Archive for the ‘Altered’ Category

Dunsmuir Viaduct – western end

As the plans evolve to remove the only vestiges that were built of the 1960s Downtown freeway plans, the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, this image shows that even the parts we have today have evolved over time. Back in 1974 the viaducts had been completed for a couple of years, and rapid transit into the Downtown was still just a very good idea that hadn’t actually been built.

The row of warehouses on Beatty Street ended abruptly in a warehouse advertising French Maid products. We have no idea what those were, and don’t bother trying to research that on the internet! Where the new Chinatown Stadium SkyTrain station was completed in 1985 there was a vacant site, with a slip road heading north onto Beatty Street from the viaduct.

The recently completed 564 Beatty Street office building, a heritage warehouse with a four storey addition, hides the Sun Tower, but we were able to line the image up because the light fittings haven’t moved and are now over 40 years old. These days they help light up the separated bike path and the bike share station that represents the most recent addition to the corner.

All this will change again soon as the viaducts get replaced. Dunsmuir Street will see the start of a new elevated active transportation bridge (bike and pedestrian use only) that will run through and past some of the new buildings to be constructed between this location and False Creek. Some vehicular access will continue here, on a two-way street to link to Citadel Parade, but mostly this will be the Downtown connection to an elevated linear park.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-64

Posted July 6, 2017 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

Heatley and East Pender Street – se corner

The building known today as Alexander Court started life as the city’s first purpose-built synagogue. In 1907 a new Orthodox Jewish congregation appeared, named B’nai Yehudah (also known as Sons of Israel). Their first services were held in a small rented home, at 14 West Cordova, but in 1910 the ‘Sons of Israel’ purchased property at Pender and Heatley and by 1911 a Synagogue was built large enough to hold 200 worshipers. W T Whiteway was the architect, and the building was located in the centre of the plot, facing Heatley Avenue.

The congregation was renamed “Schara Tzedeck”, upon being legally incorporated on June 14th 1917, and continued raising funds to build a bigger building. In 1921 a new synagogue opened, designed by Gardiner & Mercer as a Romanesque building that resembles the mission revival style of design. The original building wasn’t replaced, rather it was moved to the back of the lot next to the lane and incorporated into the new structure which had a capacity of 600. The undated but early image (left) shows that part of the building. Our main image dates from the 1920s.

The congregation used the building until the end of 1947, when they moved to a new building in Oakridge, an area where many of the congregation had also moved to. The old building was reused – although the street directory company weren’t exactly sure by whom, as the directory entry for 1948 just says “occupied”. By 1949 it was acknowledged that it was the Vancouver Boys’ Club Association, and it became the Gibbs Boys Club, sponsored by Rufus Gibbs, owner of Gibbs Tool and Stamping Works. This sounds like a heavy industry concern, but actually its main product was fishing lures. Gibbs lived alone, occupying an entire floor of the Patricia Hotel for 42 years, although he never owned a car or a TV. Mr. Gibbs died in 1968, and by the time W A Graham shot this picture in 1977 the building was boarded up, having lost Provincial Government funding. By then the building had some significant structural issues, and it was sold in 1980, and then sat empty for six years. It was converted to condos, designed by Spaceworks, in one of the earliest examples of adaptive reuse of a heritage structure in the city. One additional historical connection is worth noting; the first meeting of SPOTA: (the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association) took place here on December 14, 1968. SPOTA were responsible for limiting the ‘slum clearance’ of the Strathcona area and its subsequent renewal.

Image sources: Vancouver Public Library, Jewish Museum and Archives of BC L-00391, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-20

Secord Hotel – 401 Powell Street

Angus Secord born 1850 in New Brunswick, and died in 1897; (he’s buried in Mountain View Cemetery). He was shown living in Vancouver in the 1891 census, but he was still living with his parents in New Brunswick in 1881. He was on the city’s 1886 voter’s list, and in the 1887 street directory where he was listed as a builder, in partnership with John Garvin, on Dupont Street. He could trace his family back to Ambrose Sicard, a Frenchman who was born in 1631, moved to England and then, in 1888 (the year he died), New York. We know Angus was a carpenter, because he was responsible for the woodwork on his hotel, which he may have designed as well.

The Vancouver Daily World described the new hotel: “On the ground floor are the dining-room, kitchen, sample-room – for this hotel is intended for a commercial as well as a family house – and smaller necessary rooms, besides a neat little store. The first floor consists of parlors for guests and bed rooms, and the third storey of private parlors, rooms en suite and single rooms. The house is specially arranged for a family boarding hotel. No liquor will be sold, and every provision will be made for a quiet, cheerful, comfortable residence. A balcony for each storey surrounds the building, to which there is a ready exit from the spacious halls within. By this arrangement, whether the guest wishes to sit in the shade or sun, he may do so at all times of the day. From the balconies the most delightful view of the surroundings may be obtained; but better still, there is an exit upon the level roof from which the scenery spreading out to view is grandly picturesque. All the smaller conveniences will be supplied, such as bath-rooms on every floor, and electric bells in each of the thirty-eight rooms for guests. The interior is being finished in cedar, stained and varnished.” Here’s the Lady’s Parlour in the newly completed hotel.

The lack of liquor continued after Mr. Secord’s death; it was listed as ‘Temperance Hotel’ on the 1912 Insurance map of the city. By 1920 it had become the Imperial Hotel, part of the expanding Japanese character of the area as it was run by Hyakutaro Honda. He was still running the hotel a decade later, but downstairs was the Imperial Beer Parlour run by R Willis. (It’s interesting to note that there was a sushi restaurant two doors along the street). By the time the Japanese were rounded up and removed from the city, Robert Willis had already taken over running the hotel, although he lived on Nelson Street with his wife Adelaide. In 1947 the hotel name changed to the Marr, with Arthur Field as the manager, although the Imperial Beer Parlour was still downstairs.

The balconies were removed many years ago, but the Marr name is retained today, and the building has just been given a new seismic and structural lease of life in a renovation by BC Housing as an SRO hotel, managed by Atira.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Hot P23.1 and Hot P85.

Posted May 15, 2017 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

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Alexander Street at Columbia

locomotive-crossing-alexander

This image from around 1930 shows Canadian Pacific locomotive 2614 headed north-east along the tracks that cut a 45 degree angle through the East End of the city. We’re familiar with pictures of tracks running down the street carrying the interurban and streetcars of the BC Electric Railway, but don’t often see the full-sized locomotives that could shut the street down for several minutes. engine-2614-drake-st-yard-1920s-bc-archivesThe engine was probably coming from the Canadian Pacific Drake Street Yards – here’s another view of the Class G2E 4-6-2 locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company in the yards (on the right). There’s another picture in the City Archives of the engine in the station below Cordova Street in the 1930s, attached to a passenger train. The locomotive was sold for scrap in 1959.

There’s a challenge in lining up the contemporary image: the right-of-way that the train ran on has been built over. We’ve seen the building in an earlier post. It’s part of the Four Sisters Housing Co-op; this part was a newbuild component and there’s an attached heritage warehouse that in part dates from 1898. In 1988 the heritage building was converted to residential use, with the new structure replacing the right-of way as a part of the Co-operative, designed by Davidson and Yuen Partners for the Downtown Eastside Residents Association.

Image source: City of Vancouver CVA Can P103 and BC Archives

Posted November 28, 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

West Georgia and Seymour – ne corner (2)

w-georgia-seymour-ne

We first looked at the Masonic Temple built at Georgia and Seymour in an earlier post (only our second on the blog – so 600 posts ago). It was designed by Dalton and Eveleigh in 1909 and was built at a cost of $45,000. Before this there were three different lodges meeting in different leased spaces. Subscribers from the membership of the three lodges; the Mount Hermon, Cascade, and Acacia Lodges, raised the funds to build the new hall, which was opened on March 15, 1910.

The picture from 1938 shows a Safeway store and J S MacLaren’s Children’s Shop. Safeway had 35 stores in the city in 1938, having absorbed the Piggly Wiggly chain in 1935. Safeway had operated here from the early 1930s, replacing the Fountain Lunch that was here in 1930. The store closed down in 1946, was empty the next year, and in 1948 became a piano store with the ticket office of the Vancouver Symphony Society; the Freemason’s still occupied the upper floors that year.

The building was redeveloped in 1971, although we’re pretty sure that the frame and elements of the structure remain. The staining on the northern, wider bay on the Seymour Street façade suggests that underneath that part of the building has a different construction. The building is part of the Bay Parkade site, and now that the owners are reaching the end of the construction of their building now known as the Trump Tower, and have completed designs for their Little Mountain housing project, we may see a development proposal for this location.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives Bu N445.2

Posted November 7, 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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190 West 2nd Avenue

190 W2nd

This 1927 warehouse and office was the second location for Wilkinson Steel. The company was founded by Frank Wilkinson in 1910 on Beach Avenue as the sole distributor for U.S. Steel in British Columbia. Frank Wilkinson was born in England, and arrived in Canada in 1891. His wife Alice was also English, but had arrived a year earlier. They must have spent quite a bit of time in Quebec as all their children, (they had at least six), were born there, the youngest in 1909. In 1911 Alice’s sister, Hilda Baker was living with the family; in 1921 they had a domestic servant.

There were two houses built on this corner in 1904; they only survived a little over 20 years. In the 1920s the neighbourhood was changing from a residential area to an industrial and commercial area, although there are still a few residential pockets even today. This image was shot in 1946, and shows a couple of houses still located on Columbia Street, behind the warehouse.

In 1958 the company moved to SW Marine Drive, where they still operate today. In 1973 the existing two storey office and production space was built; which we’re pretty certain incorporated some of the original warehouse building. It’s now home to City TV’s studios.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 586-4769

Posted August 8, 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, False Creek

Granville Street north from Helmcken

Granville & Helmcken north

Here’s another of the unidentified Archives images. Like others we’ve looked at where there’s no location or date, so we’re slething out an identification. The location is easy – the street sign has been flipped round, but even the building on the corner is the same.  It looks as if it was vacant then; today it’s one of the few remaining XXX Adult stores on Granville – or anywhere else. The building dates back to 1909. Originally the single storey retail on the corner was built with 125 foot of frontage (the 75 feet to the north were redeveloped with 3 floors in 1960). Maclure and Fox were the architects for T Godman, and the whole development cost $20,000. We’re pretty certain that the developer was Richard Temple Godman, a London businessman from a military family. He was in partnership with a Vancouver-based broker, and built a couple of other investment properties here; he also seems to have had interests in San Francisco which he visited several times, and the Godman family had built the earliest buildings in Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, and operated a cannery there.

In terms of dating the image, that’s a Mark 2 Ford Cortina (1967-1970), so we’re at the end of the 1960s or early in the 1970s. There’s no sign of the Scotiatower in the Vancouver Centre, so it’s before 1975, and the sign on the Vancouver block was removed in 1974, so it’s earlier than that. When it was removed it read ‘Birks’ – the ‘Gulf’ version was a year or two earlier, so this is probably somewhere in the first few years of the 1970s.

In the older image today’s Templeton restaurant was the Fountain Café – ‘Chinese food, fish and chips, steaks and chops’. It was Adele’s Cafe in 1934, in 1956 it was sold to Top Chef Cafe and renamed Top Tops and it became the Templeton in 1996. There a mural on the end wall by artist and activist Bruce Eriksen which dates from the late 1960’s. Leslies Grocery was Sunny Grocery – but the 7up sign was the same one. Q Carpets and Interiors had a huge sign, competing with Belmont Furniture across the street in the Glenaird Hotel – now a backbacker’s hostel. Behind it the Capitol condo tower has filled in a big chunk of sky, replacing the Capitol Theatre. Nobody in the early 1970s was listening to music, or checking their phone as they crossed the street.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 800-2102

Posted August 1, 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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