Archive for the ‘Edward Lipsett’ Tag

West Pender Street east from Bute

This image was taken around 1910, and is titled “View of Pender Street looking west, showing Elysium Hotel and Hoffmeister Bros. garage” Actually it’s looking east – because the Elysium Hotel was on the south side of Pender. We looked at the history of the hotel in a recent post. It was designed in 1909 by Sholto Smith, with the developer described as ‘C C Smith’ in the permit – although we haven’t found anyone with those initials in the city at the time.

On the left is another 1909 development, but this one more modest. Fred Hoffmeister developed the $5,000 repair garage here, designing the building himself. (His brother Henry also designed and developed repair garages, and the Hoffmeister family had extensive real estate holdings, both as investments, and associated with their engineering and car repair businesses). Although other Hoffmeister family members were in the city in subsequent years, Fred appears to have moved on. The garage flourished, with the Hoffmeisters (whose office was in the prestigious Winch Building) selling a range of both electric and gasoline powered brands.

Here’s a 1911 image from the Vancouver Sun showing both the electric powered Waverley and The Marmon and Thomas Flyer gasoline vehicles. The Waverley was produced from 1908 to 1914 in Indianapolis although it had been built for a few years before that as the Pope-Waverley. It used Edison batteries, and the models shown here could seat two. The cars were popular with lady drivers, as they didn’t require hand cranking to start them. The Marmon was produced from 1902 through to 1933, and was also built in Indianapolis. The first Indy 500 was run in 1911, and a Marmon won. The company introduced a variety of new features, including the first rear view mirror. The Thomas Flyer was a big car, seating seven, built in Buffalo, New York. The company existed from 1902 to 1919. A 1907 Model 35 with 4 cylinders and 60 horsepower won the 1908 New York to Paris Race, the first and only around-the-world automobile race ever held. (The car is on show in Reno, Nevada these days).

After the war the building was used by the Soldiers Civil Retraining establishment. Canada was one of the first Allied countries to implement a system of retraining for its wounded soldiers, and by 1920, when they were using the premises, 26,000 wounded ex-servicemen were being retrained.

On the right in the foregroound is a house designed by Crowe and Wilson for Mrs Lipsett, who apparently built it herself, if the permit is to believed. It cost $3,200, which was a substantial sum. her husband, Edward, was originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and became an important manufacturer in Vancouver, making sails on Water Street. He added to his business over the years, by 1914 working from a larger building and described as manufacturers of canvas goods – sails, tents, tarpaulins, aprons, coats and overalls.

On the right today are a row of office buildings. Closest to us is 1166 West Pender, built in 1974, designed by Paine and Associates, and already proposed to be demolished and redeveloped with a building over twice as tall. Next door is a 1985 office designed by Hamilton Doyle in 1984, and there are two red brick clad buildings from 1980 and 1960 beyond that.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives SGN 1577



Posted 30 September 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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68 Water Street (2)

68 Water St 2

This is our second look at 68 Water Street – and really it’s 68 and 76 (but now combined to be a single parcel, and so one address). We’ve seen the building that stood here until 1911 – the Gold House hotel, and also the first four-storey building erected by Edward Lipsett to the east, initially in 1906. That was built with a heavy wooden frame and brick infill.

There’s a second half of the warehouse in this picture (on the right), that looks at first glance like a repeat of the first building. We noted that there was a single storey building that initially replaced the Gold House hotel which can be seen on the edge of the picture of the 1906 building. The Gold House was still standing until 1911, and we think the single storey building was first built on the site, and then this building replaced it or was added later. That would be after 1920, assuming the May 5th 1920 date is correct in the previous VPL image. It’s construction is quite different – poured in place concrete, although the façade is a match to the original (although the window pillars don’t have to be as thick, as the beam above takes the weight). We thought Dalton and Eveleigh also designed this – they were still designing buildings up to 1920, although there wasn’t much work around. It now looks as if it’s quite a bit more recent: thanks to Patrick Gunn’s digging in the building permits we know P P Brown (probably structural engineer Philip Brown) designed a $25,000 Factory/Warehouse for E Lipsett, built by Baynes and Horie, in 1927.

This 1940 VPL image shows Edward Lipsett’s company was still the occupant. Edward Lipsett was still president of the company, which has expanded to include all sorts of ships chandlery and marine supplies. Ten years later the company was still here, and Mary Lipsett was president, although she had announced her intention to retire to California in 1949. Edward Lipsett had died, aged 80, in 1948, but there was another Edward Lipsett who was vice-president, living in West Vancouver.

Mary Lipsett started collecting native artifacts in 1900, focusing on the northwest coast. A couple of decades later, she got into Oriental art. Her collections eventually ended up at the Museum of Vancouver after having been exhibited in a former aquarium on the PNE Grounds from 1941, moving to the BC Pavilion on the PNE grounds in 1954. When the new Museum of Vancouver was built the Lipsett Collection was moved too, and is now an important part of the museum’s collection, including 1,075 items in the North American Ethnology and Archeology collections (650 of which are related to the northwest coast). Mary Lipsett died in 1952, at the age of 85.


Posted 26 May 2014 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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68 Water Street (1)

68 Water St 1

Here’s another warehouse on the city’s first street – Water Street. This was probably the third building to be built on this site in 1906, a warehouse and factory for Edward Lipsett, sail maker, costing $10,000 and designed by Dalton and Eveleigh. Before it was built there was a smaller wooden building, completed soon after the fire and before the fire it was also a developed site.

After 1906 there’s some confusion about what was added when. There’s a $20,000 permit in 1912 for a 2-storey brick addition at the same address, built and designed by Baynes and Horie for Edward Lipsett. The Statement of Significance for the heritage building suggests that’s another building alongside is the 1912 development, but we’re not completely sure that’s correct. This building’s construction was heavy timbers with brick infill, as was the case with all the warehouses on Water Street at this time.

The Vancouver Public Library image details for this photograph say it was photographed in 1920, but that would be inaccurate if the new 4-storey addition was built alongside in 1912. There’s another permit for 176 Water Street for Mr Lipsett in 1918 for a single storey building, also designed by Dalton & Eveleigh. If the accurate address was 76 Water Street, then that would be the building just showing to the right of the four storey building. It appears to have the name ‘Edward’ on the window – so it could well be Mr Lipsett’s extended premises. That would imply the additional 4-storey building standing today to the west would have been built some time after 1920, and not in 1912, and the VPL date is correct. It would also mean this building was built in stages: the main floor first in 1906 (with the Gold House next door), then the upper floors in 1912.

In 1891, Edward Lipsett started a small sail making business at 69 Water Street (across the street from here) and gradually included fishing, boating and hunting supplies before finally becoming a large retailer of industrial supplies, marine hardware, sporting goods and boats. Edward was born in the US – his family had Irish ancestry, and he was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His wife, Mary, is less clear – one census has her from the US, of Scottish ancestry, and another apparently from Nova Scotia of English origin.  They arrived in Canada in 1890 from Boston and became Canadian citizens in 1898. In 1901 they were aged 34, and had three children, Roy, Harry and Evelyn, aged from nine to five. The family were still together in 1911, living at the house Edward had built at 1166 West Pender Street. Roy was a salesman, and his father (who in 1891 was recorded as a sail maker) is now shown as a marine goods supplier. In 1914 the company were described as manufacturers of canvas goods – sails, tents, tarpaulins, aprons, coats and overalls.

Today the building has office space upstairs and a nightclub with an entrance on Water Street.


Posted 23 May 2014 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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