Archive for the ‘Bedford Davidson’ Tag

1301 Granville Street

Where the Best Western Hotel now stands, in around 1921 there was yet another motoring related business. Rand and Carter sold Goodyear Tires, and for a very short time the Maple Leaf Motor Truck. It appeared – and disappeared – here in the early 1920s, although it was announced that the company had been acquired in December 1920 for $20,000. The odd thing is that the truck company claimed to be based in Montreal, but the only place that there’s any mention of the company is in Vancouver newspapers, and BC Government notification of the registration of the business in 1921. There’s one advertisement for the truck in ‘Canada Industrial’ magazine, also in 1921, which confirms the Montreal location.

A Windsor blacksmith, Moise L Menard produced a series of trucks in the 1910s in his wagon works from one-ton to three-and-a-half ton models. in 1916 Menard built an aerial ladder fire truck for the Walkerville fire department. He sold out to the Maple Leaf Manufacturing Co. of Montreal in 1920. ‘Canadian Machinery’ explained the story “The Maple Leaf Manufacturing Co., Ltd., has recently been incorporated to carry on the manufacture of commercial motor trucks. The personnel of the directorate is identical with that of the Machinery and Munitions, Ltd., which for four years carried on extensive operations in the making of munitions, at plants in Lachine and Sorel. The former plant has been taken over by the new company, and the Windsor plant and general interests of the Menard Motor Truck Co., which has been engaged in motor truck manufacture since 1908, has also been acquired. The Maple Leaf Company will manufacture standard motor trucks and all truck parts, for both domestic and export trade. It is expected that a big business will be built up with the group of countries with which Canada enjoys favored agreements.” The company seems to have disappeared as a truck builder fairly quickly; in 1923 they were still listed on Granville Street along with Rand Tires, and Reo Motors Ltd had been added to the mix; a year layer maple Leaf Trucks were no longer offered here.

The building was newly built. In 1919 Howard & Davis of the Rand Tire Co had hired architect and builder Bedford Davidson to build the $10,000 building – apparently (from the street directory) the first to be constructed on the lot, although the building permit references ‘repairs’. By 1930 Bowell-McDonald Motors were in the building, and five year later the building seems to have disappeared, with nothing shown on this corner at all. That’s not quite accurate: the address moves down the block  (from 1301 to 1313 Granville), and the building was completely repurposed, initially as the Trianon Balllroom, later the Howden Ballroom. The ballroom use lasted through to 1994, the year that Green Day, Beck and GWAR played the hall (on separate bills, obviously). In 1997 the new Best Western Hotel was completed, designed by Gomberoff Policier Bell, and incorporating an Elk’s Lodge when it first opened.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Trans N18

 

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Posted March 29, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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500 block Granville Street – west side (4)

Here’s another image of Granville Street; the west side of the 500 block looking north from Dunsmuir in 1910 in a Vancouver Public Library image. On the corner is the Tunstall Block, built in 1902 by D Saul for Dr Simon Tunstall at a cost of $22,000, designed by G W Grant. In 1909 he added two more floors at an additional cost of $20,000. That suggests that our Vancouver Public Library image isn’t as dated from 1910, but probably from a year earlier. The next three-storey building to the south was another designed by G W Grant for Bedford Davidson in 1903, at a cost of $10,000.

The biggest building on this end of the block was the four-storey Gordon Drysdale block, built for his dry goods business in 1907 and designed by Hooper and Watkins with an addition in 1912 by S B Birds. Next door the smaller building to the north was known as the Anderson block, dating from before 1888 when there’s an Archives image of the building standing alone on the street, with the fire brigade filling their fire engine with water outside. At the time C D Rand and Co, the real estate company, operated from the building.

The fifth building down is the Inglis Reid Building, another G W Grant design for builder and Investor Bedford Davidson, who also owned and built the building beside it in 1902. The steel frame is where in 1909 Miss Spencer decided to replace her eight year old 3-storey building with an 8-storey steel framed office, designed by E W Houghton of Seattle.

None of the buildings on this side of the street are still standing: today this is part of the northern block of the Pacific Centre Mall, designed by Zeidler Roberts Partnership and completed in 1990. In 2007 the corner of the block had a radical redesign by Janson Goldstein of New York for the new Holt Renfrew store, incorporating panels of slumped glass in the design.

Posted October 16, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Dawson Building – 375 Main Street (2)

George Dawson developed this building on the corner of Main and Hastings in 1911, and we first looked at its history in 2012. At that time we looked at the background of the builder and ‘architect’, Bedford Davidson. We didn’t really examine the background of the man who paid the $180,000 to develop it. George was not a cannery agent as described in the Historic Building Statement; rather, as Dawson & Buttimer, George was an active owner and developer of canneries. Fred Buttimer (actually Alfred) was his younger brother-in-law, and briefly, when the 1911 census was conducted, the two families were sharing a house on Burnaby Street while the Buttimer’s were waiting for their new house to be completed.

They both came from New Brunswick, and George looked after the books and sales, while Fred managed the production. Fred was said to be short, quiet and even tempered, while George was large, distinguished looking and generally silent unless aroused to fury – which was said to occur quite often. In 1893 with their partner George Wilson they acquired their first cannery, in Steveston, which they called Brunswick #1. Their second, Brunswick Cannery #2. was opened in 1897 at Canoe Pass in Delta. Brunswick #3 was in the Rivers Inlet District. They sold all three canneries to the B C Packer’s Association in 1902.

In 1903, now as Buttimer and Dawson, (or Dawson and Buttimer – there was no consistency to the company name) they established a new cannery on Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island (which they sold to Wallace Fisheries in 1911). In 1905 they bought a cannery on Harlock Island, opposite Steveston, a year later they built the Kildala Cannery in Rivers Inlet, described in the New Westminster Daily News as being constructed with the aid of “an immense pile-driver”, and then in 1907 another called the Manitou Cannery in Northern BC. The also bought the Carlisle Cannery on the Skeena River in 1905. B C Packers were unhappy with the increased completion, especially as part of the agreement to buy the Brunswick Company in 1902 suggested that Buttimer and Dawson would not compete. Not only did they compete; they did it with the money B C Packers had paid them for their earlier investments.

George Dawson was from Bathurst, married to Vina Buttimer, 16 years younger, and they had one son, David. We haven’t found a great deal about George, although his marriage was noted in the Times Colonist in 1895. For some reason it took place in Winnipeg “George W. Dawson, canner, of Vancouver, was wedded here today to Miss Vina Buttimer, of Bathurst, N. B. who had journeyed half way across the continent to meet her lover.” There are almost no references to George’s involvement in civic life, although know he was involved in local politics because he was the seconder nominating Walter Hepburn when he stood for the 1916 election for mayor. (Hepburn wasn’t elected). George died in 1935, aged 83. Vina lived on until 1965, when she was 96.

Alfred Buttimer (and we suspect George Dawson) continued to be involved in the fishing industry until 1925, when their remaining cannery interests were sold to B.C. Packers. Alfred devoted his time to Vancouver real estate, and died in 1934.

In 1940, when our image was taken, this was still an office building. It stayed as offices until 1985, when it was converted to residential use, designed by Adolph Ingre and Associates. Today it’s non-market rental housing run by the Affordable Housing Society.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P296

Posted July 20, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Richards Street – 900 Block east side (2)

900-richards-east-1

The building on the right of this 1981 image is also on our previous image. It dates from the mid 1950s, although that might have been a refurbishment of a $10,000 building designed and built by Bedford Davidson for the Pioneer Auto & Carriage Company in 1920. They were a firm of auto body builders run my William Alexander, Michael McLean and William Benson, and seem to have developed from the Pioneer Carriage and Shoeing Co, shifting from horses to horseless carriages.

The decorative building to the north was built in 1913,  a $30,000 office and store designed by W F Gardiner for the North West Trust Co., Ltd. It too was part of Vancouver’s expansive motordom, occupied initially with the showrooms of the Albion Motor Co, (a Scottish vehicle manufacturer), the Albion Motor Express  and the United Auto Agency of BC offices.

Off in the distance on the left is the first building on the block, the Pioneer Steam Laundry, built in 1908 and still standing today. While the steam laundry building remains, the rest of the block here is taken up by The Savoy, a 2000 condo tower designed by Hancock, Bruckner Eng + Wright.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E09.11

Posted March 20, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Granville & Davie – nw corner

Granville & Davie 4

The corner building on Granville and Davie was a bank for many years. The first buildings here were two storeys high, built around 1901, and we haven’t found an image of them. The corner was initially the Braden Meat Market, and from 1908 to 1916 the corner store was the West End Meat Market. In 1916 the building in the image above was designed and built by Bedford Davidson for P Burns & Co at a cost of $5,000. The West End Meat Market was part of the meat empire controlled by Pat Burns. Four years later builders Coffin & McClennan carried out $500 of repairs for the Royal Bank of Canada – who were the tenants from when the building was constructed.

The building didn’t really change its appearance from when it was built until 1931, when our Vancouver Public Library image was taken. We have an image that shows the left hand side of the building in 1916, and the only significant difference was the lack of any awnings.

We assume that at some point the Bank acquired the building; in 1952 they replaced it with a two-storey structure (that’s still standing today). We haven’t identified the architect, but the most likely candidates are Mercer and Mercer, the father and son partnership who had a contract with the bank to design new branches throughout the province. Our 1970s image shows the bank still in operation; in more recent years it has been a Chinese restaurant, but that’s also likely to change soon as there’s an approved replacement residential and retail building that will be seven storeys.

Granville & Davie 1

 

Posted December 14, 2015 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone, Still Standing

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East Hastings Street – 100 block, north side

E Hastings from Main

Here’s another image showing how little some parts of the city have changed in over 50 years. Our ‘before’ picture was taken in 1961; the ‘after’ on New Years Day 2015. While the buildings haven’t necessarily changed much, the use they’re put to isn’t necessarily the same. The Ford building on the immediate right of the picture became low-cost rental housing in 1985, having been developed as an office building called the Dawson Building, built by Bedford Davidson. On the extreme left of the frame is the Carnegie Library which the sign shows was still the City’s Museum in the early 1960s. Heading west down East Hastings the first tall building is the Maple Hotel – looking really good in both pictures for a building dating from 1912 (designed by Parr McKenzie and Day for James Borland). In between the two pictures the building lost its cornice as our earlier post showed, but now a BC Housing restoration has given the entire building a new lease of life.

The two low buildings to the west are from 1904 and 1912; the second by Parr and Fee, who also designed the Balmoral Hotel next door for J K Sutherland, also in 1912. Beyond that are two small buildings dating from 1919 and 1920. The three-storey building beyond that is identified on the insurance maps as the ‘Crowe and Wilson Building’. We’ve looked at its history (and the buildings beyond) when we saw the same block looking east from Columbia Street. Today it’s home to Insite and Onsite, but it was a rooming house called the West Inn in 1961, having changed from the Western Sporting Club when a police raid closed down an extensive gambling operation. The ‘W’ of Woodwards can be seen in both pictures – today it’s a new sign is a slightly different location.

Image source: City of Vancouver archives CVA 2011-068.09

Robson and Burrard – ne corner (2)

Robson & Burrard

We have already detailed the story of the city’s new Public Library built in 1954. The basic structure is still there today – although altered by James Cheng’s redesign for HMV records and CTV in the 1990s, and again more recently for Victoria’s Secret. Of course, a 1950s building wasn’t the first structure on the block, and like both the opposite side of the street and the south-west corner there were single-storey stores here. We saw them in an earlier post from 1925 when the roof of the building was a series of hoardings. By 1951, not long before they were demolished, there was only one hoarding left – and that didn’t face onto the Robson and Burrard corner.

It looks as if the building was already running down by the time the photo was taken.The corner unit was already vacant. Gracey’s cafe was next door, and G H Grant sold real estate from 975 Robson – and shared the address with ‘The Dory’ who sold used clothing (from the right hand window). The next unit was also empty, and J Pickford, a tailor operated from the next store. The next to last store in the row was  Speer & Lamont ladies’ accessories, and the Coca Cola sign was where three businesses all squeezed into one store; Robson Billiards (presumably at the back of the building), W P Brown’s shoe shine stand and Red’s Barber Shop.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA Str N242

Posted February 14, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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