Archive for the ‘Gone’ Category

Gore Avenue and East Cordova Street

This 1889 Archives picture is titled “Mrs. Sullivan’s house – N.W. corner of Gore Avenue and Oppenheimer (E. Cordova) Street”. It’s not entirely accurate; the house was not actually Josephine Sullivan’s, but the newly completed home of her son, Arthur, although she did live here. In the 1891 census Arthur W Sullivan was living here, aged 31, listed as a general merchant. He had been born in BC, and his wife, Annie, was born in New Brunswick. Their infant son, also called Arthur, was obviously living with them, as was Charles, Arthur’s younger brother, Josephine, their 71-year-old mother and Lillian Wood, their domestic servant. The 1891 street directory identified both Arthur and Charles as musicians, rather than merchants. Annie and Arthur had been married in 1887. In 1895 Charles Sullivan, born in New Westminster, married Amy Lilian Wood of Wasbro, England.

Josephine was born in the US, and her late husband, Philip, in the West Indies, and they were both among the earliest black residents in the Lower Mainland. (In a 1934 interview W R Lord said neither were negro; both were ‘mulatto’, and Isaac Johns said she was part French, named Josephine Bassette). Philip and Josephine arrived in BC in 1859. Although some records suggest they came from San Francisco, her obituary shows her arriving via Panama, crossing the isthmus on mules, suggesting an eastern origin. Their son Arthur was baptized in New Westminster in 1860.

Accounts suggest the family settled on Water Street, with the first Methodist services being held in the family kitchen. Initially Philip may have been a cook in gold mining camps in the Cariboo, but by 1870 he was a steward at Moody’s Mill (on the North Shore), and Josephine apparently helped her husband to prepare the meals. Philip was also musically talented – he played the organ at the Methodist church. Josephine may have had a restaurant on Water Street in 1875, although we haven’t found any contemporary records that confirm this; similarly we can’t find anything to confirm Alan Morley’s statement that they ran the Gold Hotel on Water Street for a while, which may be connected to the fact that the Sullivan two-storey store run by Arthur was next door to the hotel. Interviews with Major Matthews suggest that the store and restaurant were separate premises, and Josephine may have run the restaurant while her husband worked on the North Shore at the mill.

Because BC joined Canada in 1871, just after the census was conducted that year, there are no records until the 1881 census when the whole family were shown living on the North Shore. Philip’s origin in the census record was altered from ‘West Indies’ to ‘Irish’, suggesting where his father (and his surname) may have come from. Philip was aged 64, his son John, also a steward, was 40, while Arthur was 21 and Charlie 17. There were at least two other children who had left home by the time that census was taken. A year later Arthur had a store in Granville, but Philip was still shown living in Moodyville.

Philip died in 1886 and by 1889 Josephine had joined Arthur, across the inlet in Vancouver, where he had established a general store when the town was still called Granville, in 1882. Charlie Sullivan was working as a clerk in his brother’s store in 1884. In 1889 the Daily World recorded that the house that the Sullivan family had occupied on Cordova Street had been moved to Water Street. The same year Sullivan’s Hall appeared on Cordova, half way between Abbott and Carrall, presumably occupying the location of the former house. Major Matthews recorded in his historical Archives notes an interview that said Philip Sullivan had cleared the land himself, and the family probably lived there before the fire, and rebuilt the house that was later moved, after the fire. It was a ‘squatted’ site on Cordova, and built around 1879. On the day of the fire Arthur Sullivan had sailed to the Mission on the north shore in his sailboat, and so escaped the blaze. At the time Josephine was staying in Joe Manion’s hotel, but escaped the flames. Sullivan’s Hall was used for musical performances, union meetings and other civic and entertainment purposes. It was briefly used as a courthouse with Judge Begbie presiding.

In 1889 Arthur was the subject of a sensational court case when he, and a Dr Langis were accused of procuring and carrying out an abortion. This was the first time in British Columbia history that the charge had been laid, and both men were found not guilty by the jury. When the trial commenced, and some of the preselected jurymen failed to show up, there was a rush to the doors by the crowd waiting to watch the trial – but enough failed to get out fast enough to avoid being immediately pressed into jury service.  A married woman, Mrs. Amanda Hogg, was the woman involved, but her testimony at trial (reported in great detail over many days and pages of the newspapers), was inconsistent and unreliable. There seems to be some doubt about whether Arthur had a dalliance with the lady in question (who he had met in the Methodist church choir), and there was confusion about whether there was an abortion or a miscarriage as a result of a fall, and the description of the dead child implied that it was unlikely to have been fathered by Arthur (identified as Negro in the 1901 census, and spoken of negatively in that connection by Mrs Hogg’s husband, James). Mrs. Hogg’s attempt to obtain $2,000 from Mr. Sullivan probably didn’t help her cause.

It appears that the case didn’t adversely impact Arthur’s standing as the town’s leading musician and ‘most popular master of ceremonies’. He and his brother and their families continued to live on East Cordova Street, and were said to own several other properties. James Hogg seems to have stayed living only a block away for at least a couple of years, but Amanda Hogg, not surprisingly, seems to have left town. Josephine Sullivan died in 1893, and in 1901, Arthur, Annie and Arthur junior lived in the same house as Charles and Amy; the house in the picture. Arthur still had his store, and Charles Sullivan apparently made his living as a musician, playing the piano and later being described as ‘just a barroom thumper’. He drowned while getting on board his rowboat at Andy Linton’s boat house at the foot of Carrall Street in 1906. His widow, Amy, moved to the West End, and that year Arthur moved to the north shore. Although he disappears from the street directory, his son, Arthur G Sullivan continued to be listed, and his father, Arthur was living in North Vancouver, a widower aged 61 when he died in 1921.

Once it was demolished, the site of his home was used as a parking lot for the adjacent court building for many years, and in 1983 was redeveloped as a remand centre with a jail block designed by Richard Henriquez. The cells were taken out of commission in 2002, and in 2011 Henriquez Partners designed the conversion of the building to non-market housing, adding windows to replace the widowless cell pods.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P73

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Posted April 19, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Hornby Street – 1000 block, west side

In our 1981 picture there was a parking lot on a raised podium on Hornby Street. Down the street London Place was nearing completion; a hybrid condo-over-office building in the red brick favoured by the City Planner of the day, designed by Anthony Debecki. The parking lot was the former playground of the Dawson School, with a site stretching from Hornby to Burrard and Helmcken to Nelson. The first building was completed as the West End School in 1893, on Burrard; it was enlarged in 1897, and became the King George Secondary School when a new Dawson elementary was built at the end of the block on Helmcken Street in 1913. The schools were demolished in 1972.

Once the School Board sold the block it was acquired by Peter Wall, who built the dark glazed Wall Centre on the site. Three architectural practices designed the almost black glazed initial towers; Hamilton, Doyle, Bruno Freschi and Chris Doray. One tower houses the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel, the other is condos, and that end of the block was completed in 1994.

At this end of the block, on Nelson, we can see the podium of the equally dark (but originally promised crystal clear) One Wall Centre, with condos over additional hotel rooms designed by Busby and Associates, and eventually completed in 2001. Once the switch to dark rather than clear glazing was revealed during construction, the City issued a stop work order. Eventually a compromise was agreed with the condos in clearer glazing, and the lower hotel floors retaining the dark glass. It was re-clad a darker shade, but slightly different from the hotel floors on the failing upper floors a few years ago. (The failure was said to be of the seals on the clear glazing, and replacement was also necessary because solar gain heated units beyond the capacity of the air conditioning to handle on very sunny days).

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W08.02

Posted April 16, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

Dawson School, Helmcken Street

There was a school located on this block from 1893. Although today we think of the West End starting at Burrard Street, and this location as part of Downtown, this was initially called the West End School. Thomas Tracy designed the first building which fronted Burrard, which opened in 1893, and G W Grant designed an addition to it in 1897. It became known as the Dawson School in 1900. (It’s visible behind the 1913 school on the left of the picture.)

Later this building on Helmcken Street was added, the Sir William Dawson School, designed by Norman Leech, (the Board of Education’s resident architect), in 1912 with a $135,000 building permit. In 1914, the Burrard Street building became the King George High School when this new Dawson elementary school building was opened. It’s the building that Jimi Hendrix asked whether it was still standing when he played the Pacic Colloseum concert in 1968. He implied he had attended the school, although there are no records that confirm it (or any other Vancouver school).

The school was named for Sir John William Dawson, a Canadian geologist and president of McGill University, and closed in 1972, (the year this image was taken), and demolished later that year. The School Board eventually decided to sell the site and today it’s one of the forbidding dark glass towers of the Wall Centre; this corner is part of the hotel use completed in 1994, other parts of the complex include condos.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-276

Posted April 12, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Dawson School, Burrard Street

This is the enlarged Dawson School on Burrard Street, seen in 1902, with its new name, five years after it was doubled in size. The right hand half of the building was the first part to be built, opening as the West End School in 1893 (the third in the city, after the East End School and Central School). On the left is a picture of construction wrapping up in 1892. The lack of symmetry of the earlier building, and the blank windows in the design suggests it was built with the expectation that it would be made larger.

Thomas Tracy designed this first building which fronted Burrard, which in 1892 was pretty much still a dirt track. Tracy was appointed City Engineer in 1891, and was also responsible for the construction of sewer and water supply systems throughout the city.  When the school needed to be enlarged a few years after initial construction, G W Grant was hired, but he used Tracy’s design as a template and added a new northern wing in an exact match of Tracy’s.

Tracy – who was always referred to by his military title as Colonel Tracy in the newspapers – was reported to have been dismissed from his job in early 1905, although he was still working for the city in August, and his dismissal was only reported in the London, Ontario press, (where he originated from), not in Vancouver. His interests extended beyond his professional duties; he owned and developed property on Hastings Street, and by the spring of 1905 he was already designing water and sewer systems for other municipalities including Fernie and Ladysmith while holding down his Vancouver job. He stood for election to the Board of Parks at the end of 1905 when he was described as Ex-City Engineer Tracy.

When a new Dawson School was added to the south of this building, facing Helmcken Street, the original building became the King George High School. At some point it lost the pointed roof on the central tower on the northern end, as seen in this undated VSB image. The school was replaced in 1963 with a new building in the heart of the West End.

Today the site is the landscaped gardens (over the underground parking) of the Wall Centre hotel and condos, with two towers completed in 1994 and the taller tower to the north in 2001.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Sch P29 and CVA SGN 48

Posted April 9, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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1301 Granville Street

Where the Best Western Hotel now stands, in around 1921 there was yet another motoring related business. Rand and Carter sold Goodyear Tires, and for a very short time the Maple Leaf Motor Truck. It appeared – and disappeared – here in the early 1920s, although it was announced that the company had been acquired in December 1920 for $20,000. The odd thing is that the truck company claimed to be based in Montreal, but the only place that there’s any mention of the company is in Vancouver newspapers, and BC Government notification of the registration of the business in 1921. There’s one advertisement for the truck in ‘Canada Industrial’ magazine, also in 1921, which confirms the Montreal location.

A Windsor blacksmith, Moise L Menard produced a series of trucks in the 1910s in his wagon works from one-ton to three-and-a-half ton models. in 1916 Menard built an aerial ladder fire truck for the Walkerville fire department. He sold out to the Maple Leaf Manufacturing Co. of Montreal in 1920. ‘Canadian Machinery’ explained the story “The Maple Leaf Manufacturing Co., Ltd., has recently been incorporated to carry on the manufacture of commercial motor trucks. The personnel of the directorate is identical with that of the Machinery and Munitions, Ltd., which for four years carried on extensive operations in the making of munitions, at plants in Lachine and Sorel. The former plant has been taken over by the new company, and the Windsor plant and general interests of the Menard Motor Truck Co., which has been engaged in motor truck manufacture since 1908, has also been acquired. The Maple Leaf Company will manufacture standard motor trucks and all truck parts, for both domestic and export trade. It is expected that a big business will be built up with the group of countries with which Canada enjoys favored agreements.” The company seems to have disappeared as a truck builder fairly quickly; in 1923 they were still listed on Granville Street along with Rand Tires, and Reo Motors Ltd had been added to the mix; a year layer maple Leaf Trucks were no longer offered here.

The building was newly built. In 1919 Howard & Davis of the Rand Tire Co had hired architect and builder Bedford Davidson to build the $10,000 building – apparently (from the street directory) the first to be constructed on the lot, although the building permit references ‘repairs’. By 1930 Bowell-McDonald Motors were in the building, and five year later the building seems to have disappeared, with nothing shown on this corner at all. That’s not quite accurate: the address moves down the block  (from 1301 to 1313 Granville), and the building was completely repurposed, initially as the Trianon Balllroom, later the Howden Ballroom. The ballroom use lasted through to 1994, the year that Green Day, Beck and GWAR played the hall (on separate bills, obviously). In 1997 the new Best Western Hotel was completed, designed by Gomberoff Policier Bell, and incorporating an Elk’s Lodge when it first opened.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Trans N18

 

Posted March 29, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Howe Street – 500 block, east side

On the left side, on the corner with West Pender is Pender Place, relatively newly built when this 1981 image was shot. Completed in 1973, it’s a pair of identical towers designed by Underwood, McKinley, Wilson & Smith. We’ve seen the other tower (on the corner of West Pender and Granville Street) in earlier posts, including when it was the location of the main post office, and in the 1930s.

The previous building on the corner of Howe Street was only two storeys high. Beside it, across the lane at 540 Howe Street was another modest building, replaced in 1953 by a new office building for Canada Trust designed by McCarter and Nairne. In 1964 the Stock Exchange acquired the building, and after alterations to create a trading floor, moved in, although not for very long. It was redeveloped as part of the northern part of Pacific Centre Mall, completed in 1990. The new building, including a parkade entrance, is actually shorter on this part of the block than its predecessor.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives  CVA 779-W01.29

West Pender and Howe Street – se corner

This modest two storey structure appeared in 1909. It was ‘designed’ by Charles Perry, a builder who wasn’t registered as an architect, but who advertised his ability to supply plans for construction projects. It cost $4,600, and may have incorporated an earlier 1901 warehouse built on the corner for the Thompson Brothers in 1901. That was designed by W T Dalton on the first 25 feet of West Pender. We think Mr. Perry might have added and incorporated the next fifty feet of frontage copying Dalton’s style.

The owner was E McGinnis. We’re not sure who he was; there wasn’t anybody called McGinnis in the city whose initial was ‘E’, and hadn’t been for several years. There was a ‘Mr. McGinnis’ who had developed property on Davie Street in 1903, and there were no obvious McGinnises who might have had the resources to do that living in the city, so if the initial is correct he’s most likely to have been an absentee investor. Emery McGinnis was a Whatcom businessman in the 1890s and 1900s, but there’s nothing to positively identify him with this building, or any other investment in the city.

The Thompson Brothers also designed and built the next building up Pender Street in 1901 – with the slightly higher cornice line in this 1945 Vancouver Public Library image. The next building to the east was also from 1901; C E Turner hired Blackmore and Sons to design the $6,000 two-storey commercial building. The rest of the block was a more substantial investment by E Lewis in 1902, who spent $20,000 on another W T Dalton designed store that incorporated five lots. We’ve researched Edward Lewis and his shaky past in Montreal in an earlier post.

The tenant in the first storefront on Howe in 1910 was Haskins and Eliot, who sold cycles. We’ve seen their store in two other locations in earlier posts, but they stayed here over a decade. On the West Pender frontage Andrew Papandrew, a confectioner had his store. In 1920 it was still in the same use as the Academy Candy Store, run by George Assemas and George Polidas. In 1930 the Minute Lunch was located here, and the cycle shop remained on Howe, but now as Harry Routledge Co Ltd. The upper floor appears to have residential use by the 1930s.

Pender Place, the development that fills the entire site today, is a pair of office towers completed in 1973 designed by Underwood, McKinley, Wilson & Smith.

Posted March 15, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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