Archive for the ‘Still Standing’ Category

636 Davie Street

Here’s yet another example of how motoring-based businesses occupied large areas of Downtown. This 1925 image shows International Motor Trucks factory branch on Davie Street, near Granville. Today it’s a series of small restaurants, but the bones of the garage structure are clearly visible. George Trorey developed the site in 1918 for a different company. The permit describes the $5,100 development as “One-storey brick building, to be occupied by the Davie Vulcanizing Co.” Gardiner and Mercer designed the building, and Wallace & McGougan built it. George Trorey was a wealthy jeweller who had his own company which he had sold to Henry Birks, becoming Birks’ General Manager. We’ve seen several other properties that he owned, but this is the first that we identified him as the developer. George was born in Niagra Falls, and set up his jewellers business in Vancouver in 1897. He ended up owning this site because he bought the Golden Gate Hotel, on the same lot, facing Granville Street, in 1908, and still owned it in the early 1940s.

International Motor Trucks apparently moved into the property in 1924, and spent $400 on alterations. The company, still manufacturing today, started production in the early 1900s, and by 1925 were selling the recently introduced ‘S’ series trucks, manufactured in Akron, Ohio. Part of International Harvester, their Vancouver distributor was Mark Dumond, and he was their agent before they moved to this new location from the 1000 block of Main Street. They didn’t stay here too long; the business had a new manager by 1930, Frank Brewer, and a new location in the 1100 block of Seymour.

We haven’t checked all the changes of activity in this building, but it changed a lot. It was vacant for a while, and then D & D Automotive Service moved in, run by Frank Dean and Chas Draper. By the start of the war, D C MacLure was shown operating a garage here. That was Daniel MacLure who ran MacLure’s Taxi and MacLure’s Sightseeing Tours. They also moved to new premises; in 1947 Drake Welding Co were using the building, and in 1955 Douglas & Crawford sold auto accessories here, alongside the welding business.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3544


Posted 21 January 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

Strathcona School – East Pender Street

Strathcona School has seen several stages of development, and redevelopment for over a century. Initially called the East End School, the first building, designed by Thomas Hooper, was completed in 1891 – seen here on the left hand side of this Library and Archives Canada picture from the 1910s. A new larger wing was added in 1897, facing Keefer Street, to the south of the original building. That was designed by William Blackmore, and it was completed in 1898. It’s still standing today, and has recently been seismically upgraded in a $25m project, but it’s hidden today by the gymnasium (auditorium), completed in 1930. That too received seismic upgrading in the form of poured concrete buttresses on the corners of the building, and additional concrete shear walls internally.

The upgraded 1897 building on Keefer is load-bearing unreinforced brick and stone. It was upgraded using seismic (base) isolation technology. Completed in December 2016, this was the first base isolated building in Canada. It now sits on lead core rubber bearings with teflon-stainless steel sliders, designed to absorb the energy of an earthquake without the building shaking to pieces.

In the early 1900s classes were moved from the first building, which gradually fell out of use. It was eventually demolished in 1920, but the bricks were saved and recycled into the construction of a new building. The Primary building is beside the gymnasium, just off the picture to the left. Completed in 1921, it was designed by F A A Barrs. The Senior Building can be seen today on the right. It too has been seismically strengthened, and was built in two phases, starting in 1914 (designed by Charles Morgan) and completed in 1927. H W Postle designed the second phase, and the gymnasium.

Image source: Images Canada


Hornby Street looking north

These two pictures were taken in 1986, and there hasn’t been a lot of obvious change in the buildings since then. Even the street trees are the same – with an additional 34 years growth. On the edge of the picture, on the left, is the Mayfair Hotel, developed in 1964 and designed by Peter Kaffka. Next door is a 1980 office building that’s only 6 floors tall, designed by the Blackwell Design Group, and strata titled.

Beyond the tower (and seen on the left of the picture below), the First City Trust Building was completed in 1969, designed by Frank Roy with Thompson, Berwick Pratt and Partners. Now known by its address, 777 Hornby, in the 1990s it received a makeover that included redesigning the podium glazing, and adding rain protection for pedestrians. Before it was built the Richmond Apartments stood on the corner. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is to the north. and across the street the Georgia Medical Dental Building is the only change. The art deco building was designed by McCarter and Nairne, and was similar to their Marine Building (if less flamboyant). It was replaced nearly 30 years ago by Cathedral Place, designed by Paul Merrick for Shon Georgia Developments (in a joint venture with Sir Run Run Shaw of Hong Kong). On the street, Hornby street now has a 2-way separated bike lane.

The tower on the right in the upper picture is the North American headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC). Designed by Webb, Zerafa, Menkes, Housden and Partners, and completed in 1986, it was the headquarters of W A C Bennet’s brainchild; the Bank of British Columbia. Designed to allow more local control for making decisions on loans to BC businesses, it grew to have $2.7bn in funds and over 1,400 employees but serious management problems led to the bank being taken over by the Hong Kong Bank of Canada in the same year it was completed.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 800-2662 and 800-2670


Posted 11 January 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

Vogue Theatre – Granville Street

Kaplan and Sprachman didn’t have a complete monopoly on theatre design in Canada, but it was close – they’re estimated to have designed three quarters of all the theatres built over a 30 year period from 1920. Their architectural practice was in Toronto, where they also designed apartments, commercial buildings and synagogues. It probably wasn’t a Jewish connection that brought them to Vancouver though; their client, George Reifel, claimed to be Methodist, although over a very successful business career, authorities in both the US and Canada identified him as far from encouraging a teetotal lifestyle.

Heinrich Reifel (known as Henry in Canada), came to Canada from Bavaria (via two years in Portland and Chicago) in 1888, and briefly established a brewery near Westminster Avenue in Vancouver, known as the ‘San Fransisco Brewery’ that failed very quickly. Henry decamped to Victoria, and then Nanaimo, where he was a head brewer of the brewery there. He married Annie Brown, originally from San Francisco, although more recently in Barkerville, in September 1892. Annie was four years younger, at 19. Nine and a half months later George Reifel was born, followed by Henry Frederick (known as Harry) at the end of 1895 and Florence in 1898.

Henry, and his two brothers, built a brewing empire starting in Nanaimo, and then incorporating the Vancouver Breweries business. Both his sons studied brewing in the US and returned to work in the family business. Some histories say the arrival of prohibition in Canada saw Henry and his sons head to Japan in 1916, where they helped establish the Anglo-Japanese Brewing Company, making malt from rice. (As originally a German family, British Columbia wasn’t a great place to be during the war). George had recently married Alma Barnes in St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Vancouver, and in time they had three children.

In the 1921 census only Conrad Reifel, Henry’s brother, was listed living in Nanaimo (as a brewer), but the street directories show Henry, George and Henry F Reifel all living in Vancouver from 1914 onwards, and despite prohibition starting in 1917, involved at BC Breweries as foreman, managing director and advertising director throughout the war years. In the early 1920s, with production once more legally able to be sold in Canada, the family owned a variety of liquor-related businesses. They were also involved in organising Consolidated Exporters, supposedly shipping locally produced and imported beer, wine and spirits past the US in a variety of freighters, but often returning empty without ever having reached their South or Central American destinations (although the ship’s paperwork often told a different story). The Reifels owned the schooner Lira de Agua (registered in Nicaragua) through their Northern Freighters business, and the Ououkinish, a former halibut schooner, through their Atlantic and Pacific Navigation Company. Their City of San Diego was probably the first ‘mother ship’ to set off southwards, in 1922.

By the end of the 1920s the family were awash with cash. The brothers each built an extravagant mansion near the Marpole BC Distilleries plant. George built the Commodore Ballroom in 1929, and the family sold their entire brewing operation in 1933, when his father, Henry, retired. In 1940, despite the wartime economy, George commissioned the The Vogue, a 1,300 seat movie house with a stage designed to also allow live performance. The cinema operation (part of the Odeon chain) closed in 1987, and the theatre’s future looked uncertain. Acquired by a development company, it was restored and reopened sporadically in 1992 with a few live performances every year. Another change of ownership, and further repairs in 2009 has seen the theatre operating with around 200 events every year, including live music, comedy, and cultural performances.

Image source: Jewish Museum and Archives, Leonard Frank, LF.00217


Posted 10 December 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

Commodore Ballroom – Granville Street

The Commodore Ballroom has been around for 90 years, and looks pretty much the same as it did when it opened. Here it is in 1967, before there were any residential towers on Seymour Street popping up over the roofline. The building was designed by H H Gillingham in a contemporary art deco style for developer George Reifel. When it was built it had a sprung dancefloor with horsehair lining, that supposedly absorbed some of the impact of dancers’ feet.

It opened briefly as the Commodore Cabaret in 1929, but quickly closed with a depressed economy, then reopened in November 1930. Over the years thousands of acts have performed at the Commodore, which has capacity for just under 1,000 patrons. The list of well-known bands who haven’t played the venue is probably shorter than the list of those who have. In its early days there was a resident swing band, led by Charlie Pawlett, who broadcast on CJOR Radio. The venue, like all the others in the city, couldn’t sell liquor. Patrons brought their own, carefully hidden whenever the band struck up ‘Roll Out the Barrel’ to indicate a visit from the authorities. That was appropriate behaviour for a venue funded by a well-known rum-runner.

Henry Reifel was president of Brewers and Distillers Ltd, owning Vancouver Breweries and the B.C. Distillery, and his sons, George and his brother Harry, worked for the organisation as well. During the 1920s when US prohibition was in place, their export operation was huge; they owned several ships capable of carrying thousands of cases of liquor. The ship’s papers would indicate the exports were heading to a port in Central America, but the ships would actually anchor in international waters off the US and be met by a fleet of much smaller fast delivery motorboats who would deliver the booze ashore, often at night. In 1934, after prohibition had ended, US Authorities sued Henry Reifel and his son George for smuggling $10m of alcohol and avoiding an additional $7.25m of duty. The press reporting the case said “At least one (of the boats) was equipped to throw out a smoke screen to shield speedboats, which ran illicit cargoes ashore. The complaint charged the fleet was directed by wireless from British Columbia.” The case was dropped in 1935 after they agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and forfeit the $200,000 bail they had to put up to get back to Canada.

George and Harry Reifel built two of Vancouver’s landmark mansions, Casa Mia and Rio Vista, as well as the Commodore Ballroom and the Vogue Theatre. Today the Commodore is run by Live Nation, but the building is now owned by local investors and developers Bonnis Brothers, who have recently replaced the storefronts and awnings to a simpler and consistent design. Under previous ownership the ballroom closed for renovations in 1996, and reopened in 1999 after extensive structural repairs and with a new hardwood floor. In the basement, the Commodore Lanes has one of the city’s few remaining bowling alleys.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-51


Posted 7 December 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

1150 Raymur Avenue

This image is another rare example of a Vancouver building published in the Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, this time in 1953. The reason for selecting this particular building is unclear, but it was one of three industrial buildings featured in the June edition of the Journal, none likely to set the architectural world on fire.

The Vancouver warehouse for the Grinnell Company of Canada Ltd was designed by Townley and Matheson, and was filled with ‘Wrought, Cast Iron and Brass Pipe. Fittings, Valves, Pipe Hangers and Supports, Piping Supplies, Etc,’ and the company traced its history back to 1850, founded as the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Co in Providence, Rhode Island. Among the piping they supplied and installed were early fire fighting systems. In 1869, Frederick Grinnell, a Massachusetts-born engineer, purchased a controlling interest in Providence Steam and Gas and became its president. Fire-extinguishing apparatus in factories was mainly perforated pipes connected to a water-supply system and installed along the ceilings. The water had to be turned on by hand – often too late to prevent the loss of wooden buildings. In 1874 a Connecticut inventor patented a sprinkler design and Grinnell installed it, paying a royalty to the inventor. Grinnell soon designed his own more sensitive system in 1881, and from there became one of the largest suppliers of fire systems and fire extinguishers in North America. In the year the building was photographed the company had just absorbed ADT (American District Telegraph Co), an alarm company. In 1966 they were forced to sell it, having been accused of price fixing.

The Canadian arm of the business was established in 1914, and in the 1970s became part of Tyco Industries, which in turn has been swallowed up by Johnson Controls. The company’s Lower Mainland operation is now based in Delta. This warehouse is currently vacant, and available to lease, but was most recently home to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, who moved to a new location in Burnaby in mid 2019.


Posted 30 November 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

Tagged with

1590 Powell Street

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada published a Journal for 50 years from the 1920s. It was heavily eastern-centric, mostly featuring buildings in Toronto and Montreal, but very occasionally it featured western buildings. For some inexplicable reason a 1946 edition of the Journal featured an architect’s sketch of the new Powell Street premises of Alliance Ware, a national supplier of plumbing and bathroom suites. The building was designed that year, and completed in 1947 – there’s a slightly out of focus Archives image of the building from that year. It was a fairly early work of Sharp, Thompson, Berwick and Pratt. A year after the building was built, Crane Co, another US based plumbing supplies company took over the business, but it remained as a separate but integrated part of the new, larger entity.

Vancouver these days isn’t an industrial city, but in 1946 this was a new plant to make bathtubs, kitchen sinks and other porcelain-on-steel products. The factory was an early example of a green building – a manager explained in 1958 “The excess heat from the furnaces for making bathtubs is enough to heat our Powell Street plant”. (That year Crane opened a large new vitreous pottery factory in Coquitlam). When it opened, the Journal of Commerce published further details, and the same illustration. The company built a powerhouse on Franklin Street, and the building has a steel frame with concrete block walls, built by Armstrong and Monteith Construction. Allied were an arm of Dominion Rustproofing, whose rustproofing operations moved from here to West 1st Avenue to accommodate the new building.

Today the building has been changed relatively little, and is the warehouse and headquarters of Relaxus, who supply massage equipment, essential oils and related products throughout North America. Currently PPE has become an important and expanding part of the company’s business.

The building to the west, 1516 Powell, was built here in 1912, designed by Townsend & Townsend for S Flack, and costing $50,000 to build. By 1921 the rooming house was owned by Credit Foncier. Samuel Flack was manager of Flack Estate and Investments, from Ontario, born in 1866, and the earliest we find him in Vancouver is in the 1891 census, when he was a streetcar conductor. Samuel died in 1928, and his death notice says his father was John Flack and his mother Ellen Fallis. He married Ida McGillvray, who was ten years younger in 1901 in Ontario. When Samuel died in 1928 he was described as “pioneer real estate broker of this city”. The couple had two sons, Chauncey and Cyril, and two daughters, Kathleen and Eleanor. Ida was 90 when she died in 1964.

As far as we can tell, while Mr. Flack had his offices in the Flack Block, that was a convenient location for him, but he was not a relative of Thomas Flack who was a successful English-born miner, who had developed the building in 1899. The rooming house opened before 1914 when it was called Manvers Lodge, run by D Pettigrew, offering ‘completely furnished suites’. By 1930 it had become the Terminal Hotel, and then the Wicklow Rooms by 1940. In 1978 it finally got a $200,000 makeover, reported in the Vancouver Sun in depth. “John Brown, a 71-year-old retired welder who lived at the Wicklow on and off for about 11 years before the renovations and who moved back in last week after the renovations were completed, stirred a pot of home-made stew. “Cockroaches were just about packing it away,” he said. “There was no warm water and only a dribble of cold water. Sometimes the heater would go and there would be no heat.” Brown, who lives on a $200-a-month pension, now pays $95 each month for a warm, comfortable sleeping room with wall-to-wall carpets, a small refrigerator, a bed, chairs and a kitchen table. It’s now named ‘The Flint’ and run by Atira Housing Society. Jesse P Flint owned and ran the adjacent rooming house to the west at 1514 Powell, and somehow his name has mistakenly got attached to this building.


Posted 26 November 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

Tagged with

Maple Tree Square 2

We looked at Maple Tree Square as it appeared just before the 1886 fire in an earlier post. We’ve examined pretty much all the buildings in this shot over the years. Just on the left hand edge is the Alhambra Hotel, and on the right is the Packing House; offices today, but once the Swift Meat Packing facility (and before that the site of the Alexandra Hotel). Further up the Malkin Warehouse is a six storey brick warehouse with huge old growth timbers forming the frame, and today hidden by street trees in the summer.

One notable difference is that in 1970 the newly installed statue of Gassy Jack used to look along Water Street. Now he’s moved across the street, in front of the Alhambra, looking eastwards. There was a commemoration of Maple Tree Square as the founding location of the settlement here – originally called Granville, and then Vancouver after 1886. It was a drinking fountain, installed in 1925 in what was still an industrial street. The attempts to revitalize the run down neighbourhood in the late 1960s, once the decision had been taken not to bulldoze the entire street for a freeway, included the commission of the sculpture by real estate developer Larry Killam. Fritz Jacobson made a sketch, and Okanagan-born artist Vern Simpson sculpted it. It was presented to the City, although mayor Tom Campbell apparently wanted it towed to the City dump. The 1925 plaque from the fountain is now incorporated into the plinth the statue sits on.

Jack Deighton was a sea captain, gold prospector, riverboat pilot and bar owner, originally from Hull, in England, who squatted in a clearing just beyond the Hastings Mill boundary and built the first non-native structure in the area that would become a town, and then a city (although he died many years before that came about). Fond of talking, ‘Gassy’ Jack was the basis for Granville being known locally as Gastown. The first government survey of Granville was careful to ensure his his original saloon ended up in the middle of the street, forcing Jack to acquire a legal plot nearby to rebuild his Globe Saloon, where the Alhambra would be built after the 1886 fire. More recently ‘Gassy’ Jack has been covered in paint; a protest about celebrating someone who married his second Indian wife when she was about 12 years old. It’s possible he may move again, perhaps away from Maple Tree Square.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-770


Posted 16 November 2020 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

West Hastings Street – unit block, north side

Surprisingly, we’ve only examined the history of one of the buildings on this part of the block. That’s the Strathcona Hotel, now renovated and turned into condos as the Paris Block. Long-time home of shoemakers Pierre Paris & Sons, it was designed by Hooper & Watkins and developed around 1908 by John Deeks, who had made money mining for gold in Atlin. He converted it to a hotel around 1910, with R T Perry designing the necessary  alterations.

To the west, the single storey retail units. They were almost certainly developed by real estate broker W A Clark, who had his office in the Deeks office building when it first opened. William Clark was from Ontario, and like many other Vancouver real estate brokers also developed property on parcels that they had acquired. In Mr. Clark’s case, he also built retail buildings on Granville Street, and a 5-storey apartment building there that cost $60,000, and another (still standing today) that cost $50,000. In 1904 he had W P Matheson design a $4,000 house on Broughton Street. It must have been quite full, as in 1911 he lived there with his wife Mary and five daughters, aged 10 to 19, and their Japanese servant. Over the years He paid for a series of alterations and repairs to these buildings as tenants came and went. The two building were erected in 1905, one by Mr. Clark, and the one to the west by McWhinney & Lewerke, although in subsequent years into the 1920s he seems to have owned both buildings. We don’t know who designed the buildings, but in 1905 the ‘Hardware Merchant Magazine’ announced “McWhinney & Lewerke, Vancouver intend erecting a three-storey brick block on Hastings street, adjoining the Rubinowitz departmental stores recently purchased by them.” As far as we know the project never proceeded.

In 1936 when our image was taken Model boots and shoes occupied half of one unit, and Westinghouse sold Electrical goods, lights and radios in the other half. Next door was the Thrifty Dress Shop and the Union Shoe Co who offered ‘Better Values in Novelty Shoes’. Model Express must be one of the longest-lived businesses in the city; they were still located in the same unit until a year ago, and are still in business two doors away today. Today they ‘are proud to be Vancouver’s #1 stripper store’ and specialize in ‘exotic’ footwear (heels can be over 8″) and matching lingerie.

The building dated back to 1903 when W T Whiteway designed the $10,000 build for B C Permanent Co. In the first few years it was occupied by the Rubinowitz Department store. Major Matthews, the City Archivist wrote about Mr Rubinowitz, and collected his portrait, taken in 1939. “Mr. Louis Rubinowitz came to Vancouver in 1892, took some interest in Jewish affairs, but never took an interest in civic or public matters; it is difficult to find what he did take an interest in – in a public way. He had a small general store at Steveston, and also one in Vancouver, both queer places, an assortment of goods scattered aimlessly about after the manner of a secondhand store. He was a very elderly man when he decided to contest the office of Mayor. He wore his hair in a most noticeable manner. A long flowing grey beard, almost to his waist, and the long, almost white hair of his head hung over his shoulders as far as his shoulder blades. Sometimes, on Jewish ceremonial days, he wore a long black morning coat and a “stovepipe” tall silk hat, and had a rather venerable appearance, somewhat akin to a Jewish patriarch. He presented an odd and eccentric appearance as he walked down the street.” Liebermann Louis Rubinowitz ran in both the 1926 and 1918 election, receiving around 200 votes (1% of the total) – in the elections.

In the early 1920s Olympia Confectionery occupied the corner; a few years later it was a drug store, The Cut Rate Drug Co. The 1936 image shows The Grand Union Public Market, which remained operating through to at least the 1950s when it had 16 different stalls, among them a butcher, a baker and an umbrella maker; a fruit stand, a branch of Cunningham Drugs, a magazine exchange, two egg stores and the Healthy Cocktail Bar, selling juices. Stong’s grocery were here too. In the early 1990s it was a Fields department store (no doubt hoping to borrow some of Woodward’s customers from across Abbott Street). Before it was demolished over 10 years ago it was a greengrocers, the SunMart Market. It’s still a parking lot today, but plans have been approved for a 10 storey rental building over new retail units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4889 and CVA Port P372


Granville Street – 800 block, west side (3)

We’ve looked at the west side of this block of Granville looking north is previous posts, but not looking south, from Robson Street. The picture dates from 1951, when there were still plenty of competing cinemas with vertical blade signs. On the east side wire the Capitol and the Orpheum; the bigger theatres on the block, but the Paradise and Plaza had equally large signs, even if their capacity was less. The Paradise opened in 1938, showing Paul Robeson in “The Big Fella”. The 1938 art deco facade was designed by Thomas Kerr, and the cinema had 790 seats. This wasn’t the first cinema here, in 1912 The Globe opened, designed by an engineer, C P Gregory, for the Pacific Amusement Company. It cost $40,000, and three years later was altered by new owners the Hope Investment Company. There were further alterations a year later, when W P Nichols was shown as the owner, and in 1922 a pipe organ was installed. The theatre was taken over by Odeon in 1941 who later refurbished and reopened it as the Coronet Theatre in 1964 showing Peter Sellers in “The Pink Panther”. In 1976 the cinema was twinned – two smaller screens allowed less popular movies to be shown. The Coronet cinema closed in 1986, although that wasn’t the end of its movie-house story.

Odeon also acquired the Plaza Theatre just up Granville Street in the early 1960s. Their theatre was three doors to the south of the Paradise, as we saw in an earlier post photographed in 1974. That was another Thomas Kerr design, from 1936, which was a rebuild of the 1908 Maple Leaf Theatre. Today it’s Venue, a nightclub that (until recent restrictions) had live music as well as DJs. As other cinemas closed on Granville, Odeon decided to close the Plaza, and acquired the Vermilyea Block (next to the Plaza), designed by William Blackmore in 1893 and operated for years as The Palms Hotel. They also demolished 855 Granville, a 1920 office building developed by J F Mahon. They combined the Paradise and the two adjacent buildings and in 1987 the Cineplex Granville 7 opened, with a total of over 2,400 seats in seven cinemas in a building that incorporated the facade of both the Vermilyea and the Coronet, with a new building between. The cinema closed in 2012 as the Empire Granville, and is now being redeveloped as The Rec Room, another Cineplex entertainment complex, but with no movie element.

On the corner today is the Mason Robson Centre which a few years ago replaced the Farmer Building, and incorporated the facade of the Power Block, a 1929 Townley and Matheson art deco building. The demolished back of the building dated back to 1888, when it was developed by Captain William Power, of North Vancouver, who hired N S Hoffar to design it. The tall building to the south is the Medical Arts Building, a $100,000 investment developed by J J Coughlin and designed by Maurice Helyer in 1922 (and still used as office space today). John J Coughlin ran a Vancouver construction company – the biggest in the city. His company built the $200,000 Second Hotel Vancouver, a block from here to the north. The small building to the south is now missing the design elements initially included by architect James Keagey for his clients recorded in the building permit as ‘Powers and Boughton’ in 1913. Actually they were John E Powis and G E Broughton, real estate agents and developers.

Image source: City of Vancouver archives CVA 772-8