Archive for the ‘West End’ Category

Pendrell Mansions – 1419 Pendrell Street

Seen here in 1975 (and almost unchanged, apart from the increase in foliage in summer) this apartment building is another that now offers heritage rental accommodation, although on a different basis than most.

Claude Percy Jones was listed as the architect, and H C Elliot hired him to design the Georgian styled $16,000 building in 1910. This was one of only two apartments Mr. Jones apparently designed between arriving from England in 1906 and leaving for New Zealand by 1916. He doesn’t seem to have had a lot of work here, although he won a competition to design one of Hastings Park buildings, and designed a biscuit factory on West 1st Avenue.

We think Harold C Elliott was (perhaps briefly) one of the city’s earliest residents. He was a shipbuilder, from Pugwash, Nova Scotia, and it seems likely that he was the H C Elliot building a stern-wheeler in Vancouver in 1889, intended for Harrison Lake. There’s a passing reference to Harry Elliot being in the original consortium for the first streetcar, but we can’t be completely certain it’s the same person. In 1895 he was in Nelson, building boats with G W Hale, who took over the business. He doesn’t appear in any street directory until around 1902, but he wasn’t living far away. In 1900 he married (Isa)Bella McTaggart in Seattle. (Bella was born in Victoria). Their son, Harry, was born in Vancouver in 1904. In 1906 or 1907 H C and L Elliott built three houses on Pacific Street.

In 1921 H. C. and his younger son, Clint Elliott built the ‘Bella E’ at Beach Avenue Shipyard, at the foot of Burrard St. In 1929 H. C. Elliott and his sons Clint and Harry built the ‘Anywhere’, a 45′ yawl, at the foot of Angus on the North Arm of the Fraser River, built of yellow cedar that was selected, cut and trimmed from standing timber at Deep Cove, on Burrard Inlet by the Elliotts. Clint Elliott sailed Anywhere for at least 35 years. Harold Clinton Elliot died in Vancouver in 1956.

When it was first built, this was called ‘The Pendrell’, and the residents were well off, and the apartments were advertised having six rooms including two bedrooms. At least one family lived here with their 7-year-old child, as they advertised for a live-at-home young girl, to assist. In 1914 another ‘small family’ was looking for a girl for general housework, in exchange for ‘room and board and small wages’. In 1922 one family (with no children) wanted a female ‘cook general’. By 1919 it had become Pendrell Mansions, and there were still only 7 (huge) suites.

In 1929 a 34-year-old resident of the building was killed when the car he was travelling in plunged off a bridge on Marine Drive in West Vancouver. Dennis St Denis Duchesnay lived with his mother, Lilly, in an apartment here. She had been a widow for 28 years; her husband, Edmund, was superintendent with the CPR, and was killed instantly when a rock struck him on the head while he was standing at the mouth of the Cariboo Joe tunnel five miles east of Spuzzum, after fighting a fire nearby. The driver of the car was charged with Dennis’s manslaughter. Having lost another son in the Great War, and a third who was living in California, Mrs. Duchesnay left Canada for England in 1930, where she died four years later.

There were still just seven suites in 1940, when four of the tenants were female; Mrs. Julia Hastings who managed rooms on Broughton Street, but lived here, Mrs. Berta Madden, a widow, Mrs. Ida McDonell, another widow and Mrs. Lillian Cavanagh (who was also a widow, and the caretaker for the building). Mrs. Madden and Mrs. McDonell were both still living here a decade later.

By the 1970s the apartments had become a hotel, with 8 suites, known as the Pendrell Apartment Hotel Rooms. In 1993 a Los Angeles production company switched filming for a new TV series to Vancouver, and rented six of the apartments here for cast and crew. When the second series of the X-Files was greenlit by Fox, one of the suites was used as Dana Scully’s apartment, with a backdrop of Manhattan added for ‘authenticity’. Today you can find Pendrell Suites on the Trivago travel platform, but the suites can also be long-term rented. A 3-bed 1,800 square foot apartment was recently offered at $4,500 a month.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-422


Posted 22 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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The Buckingham – 925 Cardero Street

This is yet another West End apartment building that is nearly a century old. It was developed by C S Gustafsom, and the architect was Henry Holdsby Simmonds. It cost $60,000 to build in 1927, and the owner also built it.

We’ve seen other buildings developed by Carl Gustafson, who was Swedish. He built houses in the West End as early as 1903, and developed the Clifton Hotel on Granville Street in 1910, and The Bilmore on Thurlow in 1928.

Carl Sidof Gustafson was born in Hinneryd, Kronoberg, Sweden in 1874. The newspapers reported that he married Hannah Johnston in 1904 at the bride’s family home on Homer Street. Actually, legally she was Hanna Carolina Johansdotter, born in Hallingeberg, Kalmar, Sweden, and two years younger than Carl. In the 1911 census Carl was 36, having arrived in Canada in 1890, living with his wife Hannah and their three sons and their domestic servant, and a lodger. Two more children followed, in 1912 and 1918. Mr. Gustafson was an early motorist, with BC Licence #2844.

Carl Gustafson often appeared in the local news buying and selling properties, and obtaining permits for development. The Buckingham was noted in 1927 as a two-storey brick veneered building.

The building is mentioned for the usual letting opportunities (both furnished and unfurnished suites were available), deaths, marriages and sales. In 1929 one resident’s experience suggested the state of the economy was tough, and that Vancouver was far from crime-free. “Winston Morcroft, 16, of 925 Cardero street, was held up shortly after 7 pm. Tuesday at Barclay and Burrard streets by two men and robbed of 75 cents, he reported to the police. He said that one man pressed the muzzle of a revolver against his side while the other searched his pockets.”

In 1935 Eddie File briefly rented here, but soon had his home raided by police. He was convicted of living off the earnings of prostitution. He was alleged to have a half share in the Panama Hotel in Victoria, which was being used as a brothel. His wife was identified as someone who owned a house of ill repute in Gold River – the house had to be physically moved because of its proximity to the school.

Also in 1935: “The efforts of a marooned Vancouver couple to stave off hunger and cold for fifty hours were related today when Mr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Caesar, 925 Cardero returned to the city after being stranded In their automobile and a trappers’ cabin between Hope and Chilliwack from 2 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday. “We were snowed In while trying to get through to Hope,” Mrs. Caesar said today, “and for the first nineteen hours we kept warm by running the car motor for half-hour periods, which supplied warmth through the car heater. “We had some cold turkey, bread and butter, and some coffee with rum in it. If it hadn’t been for the small lunch, which we made last until Thursday, and for the car heater, we would have been in a bad way. After the first nineteen hours the couple took refuge in a cabin a quarter of a mile up the mountain from where their car was stranded

In 1937 Frank Forshaw was held up at gunpoint in his apartment here, when a stranger buzzed his front door, claiming to be delivering a parcel. The parcel turned out to contain an automatic pistol, that the assailant held onto, before making off with $100.

The building was reported sold for $78,500 in 1946. In May that year Mrs Rita Forshaw had her suite ransacked, and $2,000 of jewels stolen, including a platinum brooch set with diamonds, valued at $1,000. A month later Mrs W. C. Cooper answered the door one morning to two men who asked for a room. She slammed the door in their faces. The men then held up Harold Crooks, of 1601 Barclay, in front of his home. “One of the thugs shoved a gun in his back, Crooks stated, and said: “O.K. Buddy, stick-em-up, let’s have your money.” Mr. Crooks fought, and escaped from the men.

In 1947 John Heffernan was living here, when he was arrested and charged with dangerous driving after striking a parked car in the 1000 block of Granville Street

The building doesn’t appear to have featured in any further crime stories. It was sold in 2000, and had been refurbished in 1989 when studios were $550 and large 1-bed units were $695. Our image is from 1985. The rent in the late 1980s was quite a bit more than in 1973, when the 1-bed suites were $140. In 1960 they were $75 (and up).

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-5.10


Posted 15 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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Jervis and Barclay Streets

Here’s a West End house that was replaced nearly 50 years ago. ‘The 950’, a 41 unit rental building was completed here in 1974. The house had been built 69 years earlier, and although it had a corner turret that was a signature for the houses designed by Parr and Fee, in this case the architect was W T Whiteway. His client was Thomas Langlois, who paid $7,200 for his new home, which he called Rosemont.

We looked at Thomas’s history when we looked at one of his Downtown office developments. Thomas Talton Langlois was born in Gaspe in Quebec. He arrived in in BC in 1898 when he was 31, and already a successfullang businessman. Here he organized the British Columbia Permanent Loan Co.; was president, of the National Finance Co. Ltd., the Prudential Investment Co. Ltd. and the Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Co. He also developed an Arbutus subdivision which had pre-fabricated craftsman style houses built in a factory on West 2nd Avenue, and then re-erected on site. He owned property on Bowen Island, and in 1912 commissioned a 60 foot steam yacht to sail there. In 1910, through the National Finance Co, he acquired much of the Port Moody waterfront for $600,000 for a consortium of investors.

Initially Thomas and his wife, Diana, lived on Nelson Street, then Robson, before he had this house built. He was active in politics (but indirectly, as President of the Electoral Union, and later the Good Government League) and in Wesley Church. Thomas travelled extensively, presumably in relation to business as well as for pleasure. His trips were often noted in the press, sometimes accompanied by his wife. While he would head to ‘eastern cities’, she would visit friends in Victoria. They married in Orangeville, Dufferin, Ontario in 1892, when Diana Hall was four years older than her husband, and a widow. As Diana Baker she had married Marshall Hall in 1883, but he died in 1890. In 1894 Albert was born, and Muriel followed in 1905 while her mother was in England.

In December 1914 the National Finance Co was liquidated. In earlier months the company had been pursuing its creditors through the courts, but the collapse of the economy and the onset of war left the business with more debts than assets. In January 1916 the Sun reported “The many friends of Mrs. T. T. Langlois will be pleased to learn that she Is making some progress towards recovery after a severe attack of la grippe.” This was the Spanish flu, that infected a third of the population and killed over 50 million around the world.

In March the family moved to California. The Daily Province reported it as a regular trip “Mr. and Mrs. T. T. Langlois and their daughter Gwendolyn left on Monday on a trip to Los Angeles, Cal. Their son, Mr. Albert Langlois, is in the city at present and is to leave for England soon to take a commission on one of the fast scouting boats in the British navy.” The trip stretched: fifteen months later “The wedding is announced in Los Angeles of Mr. Albert W Langlois and Miss Flora Wintzel of Newport Ky. The bridegroom is a well-known Vancouverite, a son of T. T. Langlois. He was a graduate of Lord Roberts and King Edward High schools. Last year he left McGill College to enlist with the motorboat patrol but was unable to go overseas and has now re-enlisted with a forestry regiment from Vancouver“. There was no further mention of any of the family in local newspapers  until they visited friends in 1930.

Thomas died in November 1937, and was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles. Diana died at Suncrest, San Diego, California in 1943, and was buried with Thomas. Albert and his wife Flora had two children in Los Angeles, but Flora died in 1925. He remarried in 1928, and seems to have married again at some point before his death in 1979. Gwen Langlois appears to have never married, and died at Spring Valley, San Diego, California in 1992, and was buried with her parents.

The house barely gets mentioned once the family left. John Harper had moved in in 1917, manager of the Bank of Hamilton, and the address is switched to 1275 Barclay. By 1921 it had become a rooming house – ‘Large room, suit 2 gentlemen, hot and cold water, and toilet’. Henry Dobbins, a mail carrier, was shown as the primary resident. In 1933 Mrs. Dewhurst was overcome by gas fumes when she fell asleep while cooking, and the light was extinguished. A year later Mrs. Sutherland found a man entering her suite through a window, but on seeing her he beat a hasty retreat.

The building was obviously still reasonably prestigious: In 1937, when Freda Bates and Elmer Ackley were married, the reception was held at Rosemont in the suite of Mr and Mrs Robbins, Freda’s grandparents. In 1943 John Vernon died in his suite. He was a successful real estate and mining broker. Various break-and-enters were noted through the 1940s; significant items were taken; a diamond ring in one, a fur coat in another. In 1947 Soren Paulsen Elgaard was running the rental business, but he didn’t own the building (or even have a lease on the property). He sued for damages for misrepresentation that the lease had not been transferred when he took over in 1945 – and lost the case. In 1950 Andrew Novak disappeared from his room. His empty fishing boat was found drifting off Spanish Banks. He had previously run a tavern in Tacoma. Following his death $90,000 was found in two bank deposit boxes, but no will was found. Eventually the cash was split between eight relatives.

In 1955 a resident managed to drive his car into a store on Howe Street. He was fined for impairment, and assessed over $1,200 in damages to the store. In 1958 another resident spent four hours injured in a ditch when the car she was a passenger in drove off the Seymour Mountain Highway.

In 1967 an 18-yearold resident was jailed for two years for possession of marijuana. (His defence counsel denied that he was one of the “hippies” who haunt the public library). This picture was taken a year later.

We haven’t found a reference to who built the replacement building, which is leased as a mix of studio and 1-bed units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1348-42

[unusually, we have processed the image to lighten the shadows so more detail can be seen]


Posted 8 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Beach Lodge – 1080 Gilford Street

This 1920s West End apartment was developed and built by Hugh A Warner, who hired E Evans & Sons to design the building in 1928, and spent $70,000 to build it. It was one of 14 building Mr Warner constructed in a five year period, only one other in the West End.

Originally Mr. Warner was a south London carpenter. His wife, Emily, died in 1909, and soon afterwards he moved to Canada with his 2-year-old daughter, Dorothy. In 1914 he remarried, also to Emily, and they had a daughter, Betty, in 1919.

This site had been addressed as 1100 Gilford, and had a substantial house built around 1907, initially occupied by Mrs. Charlotte Mackedie. In 1922 the entire contents of the house were sold at auction, (including a Karn piano, an Italian mandolin, and a Hotpoint electric vacuum sweeper). Three years later Mrs W A Allen sold off the contents of the home again. There was another piano, antique furnishings, and a grandfather clock. The house was advertised as Beach Lodge, with attractive suites and single rooms, but that only lasted a couple of years before Mr. Warner’s redevelopment.

The new Beach Lodge (seen in this undated Vancouver Public Library image) offered West Wind ventilating fans, and radios in every suite. Mr. Warner clearly didn’t hang onto his apartment building, (and probably didn’t make a huge profit, either). In 1931 it was sold to Mrs. Filtness by Mrs. Margaret Hall. The sales pitch to rent here in 1932 didn’t try too hard – it was advertised as ‘a satisfactory residence’. In the 1940s there were the usual stories of residents dying, getting married, or moving. Those types of story ended around 1949.

Through the 1950s into the 1970s it was hard to tell if this was an apartment building or a hotel. In the early 1950s it was described as having ‘fully furnished transient apartments’, and in 1958 it was the ‘Beach Lodge Apartment Hotel’. In 1963 it was briefly called ‘Beach Lodge Motel’ and in the 70s it was still available at daily, weekly or monthly rates, fully furnished, with a maid service.

In the past 35 or so years the building has returned to regular apartment rentals, in what is now a heritage building.


Posted 1 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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The Beverley – 1225 Nelson Street

This 1925 apartment building was showing signs of wear when it was photographed in 1978. It’s looking better today, after a recent render and paint restoration, but it’s still missing the architectural details on the pediment that had been included on the original structure, seen in this 1920s Vancouver Public Library picture.

At first we thought this might be the first building constructed on this part of Nelson Street. In 1921 there was a row of houses facing Bute Street, to the right of this lot, but there was only one house on the remainder of the entire block, a few lots to the west, with glasshouses along the lane and a large garage. In 1911 John W Gibb was the owner, a broker whose history we looked at in relation to an investment warehouse he built on Beatty Street.

There had been another house on the street, on this lot, developed by E J Maitland in 1901. It was occupied by Frank Henderson in 1911, but had apparently been demolished by 1912.

W G Patrick developed this building, in 1925 which the permit says cost $29,000 to build and was designed by Gardiner & Mercer. Mr. Patrick lived just outside Vancouver, on West 16th Avenue (on the other side of the street, in South Vancouver). He was born in Dundas, Ontario in 1881. In 1921 he was manager of Ford Motors, living with his wife Eva, their children, Beverley and Jack, his niece, Hazel Wilson, who was 21, and a Japanese domestic maid. The couple had married in 1906, and two earlier children, born in Ontario died in infancy. John (Jack) was born in 1912 in Vancouver, so the family had arrived around the turn of the decade.

By 1940 they had lived near UBC for over a decade, and William was working for Ocean View Development, who owned the Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby. Eva died in 1945, and William married Rose Brooks, (ne Staley), who died in 1955. W G Patrick died in New Westminster in 1968, aged 87.

The apartments were completed quickly, in September 1925 it was reported that “Mr. and Mrs. Neill McAllister have recently moved from their Kerrisdale home to the West End where they have taken up residence at “The Beverley,” 1225 Nelson street”.

The property was for sale in 1957 “OUTSTANDING INVESTMENT To Be Sold Immediately THE BEVERLEY 1225 NELSON ST 22 SUITES CARPETED HALLS OAK FLOORS TILED BATHROOMS HEAVY OIL BURNERS ELECTRIC LAUNDRY REVENUE $19,000 , PRICE $125,000.” Today the building is getting close to a century old, and is still rental apartments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-2.18


Posted 25 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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Compton Lodge – 2095 Beach Avenue

Today’s building is over 70 years old, and is considered an ‘A’ category heritage building. It’s predecessor only lasted twenty years before it was redeveloped. Compton Lodge was designed by R T Perry, and cost its developer, J P Hodgson, $34,000 to construct in 1928. The builders were Hodgson, King & Marble, which gives us a helpful clue about the identity of the developer. Joseph P Hodgson had built three houses on the adjacent sub-divided lots in 1923 – the arched entrance of one of the Beach Avenue homes helped us line up the image accurately. He initially moved into the house on Pendrell.

Remarkably, considering the location (next to Stanley Park and overlooking English Bay), it appears that this was the first building constructed here. The view of the ocean was blocked by six houses built on the south side of Beach Avenue, and Englesea Lodge would have blocked the view to the east. It was designed in the fashionable Tudor, half-timbered style, and R T Perry also designed a very similar building in Calgary for a Vancouver client in 1929.

Joseph Pollard Hodgson was born in England in 1880 and became an engineer. He married Persis Compton, who was also born in 1880, in California. (Hence the name of the apartments). Their marriage was in 1909, in Rangoon, at the time the capital of British Burma. They had a son, Foster, who died in 1910, a daughter, Jennie, in 1912 and another son, Roger in 1916. They first appear in the city in 1913, when Hodgson and King were listed as contractors, and the family lived on Robson street. J P Hodgson’s specialism was bridge construction, and while Hodgson King and Marble built several significant buildings (including Point Grey School, Tudor Manor in the West End and the $300,000 Union Bank on Granville Street), their best known construction was the Burrard Bridge.

As far as we can tell, this was Joseph’s only investment (as well as the houses next door), and he moved from Englesea Lodge, where he lived in the 1920s, to the North Shore. He died in 1935, aged 54 and Persis was 77 when she died on Christmas Eve, 1957. The inquest inquiry found Joseph’s death was “by poisoning, self-administered, while temporarily insane”. It must have come as a huge shock to the family, who were away from the city at the time of his death.

The apartments were put up for sale for $65,000 in 1929, when the revenue was listed as $8,640. Less than 30 years after the building was constructed, it was demolished. In fall 1958 ‘The Beach Park’ was advertised for sale, as a self-owned apartment building. (There was no strata act at the time, so purchasers owned fractional shares in a company that in turn owned the structure). At some point the building became a market co-op; an alternate mechanism for collective ownership. The building is considered important enough to be listed ‘A’ on the Recent Landmarks Inventory of post-1940s buildings compiled in 1990, but that doesn’t guarantee any protection, and the list doesn’t even appear to be available online. The designer was, as far as we can tell, an engineer called R Antonius.


Posted 18 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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St Paul’s Church – Pendrell & Jervis Streets

Here’s St Paul’s Anglican church in the West End, in it’s new location after it was moved from Hornby Street, along Davie. Except this is a different St Paul’s Church, as the previous church was only used for a very short time here before it was moved to the side of the site, and then subsequently redeveloped (twice) with a new hall before this 1939 image was taken.

The church on the corner was built in 1905, so it was just completed in this image (right). The former church that was moved from Hornby can be seen alongside, repurposed as a hall for church functions. While we don’t know who designed the first church (erected in 1889, and moved here in 1898), we know the architect of the 1905 building was William Henry Archer. The news report of the permit for the $13,000 project showed ambitions for further improvements that were never undertaken. “Church; 57-ft x 111-ft; tower & spire to be erected at a later date and also veneer entire church w/ stone from the present high basement up”. Mr. Archer, who was from Ireland, is unusual in that as well as St Paul’s, he designed both a Buddhist and a Sikh temple in Vancouver.

A rectory and parish hall were built in 1910, designed by Grant and Henderson, (although the permit described it as a $15,000 Sunday School building). They had also designed alterations to the school room a year earlier. In 1929 Frank Mountain designed a new hall, the redevelopment built by Nye Construction costing $28,000, with the new gothic styled building, still standing today. A house was apparently purchased by the church on Pendrell a block from here; repairs were carried out in 1929, and the Rev King, the rector, was living there in 1930.

As with so much of the West End, the landscaping and street tree program has completely changed the character of the neighbourhood, and in summer it’s almost impossible to tell that the church and adjacent hall look exactly as they did in the 1939 image. It looks as if the street tree was already planted in 1939, but the fire hydrant has been relocated.

The one addition to the street is a Victorian style streetlight, with a red bulb, unveiled in 2016. Located to the right of the tree, it acknowledges the diverse community of sex workers who lived and worked in the area from the mid-1960s until 1984, when a street-activities bylaw forced them into other locations, mostly on the Downtown Eastside.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Ch P50 and Ch P52.


Posted 15 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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1119 Broughton Street

This is the same house in both images, but it’s not in the same location. Redeveloped in 1994, there are now 8 condos on the lot. The house here was originally constructed in 1904, and the architect designed it for his own use.

Thomas Fee was born in Quebec, and trained in architecture in Minneapolis in the late 1880s, and initially arrived in Vancouver in 1891. However, he wasn’t yet building or designing homes, instead he was shown on the corner of Davie and Seymour, in Yaletown, working as a grocer. He was shown aged 27 in the census that year, and his wife was 20. He next appears again in the directory when he had started building houses in Vancouver from around 1894, when he was living on Robson Street. In 1898 Fee went into partnership with English architect John Parr, and immediately turned out designs for buildings like the Ralph Block on Hastings Street as well as many houses. They often featured a circular corner turret, as this does, although strangely, it’s down the street rather than on the corner (perhaps for a view over English Bay).

In the 1901 census Thomas Fee, was shown aged 38, living with his wife Francis (now shown only 3 years younger than him), his six year old daughter Olga, four year old son ‘Blakley’ and his wife’s mother, Jane Paton aged 73. They were living on Burrard Street at the time. Thomas apparently felt the need to underplay his age by two years; earlier census entries and his death notice say he was born in May 1861. He had married Frances Paton in Melbourne Methodist, Drummond, Quebec in 1888, when she was 22.

By 1911 the Fee family had moved to another house he had designed at 1025 Gilford Street. (It was demolished in the 1960s). Frances had her name spelled correctly, Olga was listed with her full name, Olga Merle, Blakely’s name was recorded correctly as Blakely Fowler and Grace Helen aged nine was now a member of the household. Jane Paton was still alive, given her full name, Lucretia Jane, aged 83, and Frances’s sister Helen Elizabeth was also living in the house, along with Charles Fee, Thomas’s brother. It appears that Blakely changed his name as a teenager; the last reference under that name was a trip to the US when he was 16; in subsequent records (including his marriage in 1918) he had taken his father’s name and was Thomas Arthur Fee jnr.

Even when he was building his family home Thomas Fee was looking to add investment value. The permit for the corner of Broughton and Pendrell was for two frame dwellings, so almost certainly the house next to the Fee family home was Thomas’s investment property, also designed by Parr and Fee. That house was lost in a fire in 2018.

The first occupant here after the Fee family moved was Henry B Ford, a family physician in partnership with his brother-in-law, and with a Downtown practice. He was here with his wife and four children for three years, before moving across False Creek.

Andrew A Logan, a timber broker, lived here for many years from around 1911 (and we assume bought the property). He was an Ontario butter and cheese trader in the 1880s, in Morrisburg, and moved to Vancouver in 1908. In 1908 he held a timber licence in the Kootenay, on Alice Arm. In 1913 he had interests in mining as well as lumber; he’s believed to be seen here in an Archives image from around 1913, examining a quartz sample with gold deposits from the Gem mine, near Nanaimo.

In 1915 Mr. Logan only just escaped death, when he was bludgeoned on the head in his basement by an assumed burglar (who was never identified). We’ve put the details of the story as they appeared in the local press on the left.

Mrs. Logan died in 1922, aged 70 having caught a cold that turned into pneumonia. At the end of the year Andrew remarried to Mrs. Emma Wright, of Winnipeg, who had been born in Ontario in 1872.

In 1925 the press reported “Vandal Hurls Stone Through Art Window
An unidentified vandal on Friday afternoon destroyed a stained-glass window In the home of A. A. Logan, 1119 Broughton street, by hurling a large stone through It. Though the act was committed In daylight, no residents In that locality appeared to have been the perpetrator of the act of wanton damage.

Andrew and Emma moved to the St Julien Apartments in 1928, selling off ‘costly furnishings and an excellent piano’ at auction (including a mahogany four-poster bed, and French novels). Andrew died there in 1929; two of his three children lived in Winnipeg, with one son in Vancouver. Emma died in 1953, in Essondale, in Coquitlam. By that point the house here had become a rooming house run by J Collins. Our image shows the house in 1985, two years after it been converted back to a single family home. The renovation and condo project in 1994 that saw the house moved to the corner was designed by Clare McDuff-Oliver.

Image source: CVA 790-1699 and CVA 1376-547


Posted 11 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Altered, West End

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Blenheim Court – 1209 Jervis Street

This is one of the earlier West End apartment buildings that’s still standing today. Built in 1910, it was developed by John A Seabold, who spent an impressive $85,000 on its construction, with Arthur Bird hired as architect. A year earlier the same development team developed The Capitola, also on Davie Street, and also still standing today.

We looked at Mr. Seabold’s history in that post; an American, he was in the city from 1900, and his wife Louise joined him in 1901. When he arrived he was a waiter, aged 26, and soon elected president of the waitresses and Cook’s Union. Less than 10 years later he built this apartment, with 42 suites, which, according to a full page advert taken out by Arthur J Bird, the architect,  “thirty-three of which include parlor, dining-room bedroom, kitchen and pantry, and also a bathroom. Some of these have balconies, and all suites are fitted with clothes and linen closets. The bathrooms are floored with terrazzo flooring, furnished by the British Columbia Supply Co. The doors in the building are all fitted with Sargent’s locks, which were supplied by Messers. Lewis & Sills. One very modern convenience in this building is that the suites have a complete system of local phones, connecting to city phones, which will be a great boon to the tenants.”

At the start of the First World War Mr. Seabold was said to have abandoned some of his property in Vancouver, and headed back to the US. At the age of 40 he said he was called up, and with a German family background he was unwilling to be involved in the fighting. However, he had already sold his interest in Blenheim Court. In December 1911, Roberts Meredith and Co sold his half share in the building for $85,000 ‘to Vancouver and London capitalists’. (He also managed to sell the Clarence Hotel for $40,000 in 1914.) Early residents of the building included Charles Bentall, at the time newly married and an employee of Dominion Construction, a business he would end up leading in subsequent years.

In 1959 the building was in the news when Robert White, a barman at the Arctic Club, was murdered in his apartment. One of three ‘bachelor murders’ in the West End that year, his killer claimed self-defense (despite stealing the victim’s wallet), and was sentenced to 3 years for manslaughter.

In 1990, five years after our image was taken, the property made the news when the owners at the time, PCI Realty Corporation, made substantial financial payments to tenants to move, so that a floor-by-floor renovation could be carried out. Gladys Vines, who was 83, and had lived in the building for 51 years, was offered $3,000, based on $50 a year of tenancy, plus moving expenses. (Eviction notices were also issued, so it was goodwill gesture rather than a requirement in those days).

More recently, in 2015, new owners of the building were accused of using a loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act by only issuing fixed term leases, and then increasing rents as much as 20% in subsequent leases for the same tenant. That led to a change in the Tenancy Act in 2017 to ensure that rents couldn’t be increased by more than a legislated amount.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-1682


Posted 4 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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The Selkirk – 1225 Barclay Street

This is another 1920s West End rental building, but unlike many of the buildings built in the mid-war years, this one hasn’t survived. Gardiner & Mercer designed it in a similar ‘mission’ style to several other buildings they designed in the mid 1920s. This was built in 1926, (and photographed a year later) costing J Stenhouse, its developer $55,000 to have Smith Bros. & Wilson build it.

John Stenhouse was the accountant at Vancouver Barber Supply, and he lived next door at 1213 Barclay Street. When the Selkirk was completed, the house became the Selkirk Annex apartments, and John moved to an apartment at 1170 Barclay, the Florida Apartments.

We had problems finding John; we knew his wife was called May, and that they had a daughter in the early 1930s called Carole. He wasn’t in the city in the 1921 census, the most recent we can currently access. We finally found a clipping with an obituary of John’s brother, James, who died of a heart attack aged 50 in 1943. James was a stonecutter, living in Ohio, and his father, also James, was alive, and living in Hawick in Scotland. He died three years later, and his gravestone tells us that John’s mother was Janet Hind, a sculptor. We were able to find John’s birth, in Hawick in 1891, and his wife; Rena May Muttart, who was from PEI, born in 1900. John came to Canada in 1910. In 1916 Rena was living with her family in Edmonton and John was living in Lethbridge. She was still at school in 1918. In December 1934 we find him retired at age 43 with his wife Rena, 34, and their infant daughter Carole (who was born that year) aboard the Letitia of the Donaldson Line travelling from Quebec to Glasgow on a visit.

In 1947 the Province reported an accident: “Propeller Hits Arm, City Pilot Injured John Stenhouse, 60, suffered an arm fracture Sunday when he attempted to start the motor of his airplane. His arm was caught by the propeller. A light plane pilot Mr. Stenhouse is the proprietor of a barber and beauty shop supply house in Vancouver. He lives at 1432 West Forty-seventh.” (John was 56, not 60).

In 1948 Rena was working as a saleswoman for Mme Runge, a clothing store in South Granville, In 1949 It appears that John and Rena had separated, as she was shown living on West 1st Avenue. In 1952 she had become Mrs. Rena Aston, marrying Cecil Aston who was president of the Medical Hall Drug Co.

In 1952, John Stenhouse’s presumed death generated an unusual story in the local press: “Girl Given Two Years To Decide A 19-year-old city girl has been given two years to decide whether to fight her mother’s claim for a half share of the $289,000 left by her father when he disappeared more than a year ago, Chief Justice Farris Thursday adjourned the Supreme Court claim of Mrs. May Ashton, 5611 Chancellor, until Dec. 1 of next year. At that time it will be adjourned for another year. The unique case revolves on the interpretation of a separation agreement between Mrs. Ashton, the former Mrs. John Stenhouse, and her husband. Mr. Stenhouse, proprietor of a beauty parlor supply business here, took off in his light plane to visit his daughter, then in Eugene. Ore., in October of last year and has not been seen since. He has been declared dead. The claim asks simply that the separation agreement be set aside. Chief Justice Farris heard the preliminary application and decided Carol Lynne Stenhouse should be 21 before she is asked to decide whether to fight the action. He adjourned the case accordingly.

Two years later the Vancouver Sun reported on Carol’s decision in the case “Supreme court proceedings over the $300,000 estate of John Stenhouse have been wound up by dividing it equally between his widow and daughter. Sixty-year-old Stenhouse owned three apartment buildings and operated Coast Novelty Co., a barbers’ supply firm. He disappeared Oct. 6, 1951, while flying his own plane to Eugene, Oregon, to visit his daughter, Carol Lynne, who was attending university there. The question, of the estate came before the courts three years ago but was postponed until the daughter came of age so that she could consent legally to an equal division with her mother, now Mrs. Cecil Aston of University Hill.”

By 1957 Cecil and Rena were living in Penticton, and took a trip on the Queen Mary, (New York to Southampton, First Class). In 1961 they applied to buy a 2.4 acre plot on Okanagan Lake to build a summer home. Rena M Aston’s death was in 1964, in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, and Cecil died in 1980.

Lord Young Terrace was developed here in 1989, a 28 unit strata building designed by Hywel Jones for Nova Developments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N255.


Posted 28 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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