 1935, and in 1940 Frank was the owner of a wholesale and retail antique business. Edna died in 1954, and Frank two years later.

In 1936 Hatt’s Stove Works would sell you an Aeroflame sawdust burner for your range or furnace. By 1945 you could buy a (slightly) cleaner option, with Melny’s offering Fawcett wood and coal ranges, and Guerney gas broilers. The company were here for 35 years (including when this 1974 image was taken) before being replaced in the late 1970s by Carpetland, replaced a couple of years later by a Chinese furniture importer, the Lacquer Box. In 2004 a restaurant opened here; Dan Yal’s Tandoor & Bar, offering a full lunch for $6.49.

Upstairs were six suites; in the 1930s they were leased furnished. A resident of an apartment here for five years, Mrs Elizabeth Smith, aged 40, a passenger in a car driving on Keith Road in North Vancouver was killed when the car left the road and sheared a power pole in two.

In 1948 Thomas Hammond Griffith, a pensioner, and resident here was featured in the Sun in an article on how to live on $40 a month. ‘Only eat one meal a day’, was Mr. Griffith’s advice. He paid $10 a month for the room, and aged 77, only owned one sweater, and a pair of trousers he bought three years earlier. In 1954 a 4-room suite was $65 a month.

The building was home to a hairdressing school and a Szechuan restaurant in 2017, just before it was demolished.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1095-00308



Posted 9 March 2023 by ChangingCity in Broadway, Gone

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