Archive for the ‘Dougall House’ Tag

Dougall House – West Cordova and Abbott – se corner

Across Abbott Street from the Wilson Block, Dougall House was built on Cordova in 1890 to the design of the Fripp brothers. It has many of the architectural characteristics of both its neighbour and the Boulder Hotel; rustic stonework, robust design, and an open parapet roof. It replaced a wooden hostelry built very quickly after the fire also called Dougall House. This building wasn’t wasted – after all it was only 3 years old, and had seen many important functions including the Citizen’s Banquet for the city’s first mayor. Instead it was moved back to the other half of the block, where it seems to have remained part of Dougall House.

The new stone building had lodging on the upper floors and street level retail. A number of the stores were used as offices, including those of Dr W J McGuigan who became mayor of Vancouver in 1904. Unlike many of the building of the era Dougall House still stands today, almost unchanged from when it was built, and from this 1949 Vancouver Public Library image. These days it houses the offices of the Army and Navy store company. The wooden building was replaced by the Travellers Hotel in 1910, which later became known as the Metropole, which can still be seen today. The new neighbour to the east is 60 West Cordova, a new residential building attempting which provided (initially at least) low cost market residential units in an increasingly high cost city. Designed by Henriquez Projects for Westbank, the final design includes light box figures on an otherwise black facade.

Image sources: VPL and City of Vancouver Archives Hot P34 and Hot P28.


108 West Cordova Street

In 1898 the Klondike gold rush was in full swing, and having a doubly important impact on the 12 year old City of Vancouver. While successful prospectors were already returning with enough money to commission investment buildings (like Thomas Flack), Vancouver merchants were making money equipping the miners scrambling to catch the tail end of the boom. William Kerfoot ran a clothing and furnishing business with his brother-in-law James Johnston (who had married William’s sister, Deborah, in Emerson Manitoba in 1881). They opened their store in G W Grant’s 1887 Wilson Block in 1890 or 1891 (when they appear in the street directory for the first time).

Like other city businesses they quickly cashed in on the massive upsurge in demand that accompanied the would-be miners, and this 1898 image shows a mule train about to head out loaded with supplies. In the background is Dougall House, built in 1890. Today this corner of the Woodwards development, designed by Henriquez Partners, is partly occupied by the Nesters Market supermarket, part of Jimmy Pattison’s retail empire, reintroducing a food store where Woodwards Food Floor used to be.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str P336