Archive for the ‘Still Standing’ Category

120 Powell Street

Today, this former warehouse is an architect’s office with six generously sized (and expensive) strata residential units upstairs. First developed in 1910, it was converted to residential in 1991. Dalton and Eveleigh were hired by Pilkington Brothers, a British based glass company to design the $80,000 warehouse constructed by Smith & Sherborne.

The design is an early example of a concrete frame, allowing the creation of large spaces without internal walls. Pilkington’s were already on this block, as from the early 1900s they also occupied the warehouse buildings to the west, including the corner building that had been developed in the late 1880s by the Oppenheimer family for their grocery business.

The sale of 120 Powell Street in the late 1950s followed the completion of Pilkington’s new glass factory on Vancouver’s Southeast Marine Drive. In this 1985 picture it was being used as a warehouse by Army & Navy Stores, but was being offered for lease.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2417

 

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Posted August 13, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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East Hastings Street – 100 block, south side (2)

Here’s the eastern end of the 100 block of East Hastings in a picture from 2002. (We looked at the western end in an earlier post). On the left in Molson’s Bank building, while the tallest building is the Regent Hotel, and on the far right of the picture is the Empire Hotel. The pale brick Molson’s Bank was designed by H L Stevens, who was based in New York but had a branch office in Vancouver for a few years from 1911 and was responsible for several landmark buildings in Vancouver and the United States. Molson’s had an earlier 1898 branch on West Hastings, while this building, the East End Branch, costing $80,500, was approved for construction with a concrete frame in 1912. The bank continued to use the building until the 1930s, and the upper storeys were initially used for offices for doctors, dentists, lawyers, and other professionals, (including court interpreter and notary public W A Cumyow), but by 1922 had become the Graycourt Hotel (rooms).

Later the whole building became the Roosevelt Hotel, over the years becoming more run down and in the late 1990s home to some of the women who were victims of the Pickton murder case. It was acquired by BC Housing, and is now run by the Portland Hotel Society, with 42 units of non-profit housing for Downtown Eastside residents. The community members are largely individuals dealing with physical and mental health issues, social stigma, emotional trauma, substance dependence, and other issues.The building underwent a major renovation in 2015 as part of BC Housing’s SRO Renewal Initiative, and reopened, beautifully renovated, in August 2016.

162 E Hastings, to the west, was probably completed in 1913 (as 148 E Hastings), although it received its building permit in 1911. Designed by Parr and Fee for Adolphus Williams, it was purpose-built as a Billiard hall & cigar stand built by Hemphill Brothers and cost $10,000 to build. Mr. Williams was a lawyer, magistrate and former politician; (he represented Vancouver City in the BC Legislative Assembly from 1894 to 1898). Mr. Williams apparently quickly sold the building to real estate agents Hope and Farmer, who carried out a number of repairs and alterations including a 1919 permit to use it as the Veteran’s Canteen.

Next door to the east is the Regent Hotel, which the City of Vancouver are seeking to expropriate because of the condition that the owner has allowed it to fall to, and east of that was the Pantages Theatre, designed by E E Blackmore in 1907, and tragically demolished and redeveloped as a controversial condo building in 2011.

566 Powell Street

This modest 2-storey building has been around since 1911, when it was built as stores and a rooming house by William McNeil. In 1911 there was a William McNeil listed as a contractor, with premises on West Hastings and a home on East 36th Avenue. In 1913 he’s shows as being in real estate, unlike the other two William McNeils, who were both painters.

This property was immediately part of Japantown, with Kobeya & Co, a grocers on the main floor, and a Japanese rooming house upstairs. The occupants changed over time, but the uses stayed the same. In both 1930 and 1940 J Nishimura ran the grocers store, and in 1940 T Yamashita was upstairs, although in 1930 it was recorded as ‘Orientals’.

Everything changed with the war, forcing all the Japanese out of the city and into internment camps. By 1945 C C Carter had his electrical contracting business on the main floor, and upstairs was just described as ‘rooms’. This was still true a decade later. Carter’s were still in business here in the early 1970s, but by 1975 when Greg Girard photographed the picture on the right at 6am, the A-2 Café had moved in (but were still closed at that hour), offering Chinese and western Food. The café was still there in our 1985 image, although the reference to Chinese food was no longer on the window. Today there’s still a restaurant, but now with revived Japanese connection. “Dosanko serves a selection of home-style, seasonally inspired yōshoku and classic Hokkaido plates with an emphasis on fresh housemade ingredients and a mottainai or “no waste” philosophy“.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-0878

Posted August 6, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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122 Powell Street

This solidly built store and rooming house, seen here in 1985, dates back to 1912 when it was designed and built by Edgar Baynes as an investment for himself. That same year he also built the Hotel Grosvenor at Robson and Howe.

He was born in September 1870 in Bocking in Essex, England. His family were farmers – and pretty successful ones if his parents subsequent move to Broxted Hall in Dunmow is any indication. He was the oldest of at least six children (from the 1881 UK census) and left school ‘early’ to join his uncle’s building and contracting firm. How early isn’t clear – but he arrived in BC in 1889 with his uncle, J A Franklin, having learned his trade as a builder. A 1914 biography of Edgar says they worked together for a couple of years, then he moved to the Squamish valley as a rancher (which probably explains his absence from the 1891 Census). Family records say it was actually a homestead on the Cheakamus River, upstream from Squamish, and that he rowed there from Coal Harbour to establish his claim.

He returned to Vancouver around 1893, where he teamed up with William Horie to found one of the most prolific building companies in the city. The rooms here were built with a concrete frame, and when they opened were called the Hampton Rooms. The facade used bricks from the Port Haney Brickworks, owned by Baynes, Horie with Harold Burnet, and opened in 1907. He was also president of the British Pacific Trust Company, a loan and trust business established in 1909.

When the building opened there was a Pool Room on the main floor, and John Brown and Co managed both facilities. The expanding Japanese community saw H Ohi running the premises after the Great War, with a shoe repairer on the main floor.  In 1920 there were two rival Japanese barbers. By the mid 1920s the operator wasn’t listed – the listing said ‘Hampton Rooms (Japanese)’, but Mr. Ohi was listed again in 1930. Shimishi Ohi was listed in the 1921 Census living with his wife, two children, niece, nephew and 40 lodgers.Over the years the operators changed many times, but the building’s name stuck.

The building’s Heritage Statement says “the creation of the Hampton Rooms illustrates the time during Vancouver’s pre-First World War boom period when large numbers of single Japanese males immigrated into Canada, and in particular to Powell Street, to find work. It also reflects the need for accommodation for single males generally, following the City’s shanty clearance program in the early-twentieth century.” The census shows that the Japanese connection here wasn’t obvious. Apart from Mr. Ohi and his family nobody was from Japan. Seven of the lodgers were born in Canada, three were from the USA, and the remainder were European including eight from Sweden and eight from Norway and three Austrians as well as men from Russia, Italy and Denmark.

In 1950 the Hampton Rooms had the Union Gospel Mission on the main floor. In 1951 the property was known as the Hampton Hotels Ltd, and in 1955 L Edwards was managing the building. In 2008 a number of rooms were out of use after a fire, and today, the MPA Society operate The Hampton Hotel, with 46 single room occupancy units, a communal meal program and onsite kitchen facilities. Mental Health workers are on site 24 hours daily to provide support to the Hampton residents.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2418

Posted August 2, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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50 West Cordova Street

This is the Hildon Hotel in 1985, and today – almost unchanged over 30 plus years. We’re not sure if the 1955 street directory entry was a typo, or whether the hotel really changed it’s name from the Manitoba Hotel (which it was from when it opened until 1954) to the Hilton Hotel, but it’s been the Hildon for many decades. The pub was, and is, a typical eastside bar, but briefly in the mid 1980s it added ‘exotic dancing’ and entertainment to the 50 Bourbon Street pub just at the point that strippers were starting to be replaced in other bars in the city. Today it’s still ‘The Bourbon’, which claims to be unlike any bar in the city. “Its rich history can be felt as soon as you walk through the doors. Established in 1937, The Bourbon has been many things…a strip club, a biker bar, a live venue, and until recently Vancouver’s first country bar.”

The ‘official’ heritage statement says the building was designed in 1909 by W T Whiteway. We can’t find any reference to substantiate that attribution, and the building’s design, using white glazed bricks is much more reminiscent of Parr and Fee’s work. They used bricks like this extensively on other hotel buildings in the early 1910s, especially on Granville Street. They obtained two building permits for this address, both in 1909. The first was in April, for Evans, Coleman & Evans, Ltd who commissioned $25,000 of alterations to the William Block. Two months later another $7,000 permit for the same address, with the same architects, was approved for further alterations. Both projects were built by Baynes & Horie. The expenditure suggests something substantial in the way of alteration, so there may be part of the structure underneath that pre-dates the 1909 construction, but the street directory identifies a ‘new building’ here in 1909.

Evans Coleman and Evans also owned the hotels across the street, as well as many other business interests in the city. When the hotel opened (as the Hotel Manitoba) in 1910 it was run by J H Quann. John Henry (Jack) Quann had lived on the site before, as his father, Thomas Quann (from New Brunswick) had run the Central Hotel here in the 1890s, and in 1896 Jack and his brother Billy had taken over before moving on to other hotels, including the Balmoral, then the Ranier which they built in 1905, as well as the Rose and Maple Leaf theatres. Once the earlier hotel had closed this location was briefly home in 1902 to the Electric Theatre – Canada’s first permanent cinema (before this movies were shown as travelling shows run by people like the Electric’s founder, John Schuberg). Schuberg sold the Electric and moved to Winnipeg in 1903. Jack Quann died in 1911, and the hotel was then run by Jay D Pierce, and as with other hotels of the day there were a number of long-term tenants as well as visitors staying in the premises.

One strange story recently came to light involving the hotel bar. In 1963 Henry Gourley claimed to be drinking there with two friends, when he told Bellingham police that they overheard a conversation from a nearby table. Three men, he said, declared that if Kennedy were to ever go to Dallas “he would never leave there alive.” The men said they were headed to Cuba afterwards and one, who he suggested was named Lee and wearing a grey suit and brown shirt, said his uncle owned “a foreign rifle.” Gourley told the police that he recognized one of the men from a photo shown on a TV program that was “talking about the rifle.” The FBI investigated the claim, as the conversation supposedly took place about three weeks before the death of JFK. Gourley was found to be an unreliable witness, and his friends didn’t back the story up.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2138

1290 Granville Street

Who would have thought that this corner 7-11 store was once a car showroom? Like much of this end of Granville Street, an early business located here sold International Harvester and Paige vehicles. This 1921 image shows both parts of the business, and upstairs the West End Hall (confusingly, not in what we now think of as the West End). Although best known for their farm equipment, IH produced light trucks from the early 1900s, introducing the Motor Truck in 1910. Paige Autombiles were produced in Detroit from 1908. When this image was taken the company produced cars with engines made by Duisenberg, but in 1922 they introduced the Daytona, a 3-seat sports roadster with a 6-cylinder engine. The vehicle looked like a traditional coupe, but had an extraordinary third seat that could be pulled out like a drawer from the side of the car over the near side running board.

The company was sold in 1927, merging to become Graham-Paige, but by then Paige cars were being sold a block away at 1365 Granville, and Ball-Cambell Co had moved in, selling Star and Flint automobiles. The Star was an assembled car intended to rival the Model ‘T” Ford. Parts were supplied by various manufacturers, and built by the Durant Motors Company in Lansing, Michigan. Flint Motors came from the city of the same name, and was also a Durant company. The body of their car was made by Budd, in Philadelphia, and the engine by Continental. They ceased production in 1927, and Ball-Campbell went with them. Great West Motors moved in here, selling Oldsmobiles.

The building didn’t start life as a car showroom, as it pre-dates the arrival of cars in Vancouver. It was here before the turn of the 20th century – in 1899 it was numbered as 1270 Granville, the only building on the block other than the Golden Gate Hotel (still standing at the other end of the block, which dates from 1889). It was home to Webster Bros, who were grocers, with three Websters listed among a total of seven residents. They certainly didn’t use vehicles in their business – or at least, not motorized vehicles. The Archives has an image from around 1905 of one of their horse-drawn wagons. There’s another image of the building which is inaccurately dated to around 1890. It’s later because Webster Bros didn’t move in until 1897; the year before that they were located on the parallel block of Seymour Street.

From 1892 until the Webster family moved in, the premises here were occupied by Mrs O Olmstead, grocer, and Mr O Olmstead, a carpenter. They had taken over from the short-lived Vancouver Co-operative Grocery and Supply Co, managed by S F McKenzie, who were here in 1891. A year earlier there were two businesses, and several residential tenants (suggesting the entire building was constructed as seen today). The businesses were the Granville Street Dining Hall; Harry King Sargeant, prop; Miss Mary Bouer, waitress, and Miss Annie Larsson, cook. Colin McLeod, a blacksmith also seems to have worked here, (presumably at the back) and there was also a grocer; E Fader and Co. There were so few people in the city that the directory listed everyone working or living here; John Elijah Fader, of Fader Bros., Maynard P Fader, clerk, William Dauphinee, the bookkeeper, Silas Fader, and Henry Marsden, another clerk.

The Fader business had moved from Cordova Street, where they operated in early 1889, and the family members had all been living on Homer Street that year, and they all lived at this address in 1890 – although it didn’t really have an address – or at least not a number, just ‘Granville, nr Drake’. As far as we can tell 1889 is when the building was constructed. The family were unusual as they were recorded as ‘grocers and mill owners’ – they also owned a sawmill a block away from here on False Creek, run by Albert Fader. Albert had the Homer Street house that the family previously occupied designed for him by William Blackmore in 1888. This building might be designed by the Fripp Brothers; an 1890 Daily World report identifies a commercial block having been built for E Fader and Co at Drake Street at Howe Street, but there was only a very small building at that intersection, and it seems likely the newspaper inaccurately identified the location.

The family didn’t all stick with grocery, or milling. In 1891 Albert Fader was retired, and E J Fader was a steamboat operator, living at the Colonial Hotel (The Yale Hotel today – also dating from 1889). The Fader family had German roots, but had all been born in Halifax, in Nova Scotia. There’s an image in the Nova Scotia Archives of their store at the market in Bedford Row in 1885, and the business had been established in 1864 at 64 Barrington Street. Silas Fader stayed in the grocery business, and we saw his later store, still on Granville Street but much further north, built in 1898.

The Webster grocery store was here from 1897 until 1912 – a year later they were located on the opposite side of the street. The store was empty for a year, then in 1914 J L Dobbin was listed as owner when some repairs were completed; John Dobbin was a representative for the Granville Auto Exchange, based at 1270 Granville (still this building) and owned by AM Rentfrow and W W Ross. In 1919 Douglas Hayes (who was the tenant of the building) carried out $1,000 of repairs that it was noted ‘had been OK’d by the fire chief’, after a major fire in 1917. In 1920 more alterations were carried out for owner E Evans, built by Thomas Hunter. There were about a dozen ‘E Evans’ who might have owned the property, but almost all had fairly poorly paid jobs, as clerks, carpenters, a ‘helper’, a traveler – but the one professional was architect Enoch Evans, who might well be the owner at the time (assuming it wasn’t an out-of-town owner). By 1930 the economy was in trouble; car companies were being wound up, and these premises were vacant. When they were operating again in 1932, it was with John Redden, who was a wholesaler of radios and refrigerators, and R A Lister’s engine business, managed in Vancouver by J R Day.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Trans N19, Bu P711 and Bu P293.

Posted July 12, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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369 Powell Street

Today this is a food processing factory, but when it was built in 1936 it was a department store in the latest art deco style. The architect was T L Kerr, working for the store’s owner T Maikawa, whose name was incorporated into the store’s façade. This 1938 Vancouver Public Library image shows the store shopfront, and while that has been lost, the curved moderne awning is still in place.

Tomekichi Maikawa started the store after making his money fishing around Prince Rupert in the 1920s. He had a lumber business in Japan as well, so asked Kisaku Hayashi to run the store for him as he had to go back and forth too much to Japan. He had first acquired the store here in 1907, and this was a big investment for what was planned to be a chain of similar enterprises – a plan abandoned when war broke out.

The company supplied all the areas where Japanese Canadians were working from mining and lumbering to fishery industries in B.C., and from the Vancouver area to Vancouver Island and as far north as Prince Rupert. One of Tomekichi’s brothers ran the repair garage down the street, and another worked in the store seen here. There’s much more of the family history on the Nikkei voice website.

After the property was confiscated during the war, and the family were shipped off to an internment camp, the property stayed empty. Eventually, in the later 1940s International Plastics moved in, replaced in the early 1950s by Colman Furniture Ltd mfrs. Today Northwest Food Products Ltd make a wide variety of fried and steam-fried foods, including steamed and dried noodles and wonton wraps.

Posted June 28, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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