Archive for the ‘Still Standing’ Category

East Georgia Street – 200 block, north side

This 1960s image by W E Graham shows very little change in this part of Chinatown over sixty years. On the right hand edge of the picture are the Arno Rooms. Completed in 1912, they were designed by E E Blackmore and S B Birds for Leon Way Co. When they opened in 1913 they were called the International Rooms, but they closed within a year, and didn’t reopen again until 1916 when they were called the Sunnyside Rooms. Two of the stores were vacant that year, but a Chinese grocer, Wing Sun Co occupied the corner. There’s no contemporary sign of a ‘Leon Way’ in any document other than the Development Permit, and it’s possible that it was a Chinese name that was recorded by the clerk as he heard it.

Next door is 271 E Georgia, which dates back to 1905. There’s the original house structure set back behind the store front. The next two-storey buildings were built in 1938 and 1936. The three storey building to the west of these was developed by A Urquhart in 1911, and designed by Stroud & Keith. It cost $20,000, and Allan Urquhart was also listed as the builder. He had added to a house further down the street to the west as early as 1903, and in 1909 was in partnership with Roderick McLellan in a liquor wholesaling business. There were apparently three Urquhart brothers, all born in Ontario. Hugh, John and Allan were in partnership from around 1891 to 1911. In 1912 the main floor was a Chinese grocer’s Kwong Chong Co, with the Urquhart rooms upstairs.

Stuart & White designed the four storey building for someone recorded on the building permit as M K Nigore. The building cost $30,000 and was built by Dominion Construction Company, also in 1911. The street directory identifies this as the home to the Japan Rice Mill, owned and operated by K Negoro. There were two people with that name in the city in 1901, both arrived from Japan, one in 1898 and the other in 1911. As neither seem to have been identified in the 1911 census (at least not with that spelling), we don’t know whether it was either of them, and if so which one ran the Rice Mill. There’s a 1906 advertisement for the Rice Mill located on the opposite side of this block; the business got its rice from the Sam Kee Company’s wholesale rice importing business.

Beyond that, one of the oldest houses on the block has recently been redeveloped. 245 East Georgia was replaced with a nine storey rental building in 2018. Beyond it, in 2002 the Lore Krill Co-op replaced a warehouse designed by E E Blackmore in 1910 for T T Wallace, and home to Ah Mew’s produce business

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-34

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Posted February 24, 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Hamilton Street – 1000 block, east side

This 1981 image shows Yaletown warehouses when the area was still mostly used for industry and storage. The building on the corner of Hamilton Street however had already transitioned to office space – with the sign offering individual offices and basement storage space. The building had been developed in 1910, designed by James W Keagey for the McClary Manufacturing Company, and costing $35,000. McClary’s made stoves in London, Ontario, and had already developed an earlier property on Water Street in 1897. Keagey had moved from Ontario around 1909, and won the competition to design the Rowing Club clubhouse, still standing today in Stanley Park. He was also an artist; two of his paintings made in Egypt in 1917 are in the National Gallery. Today the warehouse is a bank, and upstairs, although it’s not obvious from this angle, is a Keg steakhouse with a relatively recently added rooftop patio.

Next door to the south is a warehouse that we looked at several years ago. It was designed by an Italian born architect, Raphael A Nicolais, for Buckley and Baker. During the 1920s it was home to Consolidated Exporters Corporation, whose history we didn’t look at in the earlier post – but we should, as they have a fascinating history. The company was something of a ‘marriage of convenience’. In 1922, when Prohibition was enacted in the US, Canadian brewers and alcohol suppliers quickly established supply lines to illegally move alcohol into the US. The Canadian Government made very few moves to limit this increasingly profitable trade. (Imports of alcohol into Canada were all legal, and sometimes even paid duty, although it wasn’t required if the goods were for re-export. They took the view that re-export was none of the concern of the government). The one token gesture to placate the Americans was a move to increase the cost of an annual export licence from $3,000 to $10,000. To circumvent this additional cost, fifteen companies (brewers, distillers and agents) formed a liquor export conglomerate, and paid for just one licence for the Consolidated Exporters Corporation. There were several other affiliated businesses that weren’t listed, including United Distillers whose manufacturing plant was located in Marpole.

Over a short time it became apparent that joint operations had other significant advantages. As well as a shared warehouse, the new business quickly established a fleet of ‘mother ships’ that theoretically were heading to ports in Central America, although almost always didn’t quite make it that far. Instead they ‘hung out’ off San Francisco, beyond the US 12-mile limit, (and later off Ensenada, slightly further south). They would carry anything up to a million dollars worth of alcohol –  for example Federalship, crewed by Vancouver residents, flagged in Panama but owned by Consolidated was seized in 1927 (illegally, the US courts would later determine) carrying 12,500 cases of highest quality whisky and wine, imported from Glasgow. Supposedly headed for Buenaventura in Columbia, the boat was arrested (after being hit by the Coastguard cutter’s guns), in international waters 270 miles off San Francisco.

By the mid 1930s Goodyear Rubber were in the lower warehouse, and Consolidated continued to operate from the other building, but sharing with Davis Liquor and Canada Dry Ginger Ale. By 1940, once prohibition was over, Consolidated no longer operated, and a variety of manufacturers agents and storage companies used the warehouse. That was still the case in 1955, with Goodyear continuing to use the warehouse on the corner.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E14.05

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Posted February 6, 2020 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, Yaletown

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62 East Hastings Street

Today there’s a vacant site, used temporarily as a Downtown Eastside market, but in 1985 there was a substantial building still standing next to the Shaldon Hotel (built in 1909 for H D Wright of Seattle). The first permit for the taller building was in 1904 for a $4,000 designed by J Young (who was actually a builder) for A Clemes. The first building mentioned here was in 1906, and it was probably the one in the picture, and had cost quite a lot more than the initial permit. (Strangely, this entire block of East Hastings was still vacant in 1903). It’s possible the 1904 permit was for an initial building on Market Alley, the lane at the back of the property, or that the $4,000 was an error and the sum was actually more. It’s possible the permit for the building was issued in 1905, and has been lost.

While we don’t know for certain whether it was Art Clemes who developed the building, it’s very likely. A few years later he developed the Regent Hotel down the street, (designed by Emil Guenther) and also the former Pantages Theatre there as well. He had built an earlier investment in 1903, so was in Vancouver and developing real estate in the early 1900s. In late 1905 James Young advertised in the Daily World that he had just completed the Clemes Block on East Hastings. A year earlier the same newspaper reported the acquistion of an East Hastings site: “Later Mr. Clemes will erect a handsome block on Hastings street. While this is the top price paid for unimproved property on that part of Hastings street, the purchase is considered by real estate men as a first class investment.”

In 1906, when the building was first complete, E S Knowlton had his drug store here, Minnie Olson had a rooming house, and Joseph Barss sold confectionery. A couple of years later the B C Concrete Block & Brick Co and Green and Melhuish’s real estate office had replaced the drugstore, and the Hastings Rooming House (run by Charles Mohr) was upstairs.

By 1918 the building was owned by the Palmer Land & Investment Company. The company was almost certainly run by Russell H Palmer, a contractor who came from PEI and had arrived in BC from the Yukon around 1907. The 1921 census shows his household consisting of Russell, aged 54, his younger sister, Gertrude and two sons; one aged 15 born in the Yukon, and one aged 13 born in BC. In 1912 he was sued with Palmer Brothers, and the Palmer Land & Investment Co, which we think establishes his connection to the investment company. His brother Arthur was a partner in the contracting business, and for a while so was Peter Henning. In 1918 the Investment Company hired builders Dixon and Murray to carry out $1,000 of repairs; ‘New marble base front installed & interior of bldgs. being given general overhauling’. The company ‘ceased to transact business’ in 1920.

The site, and the Shaldon Hotel are both going to be redeveloped as a new First Nations non-market housing building with 111 new apartments.

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Posted February 3, 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone, Still Standing

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965 Granville Street

This 1916 Vancouver Public Library image shows the Dominion Theatre. The marquee says it was showing ‘Notorious Gallagher – a 1916 American silent drama film directed by William Nigh and starring Nigh, Marguerite Snow and Robert Elliott. Nigh also wrote and produced the movie for Columbia Pictures, but the plot seems to have been lost to history.

The building however, is still with us: having just received its latest makeover to reopen as the Colony Room bar, having previously been the Caprice nightclub. The building was designed by Parr and Fee, who probably designed a majority of the buildings in this part of the city. E J Ryan built the $50,000 building, which was only really a single storey space despite the second floor windows. It was built of reinforced concrete & brick, and the Daily World were probably going beyond accuracy by describing it as “one or the finest moving picture houses in America” The newspaper promised “one of the most costly mosaic fronts will adorn the street entrance with a large overhanging colored prism”, but we have lost that as well as the ornate pediment.

The theatre added sound, and then colour, and Ivan Ackery, who would later run the Orpheum, was manager in the 1930s. It became the Downtown Theatre in 1967, then the Caprice Showcase Theatre, closing as a cinema in 1988 but retaining the name in its new incarnation as the Caprice Nightclub.

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Posted January 30, 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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1260 Granville Street

Hayes Anderson were a newly created truck company in late 1921 when this image was probably taken. They assembled their trucks in a manufacturing plant on 2nd Avenue: the factory is still standing today, but for sale for redevelopment. This building was earlier – it dates back to 1910 when it was developed by Reinhart Hoffmeister. He and his brothers developed a series of buildings around Downtown, often occupied by motoring related businesses. There were several on the other side of the same block, and like this one, the Hoffmeisters also indicated that they were both architect and developer of the building, which in this case was valued at $10,000. Although it was described on the permit as two storey, it looks as if it was built as three.

The earliest company to move in here was the Pacific Garage and Auto Co, owned by S R MacClinton and Howard B Spence. They sold a surprising number of different automobile brands: Peerless, Mitchell, Waverley Electric Pleasure Cars, Johnson Motor Trucks and Stevens-Duryes. The business lasted only a year with the Metropolitan Motor Car Co moving in. They were run by Charles R Thomas, and sold Hudson Automobiles – in March 1912 Mr. Thomas recorded the remarkable success of selling eight cars on the same day. The Waverley sales were taken on by Hoffmeister Brothers, in their premises on West Pender Street. The Canadian Pacific Porters Club were initially upstairs, but in 1912 McGillivray & Reek ran a pool hall.

Unusually, the building continues to have office space on the upper floors, as it did in this 1922 image.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Trans N20

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Posted January 27, 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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1100 Granville Street – west side (3)

Here’s the remaining southern end of Granville Street’s 1100 block. In this 1928 image there’s a Royal Bank branch on the corner of the street. It was there three years later, when we looked at its history in an earlier post. The corner building was designed and built by Bedford Davidson for P Burns & Co at a cost of $5,000 in 1916. The West End Meat Market was part of the meat empire controlled by Pat Burns, and there had been an earlier store here for several years. Four years later builders Coffin & McClennan carried out $500 of repairs for the Royal Bank of Canada – who were the tenants on the corner from when the building was constructed in 1916. In 1952 the building was replaced with a bigger bank building, possibly designed by Mercer and Mercer (the bank’s preferred local architects of the day). The building is still standing, but not as a bank. For many years it was a Chinese restaurant, painted pink, although it’s been repainted green very recently.

There are two very similar two-storey buildings to the north. Both were constructed in the early 1900s when the permits have been lost. They appear around 1909, when Madame Jane De Gendron, a dressmaker was at 1183 Granville, Gordon Baird sold hardware next door at 1181, and the upper floor was at 1179 was vacant. The Depot for Christian Literature was at 1175. 1169 (upstairs) was shown as vacant

The single storey building was designed by Sharp and Thompson for F Cockshult in 1923, built by Baynes and Horie for $4,000. With a name like that, you’d think it would be easy to trace the developer. He certainly didn’t live in Vancouver, but someone with that name; Frank Cockshult, was recorded crossing into the US from Canada in 1909. Ho crossed again several times after that, but always as Frank Cochshutt, which is how he was recorded in the census as well. He lived in Brantford, Ontario, where he was involved in the family business; a very successful agricultural equipment company. The family certainly visited Vancouver – in 1930 The Vancouver Sun recorded “Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cockshutt of Brantford, who have been holidaying In California, are at the Hotel Vancouver en route home.” Why he would build a single storey retail store here is a mystery. It certainly wasn’t to open a showroom for the company wares – it was first occupied by the West End Floral Co, then the Roselawn Floral Co. Here’s another view of the same buildings, looking south rather than north, taken in 1981. It shows that the single storey building was still a florists. Today it’s split between a donair café and a Vape store (replacing the tattoo store in the ‘after’ shot we took a couple of years ago).

The next two storey building also appears (as a single storey building) around 1908, when and Halpins Grocery was at 1167. A $500 permit was taken out by L D Mitchell to build “Offices/Stores; one-storey brick building” in 1915. As there was already a store here, we assume that the modest value suggests an addition or alteration. The second floor must have been added later, although BC Assessment seem to think the building dates back to 1905. Today it’s vacant, having been a an unauthorized cannabis retail store before regulation limited their numbers.

There’s an approved development permit to replace all the building from the corner to the Clifton Hotel with a seven storey residential building, but the developer seems to be in no hurry to build it, and is offering several currently vacant units for rent.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4505 and CVA 779-W03.21

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Posted January 23, 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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1100 Granville Street – west side (2)

We looked at the buildings on the northern end of the block in our previous post. Here they are in 1981, and they’re all still standing today, even though most are over 100 years old. Here’s the middle of the 1100 block of Granville, (not the 700 block, as the Archives have it titled), with Carl Gustafson’s Clifton Rooms (now the Clifton Hotel) on the right of the picture. This picture is bookended by another Parr and Fee designed Hotel, the St Helen’s Hotel, at 1161 Granville, designed for G A Lees and H F Maskell and completed in 1911. It was built by Hemphill Brothers and cost $60,000, and opened in December 1911, but became an annex for the Hotel Barron across the street. In between are four more modest one and two storey buildings.

The three storey building next door is 1157 (today). There was nothing on the site in 1903, and in 1912 J B Houston spent $100 adding a one-storey brick furnace house to the building that had been constructed, but there’s no permit for the building itself, which first appeared in 1909 as a rooming house at 1153 Granville run by Andrew J Napier, and a vacant retail unit at 1155 A year later it was occupied by G W Cowan, musical instruments and Roddick & Calder – D Calder and J G Roddick, who lived here, and ran the West Side Rooms. Either there were two establishments in the same building, or Mr. Napier owned the property and Roddick and Calder ran it, (or the directory was confused). Those arrangements ended quite quickly – only a year later Robert Rowbottom was at 1155 running the furnished rooms, with the Standard Investment Co, run by K J Robinson, The Granville Pool Rooms (Steven & Muldoon, props.) and Walter Richards running a tobacconists at 1157. By 1968 these were known as the Clark Rooms, and they were allowed to convert to market rental from rooming house.

The single storey retail units to the north were constructed in 1930 and 1924, although there were earlier structures, one occupied by the West End Liquor Co (before prohibition). Beyond them, next to the Clifton, there’s an older 2-storey building that was one of the earliest on the block – although it’s not as old as BC Assessment think – they date it to 1901 – but there was nothing here on the 1903 insurance map. In 1911 it was William Thomson’s store – selling pianos, organs, player pianos and musical instruments. It looks as if there was a rooming house upstairs, run by M Catherwood in 1910, John Webster the year before (the first year we think the building operated), and David Izen in 1911. If it was built in 1908/09 the development permit has been lost.

This part of Granville still sees a regular turnover of businesses, and nothing seems to last long. Mostly businesses cater to the nearby clubs, with inexpensive street food sold late into the night, and there were restaurants here in 1981, including the Fisherman’s Net selling seafood and Ming’s Café, bookending a branch of the Bank of Montreal. More recently there have been new restaurants here like the twisted Fork Bistro and Umeda tempura opening through the day, and attracting lineups at weekends.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W03.22

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Posted January 20, 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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