Archive for the ‘Emma Gold’ Tag

Robson and Howe – south east corner

‘Infinity’ is a rental residential block over a substantial retail podium, built in 1998. Designed by Musson Cattell Massey for PCI Group, it was home to Chapters bookstore for over 20 years, before they downsized to a new store and it was refitted for SportChek, who added the bright red ‘swoosh’ to the tilted box on the facade.

In 1968 Bob’s market sold flowers, grocery and meats until 2am from a somewhat run down single storey building. The building permit shows W A S Richards (an obscure architect with very few commissions) designing a $6,000 brick store here in 1910 for Mrs E Gould – almost certainly Emma Gold, who later hired builders to carry out repairs seven times between 1916 and 1923. Emma was the widow of Louis, and together they ran The Gold House on Water Street, one of the city’s earliest hotels. Louis arrived in the early 1870s; he was born in Poland, and was in Kentucky for a while. He initially leased a store from Jack Deighton, selling pretty much anything in the first Jewish-owned business in the area.

Emma followed a little later, and was a trader independent of her husband. She was born in Prussia (later she said Germany) somewhere between 1830 and 1835, and was probably christened Fredrica. She ran the Royal City Shoe and Boot Co in New Westminster in the late 1880s, and from 1892 referred to herself as a widow, although Louis didn’t die until 1907, in Kamloops. In 1901 Emma and her son Edward were living in Vancouver, where Edward was listed as a commercial agent. Emma was an active developer in the city; she had property on Water Street as well as this lot. Emma was 91 when she died in New Westminster in 1929, so was in her 80s when she commissioned the various alterations of this building through the 1920s. She was buried with her husband, Louis, in Mountain View Cemetery.

Here’s a 1948 picture of the same corner. The image shows the earlier version of the building, before a stucco ‘modernization’. Alongside on Robson Street in both pictures was a two storey frame building with residential bay windows over stores, dating back to 1903. It was developed and built by David Evans at a cost of $3,000. In 1921 Maclure & Lort were hired by the then ‘owners’, Sharples & Sharples to carry out $3,000 of alterations to remodel the two store fronts and create a separate entrance to the top floor. Sharples and Sharples were agents, who represented absentee owners like Edward Farmer who was in the US, in Forth Worth, but hired them to look after his building next east on Robson, on the corner of Granville.

David Evans was shown in the 1901 census aged 50, born in Wales. His wife was 41, and they had a 2 year old daughter, Joy.  We know he was a merchant tailor, and the reason we know he’s the correct D Evans is because he moved his business here from Homer Street when it was completed in 1904. His father-in-law, Peter Awrey and Peter’s wife Rachel were living with the family. Peter died aged 83 in 1905, after a fall while looking at a construction site from the uneven wooden sidewalk.

David was shown in 1911 aged 60, having arrived in Canada in the early 1870s. He wasn’t shown as having employment. His wife Martha was from Ontario, was nine years younger, and their BC born daughter was aged 12. David died in 1916, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. His infant son, Caradoc, was the first burial in the cemetery in February 1887, and the headstone shows that Martha was known as Nellie.

The Daily World reported “Mr. David Evans, 65 years of age, died at his home at 1235 Tenth Avenue West at 11:30, after a lingering illness. Mr. Evans came to Canada 43 years ago, and has been a resident In Vancouver for the past 30 years. He was a native of Carmarthenshire, South Wales, and leaves a widow and one daughter to mourn his loss. Mr. Evans was a retired merchant tailor, having retired from business about six years ago. He was the first bandmaster in this city, and was cornet soloist In the first regimental band formed In this city.”

In 1921 Martha Evans and her daughter Joy were recorded in the census living on West 17th, with Joy shown as a civil servant. Later Martha moved to Seattle, but she returned to the Pioneer’s Picnic in 1939, when she recorded aspects of her family history.

“Mr. David Evans came to Vancouver before I did; he came before the Great Fire, June 1886; I came November 16th 1886. The planks on Hastings Street were not laid at that time; afterwards they planked the centre of it. I remember that, once, Mr. Evans and I went for a walk up Granville Street; the Hotel Vancouver was building; they had more than the foundations finished. Mr. Evans and I stopped and stood in the stumps, about Robson Street somewhere south of Georgia Street; the stumps were all around us, and Mr. Evans said to me, ‘I wouldn’t be at all sure but there will be business on this street some day, but it won’t be in our day.’

“The first burial in Mountain View was my little son, Caradoc, about ten months old; February 1887; the date is on the headstone. At that time Mountain View Cemetery was just a little clearing in the forest; the fallen trees lying about everywhere as they had fallen.” Martha Evans died in 1948 aged 87.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-341 and Str P258.

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Posted 27 May 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Water Street – 100 block north side (1)

Water 100 block 2

Here’s the central part of the north side of the 100 block of Water Street, said to have been taken in 1920. In the foreground on the edge of the picture is a produce warehouse. F R Stewart moved here in the early 1920s from a few doors to the west – so we think this is more likely to be around 1921. The warehouse was altered for the company to move in 1920, and appears to have been developed by another produce business, J Y Griffin, in 1906, who also added an expensive Refrigerating plant and frame freezer in the same year.

Down the street at 141 Water Street is the large 1898 warehouse which the Heritage Statement says was developed as an investment by John Twigge. Major-General Twigge was born in Dublin but was a member of the British army (in the Royal Engineers). He arrived with his brother around 1897, and both invested in property throughout the Lower Mainland, as we noted in an earlier post. There’s no architectural attribution for the warehouse, or the additional two storeys that were built before 1906. It’s possible the Twigges acquired a recently commissioned building rather than acting as developers. In 1898 the Province announced the development of a ‘warehouse for the Estate of Hon. Theo Davies near the W.H. Malkin & Co. warehouse’ designed by C O Wickenden. Malkin’s warehouse was actually in this location, and the two businesses leasing space in 1898 who would both expand and build their own warehouses in a very short time were W H Malkin and Kelly and Douglas.

There had been a small building between the two warehouses predating them both; it was built as the Royal Hotel in 1888 by Benjamin Wood. He left England in 1882, followed by his wife and three children, arriving in Victoria before heading to New Westminster where Ben set up in the hotel trade. Hearing about the fire destroying Vancouver, it’s said the he established a soup kitchen for the firefighters (who would be the remaining residents of the newly created city). A year later the family moved to Vancouver: Ben set up shop as a tailor and built the Royal Hotel with 26 rooms, and his wife, Frances, (like Ben, born in Buxton in Derbyshire) as proprietor. He partnered to buy The Stewart House hotel in 1889, but sold it a year later and returned to running the Royal, now renamed the Albion Hotel. In 1891 he was back in New Westminster, as a brewer. Despite apparently being owned by Emma Gold, In 1894 the Albion was sold at auction by Mrs F Wood, after she won a court case against Emma and Edward Gold in 1893. In 1893 Emma had proposed to build an addition to the Albion Hotel, but she was refused; “a corrugated-iron addition to the Albion Hotel, Water Street being contrary to the terms of the Fire Bylaw”. In 1896 she asked for a street crossing to the Albion Hotel (that she would pay for). This suggests she either settled with Mrs. Wood, or acquired it back, and it became the Imperial Hotel in 1898 before being converted to one of the many fruit and vegetable warehouses on the street in 1901. Ben and Frances divorced at some point, and he remarried, but he stayed in the area and was still a tailor when he joined the Pioneer Association in 1923. He was living on Lulu Island when he died in 1933.

There’s a building permit from 1910 for a new building designed by Parr and Fee here. It was for E Gould, for a $10,000 building. We think that was Emma Gold, who we think had also developed the warehouse closer to us with the arched windows. It was completed before 1901 and as the Twigge block to the west of the Albion Hotel was built in 1898 it seems likely to be the 1890 ‘commercial block for Mrs. Gold adjoining the Albion Hotel’ designed by E A McCartney. Mrs Gold was Emma, the wife of Louis Gold, the owner of the Gold House Hotel across the street a block away. By 1910 Louis had died, and Mrs Gold was an active property developer in the city. An 1890 minute of City Council business confirms that Emma owned this lot, and was seeking confirmation of the site’s building line.

The Heritage Statement for the building, 131 Water attributes it to Parr and Fee for Emma Gold, and calls it the F R Stewart Building, once Stewart’s moved a few doors to the east, Swartz Brothers, another wholesale food company replaced them. In 1920 they obtained a permit for a new $12,000 building designed by Gardiner & Mercer, but there’s a mid 1920s photograph showing the building faced with white glazed bricks, suggesting a Parr and Fee design, so the new owners seem to have made the best of the 1910 building rather than redeveloping.

Like the Royal Hotel, The Twigge building is still standing today. It was converted to residential uses on the upper floors in 1996 (with two extra floors added behind a setback, designed by Merrick Architects) and called ‘The Malkin’. Both the other buildings were replaced in 1974 by the Henriques and Todd designed ‘Gaslight Square‘ for Marathon Realty.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives  CVA 99 – 3257

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