Author Archive

1201 Pendrell Street

Here’s a house in 1956, the year before it was redeveloped. The building that replaced it is an 80 unit rental building designed by Peter Kaffka, called Barracca Court when it was built in 1957. The house it replaced dated back to 1903, although it had a significant rebuild in 1912. The owner then was cannery owner A J Buttimer, who spent $3,000 on repairs and alterations, (more than many houses cost to build in that era).

Initially it was owned by Duncan Rowan, also a salmon canner, who hired Parr and Fee to build the house, which cost $9,000 to construct. Duncan owned the Terra Nova Canning Company with his brother, Jack. They had both previously worked for J H Todd and Son’s Richmond and Beaver canneries. Duncan Rowan became district manager when the British Columbia Packers Association was formed. In 1901 the Rowan family were still living in Richmond (nearer the cannery interests). Duncan was 41, and his wife, Mary, five years younger. They were both born on Ontario. There were no children at home, but they did have a domestic, Sarah Rowan, and a lodger, Thomas Robinson.

Alfred Buttimer, who moved into the house around 1911, was a partner with George Dawson in Brunswick Canneries. (There was initially a third partner as well; George Wilson). All three men came originally from New Brunswick. George Dawson was Alfred’s brother-in-law, and another of Alfred’s sisters, Annie, also joined him in Vancouver.

Alfred Buttimer arrived in Vancouver around 1890, and was married in 1904 in San Francisco to an Ontario-born divorcee called Margaret Cunningham. They had a son two years later, who died as a baby, and they seem to have had no more children. He continued to be involved in the fishing industry until he sold his interest to B C Packers in 1925, concentrating on his real estate interests until his death in 1934. Alfred and Margaret continued to live in the house until then, when William and Alice Francis moved in. They stayed in the house, but by 1940 it was listed under their name as ‘rooms’, a role it retained until it was demolished. In 1950 John Bota, a labourer for the city was running the rooms, and in 1956 it was known as The Pillars, split into 7 apartments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu P508.82

Advertisements

Posted January 18, 2018 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

Tagged with , ,

569 Hamilton Street

Older than it’s neighbour to the north, the building on the left was first shown in 1910 as ‘rooming house’ and in 1911 was named as the Hamilton Rooms, with Albert L Allen running the building. He arrived in Vancouver in 1911, and apparently missed the census (or was missed by it). The building looks like it was it was approved during the ‘lost records’ period, in 1908, so we don’t know neither architect, but thanks to Patrick Gunn’s sleuthing we have the likely developers: J J Grey and L Barry – from the Daily World “A permit was taken out this morning for a $16,000 three-storey brick and stone building, to be erected at the corner of Hamilton and Dunsmuir streets. The building, which is to be 50-ft x 120-ft, is to be fitted on the ground floor for stores, while the two upper flats will be laid out for an apartment house.” In 1910 Lawrence Barry was living two blocks from here at 719 Hamilton, and John J Gray, a real estate agent on West 6th Avenue.

In 1913 John E McIntyre was in charge, and in 1914 it had become the Hamilton Hotel, run by Mrs Mary Nash, and S Howe a year later. From 1916 to 1918 the building was vacant, reopening as the Marshall Rooms, run by James Marshall. After the constant turnover of proprietors, Mr. Marshall brought stability to the building’s management, continuing to manage the rooms until the 1930s. Very little seems to have occurred in the hotel. The only instance we found was in 1918 when it was reported that “Mrs. M. J. McDougall, Marshall Rooms, Hamilton Street, was the loser of a quantity of Jewelery, value unstated, which was stolen during the night by someone w ho obtained possession of a passkey to her room.”

During the war Mrs K Sabotka was running the hotel – in 1935 she had been running the Cadillac Hotel (now the Del Mar) next door. In the late 1940s S R Vassey & R M Rose ran the Marshall Hotel, a name it retained until it closed in the mid 1980s soon after this image was shot. In the early 1990s BC Hydro had managed to acquire enough land to build their new headquarters office; a vaguely post-modern tower intended to show a stream running from a mountain peak in its design. Completed in 1992, it was designed by Musson Cattell Mackey. This part of the site became a landscaped open space with an oddly located clocktower.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-1847

Posted January 15, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

Tagged with ,

553 Hamilton Street

The Del Mar Inn started life as the Cadillac Hotel. Built in 1912 for A E Hansen, according to the permit, it was designed by W P White and built at a cost of $33,000 by Frantz Construction. We haven’t successfully identified the developer’s identity; The only potential developer with a name that matched the permit living in the city at the time was Alfred E Hanson, who was listed as a contractor, and it seemed unlikely that he could fund a $33,000 development. (There was an A E Hansen in Seattle, and as the architect also came from that city, it was possible he was an absentee investor).

The Daily Building Record said Mr. Hanson lived at 1236 East 12th Avenue; Albert E Hanson lived on East 12th, but at 1033. The address of 1236 wasn’t recorded in the street directory. Adding to the confusion, the 1911 census recorded Mr. Hanson as Albert A Hanson, aged 50, retired and born in the USA. He was shown as arriving in Canada in 1909, although that seems inaccurate as his three children living at home, aged 19, 18 and 14, were all born in BC. His wife, Mary was from Ontario. The 1901 census said Albert Hanson was in Vancouver in 1901 as a hotel keeper, with wife Mary and five children at home. He was American, aged 44, and had arrived in Canada in the 1880s. Albert Hansen was shown in the 1901 street directory running a boarding house at 852 Powell Street. In 1891 they were living in Yale, with the CPR employees, where he was aged 34 and described as a retired foreman, presumably of a railway construction crew. Mary was shown born in Quebec in that census.

In 1913, when the hotel opened, it was run by William Jureit. He had been lodging on West Hastings in 1911 with his wife and three children, and was a builder who had just arrived in Canada from Germany in that same year. In 1915 Mrs Helen Mulholland had taken over running the building, which was partly a rooming house rather than a hotel, with a bookkeeper and a warehouseman among the tenants, and a real estate company occupying the main floor space.

In 1920 there were different proprietors, Mrs E Montgomery and Mrs J Carmichael, who also both lived in the property. By 1925 the name had changed to the Cadillac Rooms, run by Mrs E Fletcher, but by 1930 it had reverted to the Cadillac Hotel run by Mrs Jennie Cook. In 1935 Mrs K Sobotka was in charge, and in 1940 Joseph Fay. By 1945 it had become known as the Coast Hotel, run by S B Farmer, and by 1955 the name was changed again to the Del Mar Hotel, run by Joseph Lasky.

In 1975 the Hotel was bought by George Riste, born in Alberta during the 1930s, but who moved to Vancouver in 1960 after working in the pulp mill in Port Alberni. He leased a number of hotels over the years, the Bon Accord, the Hornby, the Senator, and then the Del Mar. Then he bought the Del Mar, and ran it as both rooming house and hotel. It was popular with passengers from the nearby bus depot, often recommended by Greyhound drivers. In the early 1980s BC Hydro started acquiring property on the block, assembling most of the land – except the Del Mar. Mr Riste, who by the mid 1970s managed the building as a 30 room SRO hotel, wasn’t interested in selling, at any price. After years of offers, BC Hyrdo gave up and built around him. A small, hand-painted sign was placed over the entrance. It reads: “This property is not for sale and it has not been sold. Thank you. The Owner.”

In 1990, Mr. Riste collaborated with the artist Kathryn Walter with whom he wrote the slogan: “Unlimited growth increases the divide”. A typographic artwork, with seven inch-tall copper letters, was installed as a frieze on the building’s façade. Art galleries have occupied the main floor for many years, including by the mid-1960s, the Bau-Xi gallery, and today the Or Gallery; our image shows it in 1977. George continued to actively manage the property until 2007, and died three years later just short of his 90th birthday. His family continue to own and manage the property as exemplary privately owned low-income housing.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 810-44

Posted January 11, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

500 Burrard Street

This 1950s modestly sized west coast modernist building stood on the southeast corner of Burrard and West Pender. It was designed by McCarter and Nairne and named for its tenant, the National Trust (a Montreal based bank). It first appears in the street directory in 1955; before that Johnson’s Motors were located here. Originally there was a 1907 residential building on the corner of West Pender called The Glenwood Rooms, probably designed by Honeyman and Curtis for Mrs E Charleson, which we noted in an earlier post.

This building lasted just under 30 years; today it’s the plaza in front of an office building occupied by Manulife, completed in 1985, designed by Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership. The National Trust still exists, and occupies offices on the block to the south, but it is now part of Scotiabank.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-17

Posted January 8, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

Tagged with ,

300 Burrard Street

This relatively modest building sat across from the magnificent Marine Building, and was completed a few years earlier. Today’s building is numbered as 999 West Hastings, and while this is the Burrard Street façade, the Seaboard Building (as it was later known) also took a Hastings address, as 991. Home to the Canadian Australasian Royal Mail Line offices, it was designed by Townley & Matheson. When it was built in 1926, the windows looking north (on the left of the picture) looked out over Burrard Inlet, although today there are large newer buildings obscuring that view. Several other companies occupied offices here, including another shipping line.

Initially it was named after its developer, and main tenants, and so was the Bell-Irving Building. Once it was built it appears that all of Henry-Bell Irving’s interests were run from here, including BC Packers and the Insurance Agency, founded in 1906 and  spun off as a subsidiary private company in 1920 as Bell-Irving, Creery & Co. Ltd. In 1930 the company name was changed to Bell-Irving Insurance Agencies Ltd. Bell-Irving Insurance was a provider of property and maritime insurance; its principal clients were other companies in the Bell-Irving commercial sphere, including Anglo-British Columbia Packing Co. The company was also involved in real estate development and speculation. In 1972, Bell-Irving Insurance Agencies Ltd. merged with A.E. Lepage.

We documented Henry Bell-Irvings history in an earlier post about another Bell-Irving Building. A Scottish railway-building engineer and briefly an architect, Henry Ogle Bell-Irving established a real estate, finance and resource empire, launching his own salmon canning business in 1889 and still its president at the time of his death in 1931.

Originally there was a house on this site, home to William Murray, manager of the Bank of British Columbia in the 1890s. Today there’s Axa Place, built as the Daon Building. It’s an angled tower of gold glazing and brick. The building was the result of intense discussions between the architects, Musson Cattell Mackey, and the City. The final result met the City’s goal of opening up the street end view to the north (though somewhat obscured today by the large trees in the plaza out front) and providing a design scaled to respect the Vancouver Club, its immediate neighbour to the east, and reflect/refract views of the Marine Building across the street.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-14

Posted January 4, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

Tagged with ,

440 Burrard Street

When this image was shot in 1974 there was still a lane to the north (on the left of the picture), and across it was a 2-storey office building. On this other southern half of the 400 block of Burrard was this five storey office building was completed in 1949. Although it faced Burrard, it was addressed to West Pender as 999.

Up to 1947 there was a Shell service station on the corner, and before that an open air Chevrolet sale lot. Charles Bentall’s Dominion Construction acquired the site and completed the building in only 22 weeks. It was the first to be named as the Bentall Building, and had a CIBC Bank on the main floor and the Canadian Australasian Line offices on Burrard. Designed in a contemporary style with five floors of offices it was soon occupied by a series of Insurance companies  including Northwestern Mutual Fire Assurance, Travelers Insurance and Eagle Star, as well as the headquarters of Canadian Forest Products. Northwestern Mutual had prompted the development; based in Seattle, they were looking to expand north, and no new office space had been built in the city since the war had ended.

Charles Bentall, an engineer by qualification, had lost a court case in 1938 prompted by the AIBC, (the local Architects Institute), to prevent him from designing and signing off his own buildings, because he wasn’t a qualified architect. That means another designer should have been associated with the new structure. However, until the 1950s (when architect Frank Musson worked for Dominion) the company continued to design many of their own projects, with Claude Logan, a draughtsman, (and noted jazz pianist) credited with the design of several projects.

In 1984 Commerce Place, a silver reflective office complex designed by Waisman Dewar Grout Carter was completed to replace the 1949 building. Developed by Bentall, it houses offices for the CIBC Bank that have been on the same spot (with a short break for construction) for nearly 70 years.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-16

Posted January 1, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

Tagged with

535 Smithe Street

Here’s a former parkade that unusually still exits (sort 0f). In 2010 a new residential building, Dolce at Symphony Place, was completed, replacing the 1958 half of the Orpheum Parkade fronting the 800 block of Richards Street. However, the four floors above grade are still a parkade with 120 spaces, allowing patrons of the Orpheum Theatre to avoid heading underground. The structure is linked to another parkade under Dolce’s sister tower, Vita, both designed by Merrick Architecture. The western half parkade was originally completed in 1957.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E06.12

Posted December 31, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone