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1082 Granville Street

Remarkably, this single storey retail building has remained undeveloped for a century. Today it’s a “Irish” bar, but in 1922 (three years after it was built) it was the showroom for Dodge Brothers motor cars. We saw it in the street context in an earlier post, in 1926, when it had become a store selling stoves and ranges. An earlier building had been erected in 1913, designed by Parr, McKenzie and Day for Union Welding Co, but that only cost $500. This building was designed by W M Dodd and cost $6,300. Their client. was McQueen, Mrs. M. J. (of 1455 Laurier Ave). It’s helpful that we know the home address, as there were two McQueen families living on Laurier Avenue. 1455 Laurier was slightly inaccurate, but 1453 was home to James McQueen, and his wife Mary Jane. When she developed this building she was aged 70, and James was ten years older. Two daughters were living with them, Annie and Kate (who was a teacher at King Edward High School). Mary Jane McQueen had also developed two houses on Granville Street in 1903, while James had carried out several developments, also mostly on Granville Street, but also in the West End.

The entire family had been born in Ontario, and Kate bequeathed some of the family papers to the City Archives, which tell us how James made the family fortunes “File includes a traveller’s descriptive account entitled Trip to Vancouver, by James McQueen (1891); correspondence and other material concerning McQueen’s real estate holdings, including receipts re: building at Bute and Haro Streets (1895); and miscellaneous personal papers.” There’s also a 1970s radio interview where she discusses how the family moved from Ontario to BC in the 1890s to settle her uncle’s estate. The uncle was James Whetham, a doctor who developed several important early Vancouver buildings, so Mary Jane had a lifetime experience in property development.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Trans N20

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Posted March 9, 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing, Uncategorized

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