Archive for the ‘Gone’ Category

National Garage – Nelson Street

This $5,000 building was developed in 1918 by Henry Hoffmeister – who we seem to run across building garages all over Downtowen Vancouver over many years He designed, as well as developed the property. There were two houses developed here (on the corner of Nelson and Howe) in 1901, built by M A Farrell, but they lasted less than 20 years. In 1919, when G Kilgren had finished building it, P Shackleton and J Smith ran the National Garage. This 1918 image must have been taken as construction was wrapping up.

There had also been houses next door as well, on the corner of Hornby, but they had already been redeveloped into Trafalgar Mansions. The National business didn’t last very long; by 1922 the service station was operated by Dodge Brothers, (although there didn’t seem to be anybody called Dodge associated with the business, so more likely it sold Dodge Brothers vehicles, built in Hamtramck, Michigan). By 1925 it had become the Independent Garage run by G C Leach. In 1928 it was Beaver Motors run by A A H and C T Weston, and by 1931 Frost & McLaren Ltd were based here. A year later it became the Nelson Garage run by A L Evans and S K H Laughton. They lasted just a year, and the building was vacant in 1934, and a year later reopened again with H Gardner running the service station and Williams Auto Metal Works (run by E C Williams) sharing the property. We haven’t checked every year of the directories, but this business seems to have changed hands more than many others. By 1939 the Oke & Duke garage run by C C Oke was here, and remained here through the war, although A J Duke ran the business in the 1940s. Changes continued; in 1950 it was the Transport Service Garage, but Mr. Duke was still running the business, until 1952, which is the last time the building appears in the directory.

In 1982 a Hong Kong developer built Nelson Square, designed by Romses Kwan and Associates. The top 5 floors are residential; the rest of the 25 floor building is offices with retail and restaurants in a slightly sunken plaza.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-690

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Posted September 9, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Nelson Street – 1100 block, north side

Sitting across from Nelson Park, this block was first developed in the early 1900s. The apartment building, which sat roughly mid-block, was the Nelson Court Apartments. Developed by O H Bush, it was designed by Grant & Henderson and built by C F Perry at a cost of $38,000. Oakley H Bush lived in a house here before the project was constructed. Oakley Halden Bush was recorded in the 1911 census, living with his sister-in-law, Rosella Mary Bush, both of them born in Ontario. In the previous census, in 1901, he had been living with his wife, Mary, and their two sons (one also called Oakley, and his brother Herbert) in Alberta, where he was shown as a farmer. In earlier census records he was in Ontario; in 1871 aged 19, still living with his parents and eight siblings in Medonte, Simcoe. George and Mary were both born in England. Oakley Bush and his family first show up in Vancouver in 1908, and he died in 1932.

His death notice in 1932 (when he was 80) showed him (accurately) as Oakley Hallen Bush, and mentioned a daughter as well as his sons, also living in Vancouver. In 1926 he had become a shareholder in the Bush Petroleum Corporation, with his son Oakley Beaumont Bush, who was described as a mine owner. He appears to have later moved to California.

There were two houses on the lot to the west, the first built in 1904 by John Parks who had Purdy and Lonergan build the $2,400 structure. The others in this 1966 picture were all built around the same time, late in 1904 or early 1905. Those are in the ‘lost permit’ period, so we don’t know who built them, although both 1155 and 1157 Nelson (one of which was built by Mr. Parks) appeared in the 1905 directory, as did the two houses beyond them, 1161 and 1171. Robinson McMorran, a canner, lived at 1155, William Whitmayer, an engineer, at 1157, Alexander J McPherson at 1161 and Hector Mackenzie, who worked in insurance at 1171. Charles Nelson, who owned a drugstore on Granville, was in the last house on the block that dated from the turn of the century.

Today there’s a brutalist 1969 concrete rental tower on the right of the image, called Nicholson Tower. Developed by CMHC and designed by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey, it is set in extensive grounds, which are all that can be seen from this angle. Beyond it is a 1985 strata tower designed by Oberto Orberti, next to a 1975 strata designed by Lort and Lort.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-415

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Posted September 5, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Police Station – East Cordova Street (2)

If the 1913 police station on East Cordova was relatively short-lived (from being built in 1913 to demolition in 1956), its predecessor fared even worse. It was built in 1903, and was on the same spot that the 1913 building was constructed. As far as we know there was nothing actually wrong with the earlier building (seen here in 1910), but the city grew dramatically in the early 1900s and a larger building was needed very quickly.

It was designed by Dalton & Eveleigh and had cost a not insubstantial $38,000. It included the Police Court and jail, and was on the same block as the fire hall. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that it would be demolished once the decision was made to build a new facility; initially some on the City Council favoured using a Powell Street site that the City had finally obtained title to, after a long court battle. It was where the first City hall had been built, immediately after the fire. After some debate it was decided the existing location was a better choice. We’re not sure what the part of the building to the west side was – perhaps the coroner’s laboratory, but the design is surprisingly similar to the 1978 Kiss and Harrison police station that sits on the site today.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-2129

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Posted August 26, 2019 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Bute and West Pender Street – westwards

The building on the left, seen in this 1981 image, was called the Pender Building, and it was developed in 1947 as a six storey office building. When it was first built it was known as the Graphic Arts Building and it was designed by John Harvey. The building was also home to the printing presses of the Sun Newspaper, whose offices were on Beatty Street at the time.

It was replaced in the early 2000s with a 33 storey condo building, with a retail podium, called The Ritz. Before the Pender Building was built there were five houses here, developed in the early 1900s. By the 1940s the Pioneer Foundry was located here, before the office building was constructed.

The development of the tower shows the way Downtown was headed before the planners put the brakes on adding new residential buildings in the Central Business District. The success at getting more people living downtown led to an interest in developing residential buildings that in turn increased land values. That then made it difficult for developers of commercial property to compete for older buildings to redevelop. There was a serious possibility of running out of employment space in the longer term, as well as an added problem of new residents having unreasonable expectations of limited office development and economic activity close to their homes. As a result the planners instituted an extensive study, the Metro Core Jobs and Economy Study, which led to restrictions on future residential use in much of the CBD. Residential development continues outside the office core – the population Downtown is now greater than in the West End. Within the CBD, a recent surge in demand now has more new office space under construction than at any time in the city’s history.

On the right is the edge of the Evergreen Building, (today a Heritage ‘A’ office) designed by Arthur Erickson and completed in 1980. There’s a new small condo building being built in the space next to it, but in the 2000s there was an approved proposal to convert the office space to residential use. Fortunately a new developer was willing to step in, renovate the building (and designate it as a Heritage Building, so its status will remain as commercial) and obtain a bonus to transfer space elsewhere Downtown. In the background is ‘Qube’ – the former 1969 Westcoast Energy Building that was converted in 2006 to residential use, with a new glazed screen to match the original (but now with opening windows, as required by residential code).

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 772-312

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Posted August 12, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Beatty Street – 700 block

Two of the warehouse buildings seen in this 1981 image are still standing, and one has disappeared. At the far end is a 1914 building, designed by Dalton and Eveleigh for F T Cope. George Snider & Brethour built it at a cost of $75,000. In the middle is a building costing $140,000 for the National Drug Co, and also built by George Snider & Brethour a year earlier, designed by H S Griffith. Thomas Hooper was hired to make $1,500 of alterations in 1914. With replacement windows it looks much more recent, and since our 1981 image was taken it’s had a blue tile makeover.

The third warehouse was the most expensive. In 1912 a permit was issued for a building to cost $150,000. Designed by Parr, McKenzie & Day for John W Gibb it was to be occupied by The Canadian Fairbanks Company.

Cope & Sons were electrical suppliers. Frederick T Cope was company president, an Englishman (from Oxford) who emigrated to Manitoba at 19, and arrived in Vancouver in 1895 when he was 35, and established the business two years later. In 1914, when they built the new warehouse, Frank R Cope was company treasurer and Bert F Cope company secretary. In 1911 both were still at home with Fred and Marjory, their mother, who was born in Ontario, but had their own homes three years later.

The National Drug and Chemical Company of Canada started in business in 1905, initially in Montreal, then rapidly across the country through expansion and buying out other businesses. David Bole was already a successful drugstore operator from Manitoba, and established the national wholesaling and manufacturing business with six million dollars of capital. State-of-the-art factories were established for both pharmaceuticals (in Montreal) and by 1908 125 items, including cough syrup, skin cream, shampoo, and toothpaste were manufactured in Toronto. The Vancouver distribution centre was opened soon after Calgary and Regina. In 1920 National Drug reorganized its administrative structure, as business had increased by 250 per cent in the previous 10 years. The business still operated here in the 1950s, and is still in business today as Canada’s leading drug wholesaler (now part of US business McKesson).

The Canadian Fairbanks Company was created in 1905 by Henry Fuller, who bought out the Canadian interests of the US parent company, at the time the largest machinery and mill supply company in Canada. They immediately occupied a new warehouse on Water Street developed by McLennan & McFeely. They had a warehouse and machine shop in the building. Within ten years they were looking for larger premises, and moved into the Beatty Street warehouse.

The developer, John Gibb, was a broker with an office in the Rogers Building and a home in the West End. His father, David Gibb, was a retired contractor with an excellent reputation. A 1915 court case shows his son’s business scruples weren’t quite as pure. It referred back to the 1912 deal with Canadian Fairbanks to occupy the building, with lease payments of $242,000 over 10 years, (starting at $22,000 for each of the first 3 years).  The building had to be ready for 1 August 1913, and if delayed no rent was due. Walter Meuller was hired to build the warehouse for $106,000. It became clear in May 1913 that Mr. Gibb was suffering “financial embarrassment” (to quote the judge), and it also transpired that he did not own the land outright, as he had claimed, but rather held an equity stake. That meant banks wouldn’t advance him a loan to complete the building. Mr. Gibb actually needed over $200,000 to complete the building and obtain tiitle – he had a deal with Harvey Haddon to advance $106,000 on completion, but that wasn’t going to solve his problem. He was willing to sit back and seemed to think that, as the agreed rent was a bargain, he might get out of his predicament. Fairbanks weren’t willing to wait, and paid the contractors to finish the job, in October.

This was highly unusual, and as the judge noted “Failure of Gibb to satisfactorily carry on construction or to complete within the time specified did not entitle the plaintiff to enter on the premises and proceed with the work.” Trustees were appointed immediately after the 1 August date was passed, and the interest in the property was transferred to David Gibb, John’s father. A Fairbanks manager was initially a trustee, but his head office forced him to withdraw, and launched the case to try to obtain a significant sum that they had paid to complete the building. The judge didn’t agree, but imposed the $20 per day pre-agreed fine for missing the August 1st deadline, and another $800 because the building didn’t use equipment sold by Fairbanks in its construction, as the lease agreement stipulated. Fairbanks also received their costs.

Despite this rocky start, Canadian Fairbanks were still occupying the building in the 1950s. It was cleared to become the plaza in front of the BC Place stadium, constructed in the early 1980s, allowing new windows in the side of the National Drug Co building. The Terry Fox memorial, designed by Douglas Coupland, is located here. The other warehouses have been converted to office use; one is home to a private school.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E18.04

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Keefer and Main Street – se corner

This building on Main Street at Keefer had seen better days when this image was shot in 1978, and we’ve looked at it from the Keefer side in an earlier post. We identified several different businesses who operated on the corner in that post, and we’ve found several more that we note here. Our after shot was taken a couple of years ago, before HSBC Bank moved out, and Vancity Credit Union moved in, but the building there today looks exactly the same – just the signs have changed. Wayfoong House was built in 1996 and designed by W T Leung. It has four floors, with offices above retail and a double height corner atrium. When HSBC moved out Vancity took over the second floor office space and banking hall and Tim Horton’s opened around the corner on Keefer Street.

The original building, at least in part, may have dated back to the 1890s. There were stores here as early as 1889; a single storey building with a dress maker, a ‘notions’ store, and a cobbler. At the time this was Westminster Avenue, and this was the 400 block. By 1901 there was a 2 storey building here, (probably the one in our picture), and this was the 600 block, but still Westminster; it became Main Street after 1910. In 1892 Alexander Hogg had a grocery store at 600 Westminster (on the corner) and in 1895 lived at 606 Westminster (presumably upstairs). Mr. Hogg was still here in 1901, with J T Brown, a shoemaker, at 608. Alexander Hogg was aged 50 that year, and from Ontario, as were his entire family. His wife, Mary J, was 46, and William, their son, was aged 26 and still living at home, working as a CPR Official. Their daughter, Mary E, was 23, and sons Alexander, 21 (born in Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island) and Perry, 19, (born in Gordon Township, Manitoulin Island), were both working as clerks. Ida and Mabel, who were 13 and 9, were still at school. A decade earlier, in the 1891 census, Mr. Hogg was shown as aged 48, and Mary was 40, so they had managed to age less than ten years in a decade.

Mrs. Charles Burns, in conversation with Major Matthews, the city Archivist, in 1938, remembers delivering eggs from her chickens late in the afternoon to Vancouver grocers, and Mr. Hogg arranging for a man to put her groceries on the Interurban for her to be able to take them home to Grandview. Her family lived in a cleared area that today would be Kitchener Street, but at the time it had no address. “There was a water well, but no electric light, sewer, sidewalk, and the road was a trail from the Vancouver-Westminster interurban.”

In 1903 the corner unit was occupied by Quigley & Co who sold dry goods, with Mr. Brown’s shoemaking business was still next door. Harry Franklin sold stationery in the third unit. That year ‘Mr. Martin’ built $500 of alterations to the premises, designed by Dalton and Eveleigh. Robert Martin, an Ontario-born importer hired W T Dalton to design repairs to several properties, so we think he was the likely owner at the time.

In 1905 the corner store was vacant, with Frank Murphy’s stationary store at 608 (and another store selling the same goods next door to him). In 1910 J K Campbell was selling clothing from the corner store, the middle store was shared by George Snyder, a jeweler and the Western Investors Co, and the third unit was occupied by the F Humphrey of Humphrey and Stone, sewing machines, sharing their unit with Chilcot and Dorais who sold real estate. Mr. Humphrey carried out repairs to the building in 1913. Clement & Haywood carried out repairs in 1916 (which would be Clements and Heywood, a local real estate investment company part owned by Herbert Clement, an MP at the time). and Joe Grosslee a year later. In 1919 Mrs. Soda paid for more repairs. Dominick Soda (an Italian) ran a confectionery business in the corner store in 1916, with David Morris making shoes next door and Frank Spatari a tailor in 608 on the right. He shared the space with Rose King, a barber.

In 1921 G Cadona obtained a permit for further repairs, although there’s nobody with that name in the street directory. The only Cadonas in British Columbia were Louis and his wife Ada, originally from England, who were in the Cariboo. At the beginning of that year Garden Taxi (run by Pete and Paul Boury and Pete Angelo) were operating from the corner store, with A Morris selling second hand goods next door and Solomon Harris in 608 also dealing in second hand goods. By the end of the year Joseph Cilona, another Italian, confectioner, was running the corner store, and we’re guessing that’s who carried out the changes from a cab office back to a store.

By 1950 Tom’s Grocery was here, and it was still here in the early 1970s. Continuing a use that had appeared many years earlier, the A1 Western second hand store was next door, and Mrs. E Tyer sold new and used furniture next to that. In our 1978 picture Harry James Agencies sold real estate and insurance from the middle unit, with Joe Eng representing the Manufacturer’s Insurance Co in the other half of the unit. Both of the other units were closed, although it looks as if a Chinese business might have been fitting out 608.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-483

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Posted August 1, 2019 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Burrard Street – 1200 block, north side (3)

We’ve seen this block in earlier posts – one shows the street in 1914 when there were houses here. In this 1981 image this location was the home of radio station CKWX, who had hired architects Sharp, Thompson, Berwick Pratt, (with the design by Ron Thom working with artist BC Binning), in 1954. The building was completed in 1956: it won the Massey Silver Medal for architecture in 1958. It was described as a “skylit concrete bunker” The glassed-in entrance showcased wall mosaics by BC Binning, their blue-gray tile patterns symbolizing the electronic gathering and transmission of information.

The radio station had started in Nanaimo, but first broadcast in Vancouver in 1927, run from studios in the Hotel Georgia, and later moved to Seymour Street. The wavelength also moved around, but settled on 1130, the current broadcast wavelength, in 1954. In the early days in this new studios, from 1957, the station broadcast a rock & roll format, fronted by DJ Red Robinson. He left the station in 1962 after it had adopted a steady move to more mainstream ‘hit’ music. In 1973 the station switched again, this time to a country lineup; that lasted until 1996, when it changed to an all news approach – still running today at News 1130. The station moved locations, and this site was redeveloped in the late 1980s. (The station currently broadcasts from West Broadway and Ash Street).

In 1990 The Ellington, addressed to Burnaby Street, was completed – an 84 unit 20 storey condo tower. In 2013, ‘Modern’, another condo building designed by IBI/HB was completed on the 1300 block, down the street.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W18.02

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Posted July 25, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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