Archive for the ‘A E Cline’ Tag

Howe Street – 500 block, west side (2)

We’re looking north on Howe from Dunsmuir in 1936. On the left is the Angelus Confectionery store, in a building dating back to at least 1889. We looked at its history in an earlier post. The corner on the left today has a 1976 fourteen storey office tower, but an earlier proposal (in 1971) would have seen a nine storey parkade, with a basement restaurant/cabaret. That project was rejected – the architect who proposed the building was Frank Musson and Associates, so it’s quite likely that they also designed the office tower that was subsequently approved, known as The Good Earth Building. While it’s a candiadate for redevelopment one day as a bigger office building, it underwent a 2006 retrofit of heating, cooling and lighting systems that saw a 32% improvement in energy efficiency – at a cost that has already been paid back today.

Down the street on the west side were (and are) a series of low-rise low density buildings which surprisingly have yet to consolidated and redeveloped. Past the Angelus Confectionery premises was an office and store designed by Dalton & Eveleigh and built in 1921 for E Bloomfield by H A Wiles. It replaced two earlier houses. The developer was probably Edgar Bloomfield, a barrister, who lived in Point Grey.

In 1912 J J Grey hired architect A E Cline to design a single storey retail store on the next lot north. John J Gray was a real estate agent who had developed other investment property in the city. Given the amount of change in the Downtown in the past century, he and Mr. Cline would probably both be rather surprised that the store is still standing today.

On the right in the 1936 picture is the Hambro Building built around 1923. Before it was built there was a house here that was the Japanese consulate. Today this is the northern part of the Pacific Centre Mall, completed in 1990 with an 18 storey office tower designed by Zeidler Roberts Partnership. Beyond it is Pender Place, a pair of identical towers designed by Underwood, McKinley, Wilson & Smith and completed in 1973.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str N283.

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Posted September 26, 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Drake Hotel – Powell Street

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The Drake has been gone for a few years now; (we took the ‘before’ image in 2010), not noticeably missed in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood it sat in. Although a fair distance from Chinatown, in its early days it had a close connection. It was built as a four-storey brick store & rooms in 1912 for Kwong Wo Leung, designed by A E Cline and built at a cost of $30,000 by J J Frantz Construction Co., Ltd. Mr. Cline was an architect for many years in the city; his building permits stretch over the first 20 years of the 20th century. Most of his projects were for houses (which he often built as well), and the Drake appears to have been his biggest commission. It wasn’t completed until 1914, when it was called the Manitoba Rooms, replacing the Yuen Wo Co who occupied what was likely to be a modest wooden building here. Very confusingly, there were two Manitoba Rooms in the city – a longer established property on East Hastings, and this one, referenced (to distinguish it) as “Manitoba Rooms (Japanese) 606 Powell”.

According to Fay Leung’s ‘memoire’ Kwong Wo Leung was a Chinese meat and grocery store that was expropriated for the ‘slum clearance’ of Chinatown that saw McLean Park built in the early 1950s. The Chinese Times from 1950 say they were at 318 E Pender – which is where the China Villa non-market rental building stands, completed in the early 1970s. In earlier times the company were located in the heart of Chinatown, at 5 Canton Alley. It is possible the firm had moved north: it’s not a common name, and a business with the same name was based in Portland in 1882 on Second Street. In 1906 the company donated $3 towards the creation of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent society in Vancouver.

Drake hotel 1955 MOVIn 1955 the Drake didn’t look dramatically different from 2010, as this Vancouver Province image shows, (although then it had a neighbor to the east). It had been known as the Haddon Hotel (with the Haddon Hotel Beer Parlor in the 1930s) until it had its name changed to the Drake Hotel in the early 1950s.

drakefinal 2007As the Drake it would gain notoriety as one of the stripper bars that proliferated in the early 1970s after the obscenity laws were successfully challenged in BC Provincial courts. By the mid 1970s the Drake was considered one of the better bars to work in, and the managers of the Drake, and the nearby Marr spent $375,000 turning the mill and dockworker bars into ‘Show Lounges’ with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. The boom was relatively short-lived; a recession in the early 1980s saw the Drake’s bar receipts fall by over 25% in a year. The neighbourhood didn’t really change: the lounges just became more worn out to match their surroundings. Some of the city’s stripper bars became ‘respectable’, some closed down, and others hung on, but with little investment and fewer patrons.

The Drake was bought by the City of Vancouver in 2007 for $3.2m. The ‘last bash’ of the show lounge happened soon afterwards.  The site was huge, with a large parking lot. The City briefly renovated the rooms to allow other Downtown Eastside SRO hotels to be decanted and renovated, but a 148 unit social housing project was being planned; the Budzey Building was developed by BC Housing, with the City of Vancouver providing the land. Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects designed the new building; completed in 2015. The Drake’s 1950s neon sign ended up in the Museum of Vancouver collection.

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Posted February 8, 2016 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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