Archive for the ‘Gone’ Category

Dunsmuir and Howe – ne corner

This is the Hambro Building which dates from the 1920s. In 1930, when this image was shot, A H Stephenson & Co occupied the corner unit. Before 1927, when they moved in, the Reliance Financial Corporation were here in 1926, managed by R R Knight, and a year earlier Carter’s Oriental Trading Co, managed by Miss M U Alexander, and a year earlier Radio Specialties Ltd, who seem to have been the first tenants in the new building in 1923.

Although the Hambro name is generally associated with the merchant bank founded in London by the Danish Hambo family, but we haven’t been able to confirm any specific connection. Instead, Patrick Gunn tracked down the building permit to Pemberton and Sons, hiring architects Downing and Kayll and builders Hodgson, King & Marble in 1922 for this $29,000 investment. The Hambo name was only associated with the building for the first two years until 1925. Pemberton & Son (or inaccurately, Sons) were a Victoria-based real estate and insurance brokerage, founded in 1887. The Insurance part of the business moved to Vancouver in 1910, based in the Pacific Building just north of here at Howe and West Hastings, developed by W A Bauer and later known as the Pemberton Building. As the Howe and Dunsmuir building was only single storey, we assume it was purely an investment by the Pemberton’s, who also operated the Pemberton Trading Co and significant financial operations in the 1920s

By 1935 A H Stephenson were still in the building. In 1927 they were real estate agents, as they were in 1935, (although they were also insurance agents by then) E J Gibson had also moved into the building. They were stock and bond brokers, managed in 1935 by Glenn S Francis. The company seems to have been established by a Spokane ‘mining man’, and the company appears to have been involved in mining stocks. Quite what the audience were tracking on the huge blackboard in this Stuart Thompson image seemed a little puzzling, but a 1936 newspaper report from Spokane suggests an eager Vancouver audience: “To aid in the relief of business in the E J Gibson office at Vancouver B C swamped by the volume of trading, Miss R E Nolting, cashier of the Spokane office, flew by the Northwest Airlines and connections yesterday morning. She reported by telephone the office there filled and besieged by a crowd that was massed back in the street. The boom, but a few days old, was touched off by the reportedly sensational strike in Minto Gold. It extended to other issues”. Minto Gold Mines Ltd. mined the Minto Property in the Bralorne region of BC for gold, copper and lead between 1934 and 1940. Historic production was reported as 17,558 ounces of gold, 21,327 lbs. of copper and 124,421 lbs. of lead. E J Gibson also had an office in Butte, Montana, another mining centre.

Today this is the northern part of the Pacific Centre Mall, completed in 1990 with an 18 storey office tower designed by Zeidler Roberts Partnership.

Images sources: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N510 and CVA 99-4719

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Posted August 7, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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752 Thurlow Street (3)

Our previous posts looked at the Women’s Building on Thurlow Street that became Oil Can Harry’s club in the 1960s. Before that building, there was a house here, built around 1894, and seen here in an image at the Vancouver Public Library dating from around 1900.

William and Mary Henderson Garden arrived in Vancouver from Helensburgh, Scotland, via Liverpool and a cross Canada train trip in April 1889. William opened up Garden and Sons Wholesale Tea and Coffee on East Hastings and Carrall. The Ceylon Tea Co (who also sold coffee), run by Charles Gordon was on the same block of Carrall Street (also listed as the Albion Tea Co).

The Garden family, (William and Mary and their two sons William and John) lived on Richards Street, but moved by 1895 into this new house at the corner of Thurlow and Alberni Street. Eve Lazarus has more about the family on her blog, including a wonderful family picture of William and Mary riding around Stanley Park on tricycles. William Garden died in 1897, but in 1901 his widow was still living here, along with John, manager of the Hamilton Tea Co, and William a clerk with the Hudson’s Bay Company. Two years later John was a salesman with William Ralph, and a year after that William and his mother had moved to Broughton Street and his brother John had apparently briefly left the city. In 1905 Jack Garden was living with his mother on Broughton, and William had his own house, initially on 7th Avenue, and by 1911 in North Vancouver where he lived with his wife Harriet and sons Hugh and Jack, aged four and two. Like many in the area, William now worked in real estate. Mary and her son Jack had moved to Haro Street; Jack was now bookkeeper with the Terminal Lumber and Shingle Co.

After the Garden’s moved out it was home to William Lamont Tate, who by the time he moved here was described as a retired sawmill and lumber baron, having sold his mill to the Rat Portage Lumber Co in 1903. During the mid 1890s he lived in Fairview, where his sawmill also operated, run with three sons. Like the Garden’s, Mr. Tait was a Scot, born in Dumfrieshire in 1847. He went to school in New York, and arrived in Canada in 1863. He operated mills in Gravenhurst and Orillia, Ontario, before moving to Vancouver in 1891.

Early memories of the mill were of a shingle mill – Major Matthews recorded that “Tait’s Mill (was) a small sawmill on the shore exactly where the bridge reached Third Avenue, and a few feet to the west of it; the mill was in operation in 1888 at the time the first bridge was built.” If the date is accurate, Mr. Tait acquired a mill that was already in operation. The bridge was on Centre Street (which was Granville Street), but on the south shore of False Creek. When he first started, Mr. Tait’s equipment was modest: W H Gallagher recalled “Tait’s little portable mill? He didn’t build it; he just set it on the ground; he was head sawer, tail sawer, and everything else. When the saw took a cut you had to wait two or three minutes for the boiler to get up steam before it would take another cut.”

Mr. Tait hired Parr and Fee to design two investment properties, The Manhattan (across the lane from this house) and The Orillia, further east on Robson Street. His other major investment, also designed by Parr and Fee, was his home, Glen Brae, an enormous house in Shaughnessy completed in 1910 at a cost of $100,000. (Today it’s the Canuck Place children’s hospice).

When the Women’s Building was built to replace this house, it appears that the house was moved rather than demolished. There’s a 1956 image in the City Archives of the back of the house, looking somewhat the worse for wear, but still standing.

As we noted earlier, today there are up-market retail stores in the Carlyle, a residential condo building completed in 1988 and given a significant retail renovation in the past year.

Posted August 3, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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752 Thurlow Street (2)

Our previous post looked at this building in the 1970s when it was Oil Can Harry’s club. Long before the club use the building started life in 1926 as the Vancouver Women’s Building, designed by A A Cox. Here it is in 1927, soon after it was completed. There was a house here before this building was completed in 1927; it was bought in 1911 by delegates from twelve Women’s organisations who had raised funds by subscription. Judge Helen MacGill, an outspoken advocate for women and children’s legal rights was one of the founders, and remained active in welfare reform and women’s rights issues throughout her life. The house became a resource centre for women’s groups, with office space and meeting rooms, and a 10c a day childcare centre for working mothers, Canada’s first such public institution.

By 1913 21 organisations with 5,000 members were shareholders, and membership continued to grow. The crèche had moved in 1917 to Cambie Street, and by 1924 funds had been raised to allow the design of a new building, although the original house wasn’t demolished, but moved to the back of the lot. The new building had shareholders from 80 organizations and 500 individuals; it was smaller than had originally been hoped, but the war and economic downturn reduced the scale of the building. As with many businesses and groups, the recession of the early 1930s hit funds hard, and by 1933 the shareholders were finding it difficult to repay the remaining debt associated with the building. By 1940 it was impossible to retain the premises, and in 1941 it was taken over by the Salvation Army. By 1950 it was vacant, and in 1955 Pedersen’s Catering operated from the building. In 1966 Oil Can Harry’s club opened, lasting in various versions until 1977. The Carlyle, a residential and retail tower replaced the 1926 premises in 1988.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N292

Posted July 31, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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752 Thurlow Street (1)

This Downtown location has seen a dramatic transformation in the past few years as it has become an extension of the luxury shopping area that has expanded from Alberni Street. Today’s retail stores include Saint Laurent of Paris and Moncler, a clothing brand founded in France but now based in Milan. The stores are newly redesigned and refitted for their brands, but the building they’re in has been around for nearly 30 years: The Carlyle was designed by Aitken Smith Carter and completed in 1988. There are nearly 150 residential units here: they were initially rented, but were sold as strata units from 1989 onwards. Until the recent transformation there was a 7-11 on the corner of the building, and these units were part of The Keg steakhouse and bar.

The building here before the Carlyle was more modest; a three storey building that in this 1974 image was home to Oil Can Harry’s club. The club opened in 1966, and towards the mid 1970s there were effectively three clubs in one. On the main floor was a lounge usually featuring a singer with a rhythm section. Beyond that was the largest room of the club which usually had R&B bands and the occasional jazz group and upstairs was a jazz club.

The club was owned by Danny Baceda, who later also owned Issy’s and The Cave (before his company ended up in receivership in 1972), but his cousin, Frank Hook effectively ran the club. Despite seeing bookings for legendary performers including Ike and Tina Turner and Charles Mingus, disco eventually killed that version of the club. New management ran the club into the early 1980s as a disco club, complete with a pool and bridge in the middle of the room (where the dance floor might have made more sense).

The origins of the building are quite different from a nightclub. On 12 April 1911, women’s organizations banded together and formed Vancouver Women’s Building Ltd. The following year they purchased a lot at 752 Thurlow Street and spent years fundraising to erect their own building for meeting, office, and daycare space. The Vancouver Women’s Building, designed by A A Cox, opened in 1926. We’ll look at the history of that period in another post.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-433

159 East Hastings Street

Our previous post looked at the Dawson Building (for the second time) on the corner of Main and Hastings. It’s a substantial office (now residential) building, completed in 1911. As it is located close to where the city was founded, it wasn’t the first building here. Our 1898 image shows the building that was there before the office. The numbers associated with the buildings on East Hastings have changed, (so today 159 E Hastings is the Balmoral Hotel, several buildings to the west of here), but as far as we can tell this was a fairly new building when it was photographed.

At that time this was the home of the Scotch Bakery, who perhaps surprisingly, according to the delivery wagon, used Ogilvie’s Hungarian Flour. It turns out that this isn’t a reference to where the flour came from. Rather, the Ogilvie Flour Mill, built in 1881 in Winnipeg (the first flour mill in western Canada) was fitted with the latest equipment, using the “Hungarian process” that combined stone and gradual reduction rollers to grind grain into previously unattainable fine flours. For just one year, 1899, James S Morrison was the baker and confectioner running the Scotch Bakery here. A year later the same James S Morrison was a driver for Dominion Express, and seems to have left the city by the end of 1901.

As he wasn’t a resident in the city (as far as we can be sure) for any of the census dates, we don’t know anything about Mr. Morrison, although it would be nice to think he might have been from Scotland. A bakery continued to be located here once he had gone, but it changed frequently. Wilkinson, Gardiner & Co had their bakery here in 1901. Trudgeon & Poulson’s shoemakers were located next door. A year later Adams & Farrant, bakers had moved in, and in 1905 the City Bakery, run by Adulf Mahrstedt was here. H Jago took over a year later, and in 1980 J P Morgan was running the bakery. In 1909 and 1910 the bakery became the Silver Medal Bakery, run by H C Lucas. (There was no Gold Medal Bakery in the city that year). The bakery here closed when George Dawson developed his office building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str P4

Posted July 24, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

300 block Main Street – east side

This 1951 image shows a series of buildings soon to come to the end of their existence. In 1953 Townley and Matheson’s Public Safety Building was completed where the earlier structures had stood. While the adjacent addition of the Public Safety Building was completed a year later, and was supposedly designed by Dawson and Hall (if you believe the Heritage Statement for the building), there’s an architects illustration in the Archives that suggests it was all designed as a single project and was all the work of Townley and Matheson; Dawson & Hall were a construction company, so that was presumably who built it.

The buildings that were replaced were built over a number of years. The 2-storey corner building pre-dated 1900, and we haven’t identified the developer. The largest building on the block was once the location of the Hotel Blackburn, then the Blackburn House Hotel and was later converted and renamed as the Lanning Apartments. Next door was a more ornate building, completed as the Star Theatre in 1921.

Albert E Blackburn had operated a hotel here from 1900. Before that he ran the Russ House on Powell Street. He was from an Irish protestant family, and born in Ontario (in 1854), where his wife, Aggie (who was three years younger) was also born. The couple almost needed a hotel just for their family; in 1901 there were 9 children at home, 6 girls and 3 boys, aged 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, and 19 years. The family had moved around quite a bit; the oldest children (still at home) were born in the United States, then the next in Ontario, then in British Columbia, three in the US again (in Seattle), and the youngest in British Columbia.

In 1908 the Blackburn Hotel reopened, ‘entirely rebuilt and refurbished’ with steam heat piped to the ‘commodious rooms’. We haven’t traced a permit for the architect of the new hotel, but the rebuild cost $16,000 and the owners then were shows as ‘Boyd & Clendenning’ although we believe they were just the contractors at this point, not the owners. Patrick Gunn pinned down when the rebuild occurred: in July 1907 the Daily World reported “Mr. A.E. Blackburn’s request to be allowed to put up a corrugated iron building for temporary use while the Blackburn hotel is being remodeled could not be complied with as it would be a breach of the building bylaws.” In 1909 rooms on the European Plan could cost as little as 75c a night. A 1913 advertisement, when Mr. Blackburn was still in charge, noted the hotel’s convenient location for Orangemen – the Orange Headquarters were only a block away.

In 1914 Albert was appointed the Province as an Election Commissioner, and had given up his ownership of his hotel, selling it to what the Daily World referenced as ‘Boyd and Clendenning’. In fact, the new owners were Boyd & Clandening; Thomas Boyd, originally from Nova Scotia, and James Clandening from Ontario. The partnership had cleared much of the city, working on contract for both the railway company and the City Council. They cleared Granville street in 1886, worked on the Stanley Park road in 1888 and also on bridges, including the Westminster Avenue bridge. They also helped construct the BC Electric line to Cloverdale and in 1908 the Seymour Creek waterworks.

Invariably Mr. Clandening’s name was wrongly reported; in newspapers, in contracts, in the minutes of the City Council, and in the street directories. The Census however reported the correct spelling in 1901, identifying James, aged 62 with Eliza, his wife who was 17 years younger, and their children Nellie, Norma and Gordon. As early as 1898 (when the street directory managed to spell his name correctly) Mr. Clandening had owned part of the site, basing his contracting business here. At that time there was a grocer’s shop on the corner of Cordova and Westminster Avenue (Main Street) and Gordon Drysdale had his ‘People’s Store’ alongside. In 1903 Drysdale moved his business to Hastings Street and later to new premises that he built on Granville Street. Mr Clandening had first come to British Columbia during the Cassiar gold rush of 1873, but returned west before working on Vancouver Island helping build the E & N Railway in 1884 (when he had a crew of 60 working for him).

Thomas Boyd arrived in BC in 1883, in New Westminster, and helped build the Crow’s Nest Pass for the railway, and before that the Eagle Pass wagon road to help railway construction. He married in 1893, and had two daughters, one who died as a baby. Thomas had another simultaneous partnership, as Boyd and McWhinnie, and they had hired the same architects to build another substantial hotel quite close to here in 1911. He owned that property with Mr. McWhinnie as early as 1886.

In 1914 the partners hired Honeyman and Curtis to totally rebuild the site of the Blackburn Hotel, spending $75,000 and hiring J J Franz to construct the building described as ‘apartments, rooms, 4-storey concrete hotel’. However, it doesn’t look like they followed through, as out 1951 image shows the 1908 brick building still standing. They retained the Balckburn name, and Albert Blackburn was still shown as proprietor in 1916, although Harry Todd was managing the property. In 1918 they spent another $4,500 converting it to apartments, again hiring Honeyman and Curtis for the design work. Initially called the McDonald Apartments, it very quickly switched to the Lanning Apartments, a name it retained until demolition in the early 1950s.

In 1921 they hired the same architects to build on the plot to the south. This time the spent $20,000 to build “Miscellaneous; New; Picture Theatre; 49-ft frontage, 120-ft long; brick & tile with tar & gravel roof; provision made for two small stores on either side of theatre entrance; seating capacity of 450”.

The theatre was run by Mrs Annie Graham, who had been running the Star Theatre on the opposite side of the street since the mid 1910s. Before that it was run by Wilson and Allen, but Mrs. Graham made it a success and wanted to both expand and improve the theatre. When the owners were unwilling to invest, she presumably persuaded Boyd and Clandening to construct a new movie theatre, which continued in use until the 1953 redevelopment. Although her ambitions were for a 600 seat theatre, the new Star had 449 seats. The previous theatre space never reopened as a movie theatre.

Albert Blackburn died of a heart attack in Seattle in 1921, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. James Clandening died in 1927, aged around 90, and was also buried in Mountain View. Thomas Boyd died in 1938, aged 81, and was interred in the same cemetery.

Today the former police building is getting a complete makeover as an incubator for tech startup companies.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1399-100.jpg

Robson and Thurlow – north side

The building on the corner of Robson and Thurlow today is Joe Fortes restaurant, with a roof-top patio and a reputation for great seafood. Underneath there are smaller retail units with a shoe store on the corner; back in 1969 when this picture was taken the corner restaurant was the Traveller restaurant and steak house – licenced, and open 24 hours. It made no lasting impact on the written records of the city – the Archives have a place mat from 1960, and otherwise there’s nothing. The 1955 street directory show the Manhattan Foods restaurant here, and the menu from a few year’s earlier (in the Museum of Vancouver) suggests that like Joe Fortes it was a seafood restaurant. Despite being here for several years, that establishment also has no other online records associated with it. In 1955 it was run by Charles and Beatrice Bennett, and earlier, in 1948 it was run by L A Hobbs, (and we also can find Mary Shupenia and Ann Smith, the waitresses , Ann Loveless, the cook, and Beatrice Cook and Frances Morrison, the dishwashers in the street directory).

Next door was India House gifts. In the 1950s the Art Emporium was here, run by Frederick Michell, and next door was the Yarn Barn that had replaced the Normandie Beauty Shoppe run by Mrs T M Bayzand which shared a doorway in 1955 with P Campbell’s Modern Barbers. In 1969 the New York Barbershop was in the other half of the 2-storey 1926 building. The corner building and the two single storey retail units were redeveloped in 1985. We think that all the single storey buildings in the ‘before’ picture were built in the 1930s.

These obviously weren’t the first buildings here. When the West End was first developed, this was a residential stretch of street. Mr Whitehead built two houses on the corner, fronting onto Thurlow, and designed and constructed by Thomas Hunter in 1901. J M Whitehead moved into one house, and B Douglas, widow, into the other. Mr Whitehead was chief clerk for the BC Packers Association, and he was still living in his house in 1922, when he was the general manager of the BC Fishing & Packing Co. In 1912 he appears to have been appointed as the Belgian consul to British Columbia. The two houses remained residential into the 1930s. One was occupied for many years by Reinhart Hoffmeister, who built several Granville Street properties

Next door to the west D M Fraser built one house in 1901, and another on the other half of the lot (where the 1926 building was constructed) in 1904. The first house was occupied by Mr. Fraser himself, with another contractor, W Brehaut. By 1922 the second house had added a retail use at the front, the Robson Dairy, although there was still a house behind.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-402

Posted July 13, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone