Archive for the ‘Copp Brothers’ Tag

Granville Street – 1200 block, west side

This 1981 view of the west side of Granville’s 1200 block shows Oak windshields and custom auto glass on the corner of Drake Street. Today it’s the wildlife thrift store, but it started life in 1917 as an auto garage, occupied initially by Dixon’s Motors, who sold Ford cars. The auto glass use was here in 1978, under a different business name, and we looked at that use more closely and at the building next door in an earlier post. It was built by Reinhart Hoffmeister in 1912, who probably also developed the next two buildings to the north (no longer standing today). He operated his electrical machinery and supplies company from 1271 Granville in the 1910s. In 1978 it was a piano store, and when the company moved here in the mid 1950s it was run by Elizabeth Williams, (listed for decades as ‘widow of W R Williams’).

The next 25 foot wide 2-storey building is a mystery in terms of it’s developer; in 1920 it was owned by W A Clark, who also owned and developed the next building north in 1911. We suspect he may also have built 1267 Granville as well. The three buildings were replaced in 2002 by Candela Place, a new non-market housing building designed by Burrowes Huggins Architects for the City of Vancouver, with 63 self-contained rooms managed by the Coast Foundation..

The more substantial 5-storey ‘brick apartment house’, designed by Parr and Fee and built by Peter Tardiff at a cost of $60,000 was developed by W A Clark. He was a real estate broker, who also built the Albany Rooms (the Regal Rooms today) on the 1000 block of Granville in 1910, with the same architect and builder. He was from Ontario, and was one of two William Clark’s involved in real estate in the city, which must have been confusing at times. In 1911 he lived with his wife, May, their five daughters, and a servant, Tanda Ishira, who was from Japan.

When it first opened this was the Newport Rooms, although more recently it became the Granville Hotel. Acquired by the City Of Vancouver in 2003 for $2.8m, it’s still run as an SRO Hotel, the Granville Residence. The city paid over $4m more to repair the building, including rebuilding the façade which was in a pretty poor state in the early 2000s. The room count reduced from 100 to 82, and each is now self-contained with bathrooms, small cooking areas and averaging 160 sq. ft. in area.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W00.09



1295 Granville Street (1)

Dixon Motors, 1291-1299 Granville Street

Here’s Dixon’s Motors Ltd in 1921. It was built in 1917, when it cost $7,000 to build. Copp Brothers both designed and built the structure, which the building permit says was for F T Anderson. We suspect that might be F T Andrews, who developed a number of other buildings on Granville Street (including another garage at Pacific), and lived nearby in the Palms Hotel, that he also owned. As with many other Downtown buildings that we’ve looked at, this was part of the city’s motoring concentration. As well as a group of businesses on Georgia, and on Burrard, there were several in this area of Granville. We saw another image of this building in an earlier post.

Dixon Motors Ltd were a Ford dealership offering the usual range of service, parts accessories and tires. This was a new company, managed by L A Dixon. They temporarily occupied premises on Howe Street. The Daily World, in reporting the move, noted the benefits of their new location being on a corner: “The frontage on Granville Street will be used for a spacious showroom and office. The entrance to the garage and service department will be from Drake Street, so that there will be no congestion of traffic on a crowded thoroughfare like Granville Street, and the danger of backing – out from the garage into street cars or jitneys will be eliminated.” We didn’t successfully identify F T Anderson – there were several possible candidates in the city at that time.

In 1925 Dixon’s were still in business, and Mutch’s tire store was at 1275 Granville, a building developed by Reinhart Hoffmeister. He also built the building next door for his electrical contracting business in 1912; (behind the car in this 1935 picture that we first posted in 2012). The 1271-1295 Granville 1935Mutch Tire Co had moved next door, offering Goodrich Tires supplied by the B F Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio (the B F stating for the founder, Benjamin Franklin Goodrich). The company started life in Hastings-on-Hudson in New York, but Akron paid Dr. Goodrich to relocate his business, no doubt to the eternal relief of Hastings-on-Hudson.

By the late 1920s the dealership had been taken over by Fordyce Motors, and the dealership switched briefly to being a Chrysler dealership. Fordyce moved to new premises on Burrard in the early 1930s, when we assume Mutch’s tire company moved next door. Their former premises remained vacant, but a year later Turnbull & Usher, auctioneers moved in, although Barnard Bevan (also an auctioneer) had his name on the façade. A year after that Bevan had moved a block north, and the Crescent Furniture Co. moved in. Tenants in the smaller retail unit changed many times until the mid 1940s, when Julius Shore Mail Order House, an upholstery dealer moved in, Mutch Tires stayed on. They were still here in 1950, but by 1955 had become BC Tire and household appliances, with a piano store next door at 1275 Granville.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4806 and Trans N13