Archive for the ‘Franklin Cross’ Tag

Richards Street – 700 block, east side (2)

We looked at the buildings to the north of here in the previous post. Here are several modest buildings, of which two (for now) are still standing. On the left is a three storey commercial building, 726 Richards, built in 1923 by B C Stevens Co. They were a medical supply company who had operated in the city for many years, and more accurately they were the Stevens (B.C.) Company Limited. Before they developed this building they were based in the main floor of the Passlin block, three doors down the street. The company opened its first office in Western Canada in 1889 in Vancouver under the direction of George Stevens, a son of the founder of the business. The Contract Record of 1 August 1923 referenced that “Work is to start at once on a store and warehouse, to cost $20,000, at 730-748 Richards St.; owners, B. C. Stevens Co Ltd., Vancouver; architect, Franklin Cross, 448 Seymour St., Vancouver”. The address was a bit inaccurate; the building permit identifies 730 Richards. It’s possible that the single storey 738 Richards was part of the same development – the two structures share a single lot. Next door at 742 Richards was another single storey commercial building. In 1920 owner A L Hood hired A E Henderson to carry out alterations to the property there costing $2,500, but we don’t know if the single storey building is the result of that investment, or a later development.

The four storey building on the right of the picture (748 Richards) was developed by Albert J Passage and Oliver Tomlin (hence Passlin). Albert was President of the Western Canada Trust Company, worth over $300,000 before its collapse in 1913. He was an American, born in Clairmont, Minnesota, and he moved to Canada in 1892. In 1901 was in Yale, working as a clerk in the railroad office. In 1909 he was in Vancouver, working as an accountant for the Great Northern Transfer Co. His success in real estate was fast; he only formed the Financial and Real estate brokerage with Oliver Tomlin around 1910. By 1911 he was living with his wife Mary, from New Brunswick, their 3-year-old son, Victor, her father, Goodwin Passage, and her brother, Ray Passage.

With the collapse of the real estate business, and a war hitting the national economy, Albert, Mary and their son emigrated to the USA in 1916. By 1930 they were living in Mount Vernon, Westchester, New York, and had another son, Douglas, aged 8, who had been born in New York.

We’re reasonably certain Oliver Tomlin was from England, although he appears to have been missed in the 1911 Census. He shows up in Vancouver around 1908, when he was a shipper with the Albion Iron Works. A year later Passage and Tomlin were in the real estate business, with a series of permits for houses, and just one in 1910 for a larger building, this four storey apartment building on Richards, costing $35,000 and designed by W M Dodd. They sold their development to a real estate syndicate they had put together, with significant British money involved (shown by this article in the London Daily Standard from 1911). The headline shows that property bubbles are not new in the city.

By 1911 Oliver Tomlin was living in the Atlin Block on West Pender. The building in our image was known as the Passlin Hotel. (Given the conjunction of the names for this building, it seems a reasonable conjecture that Mr. Tomlin might have also developed the Atlin Block with a different partner). In 1917 Oliver Tomlin, and his English wife Louisa also emigrated to The USA, and in 1930 were living in Los Angeles. We’re reasonably confident this is the same Mr. Tomlin who was working as the Manager of a Real Estate Finance Company (and that’s why we think he was originally English)’

The Passlin block was demolished and redeveloped in 2007 as part of the L’Hermitage development which also has a hotel, two-storey retail and a condo tower. The Passlin, which was operating as an SRO hotel, was redeveloped as Doug Story Apartment residences, with 46 units managed by Coast Mental Health, named after an SRO resident who was a member of the Coast Resource Centre from 2001 until his death in 2006. The City of Vancouver made a small grant (of $720,000) to help fund the building, but most of the capital cost was carried by the developers, who received additional residential density for the tower. They then gave the building to the City of Vancouver as an air right parcel.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E09.36


St George Apartments – 1045 Haro Street

1045 Haro 2

This (very) low rise building sat mid-block on Haro Street just off Burrard. The building permits suggest that Robert F Tegen was the architect of the Parish Hall and School for the Roman Catholic Church built on this site in 1913 at a cost of $100,000. Tegen was a German born architect who didn’t really practice in Vancouver; he was based in Portland, and the developer was listed as the Church of the Holy Rosary. His only other Vancouver work also had a Catholic client – St Paul’s Hospital, and his contribution to that facility (the centre block) was also built in 1913. His specialty was hospital design (at least one Oregon hospital design suggests he liked to recycle successful design elements), but he also designed the Crystal Ballroom in Portland in 1914 (as the Cotillion Hall).

The problem for us is that Tegen’s building was never built – presumably the Catholic’s plans changed, or finances weren’t forthcoming during the recession that hit the city around 1912. Four apartments were on this site until the mid 1920s, when this 24-unit apartment building was constructed. Frederick William Franklin Cross drew up the designs in 1926, and this picture dating from 1927 presumably shows the newly completed building. Cross was an English-born architect who practiced in Vancouver for over 15 years, mostly designing houses, but with a few more significant projects like this, none of which appear to survive today. He was already 70 years old when he designed this building, and had been in Canada from at least 1912 (when he initially worked for Parr, Mackenzie and Day). In Vancouver he preferred to be known as Franklin Cross – before that in England he was sometimes listed as F W Franklin Cross.

The first year it was operating, the St George Apartments were being run by George Roadnight – we don’t know for certain if he developed it, or just ran the building, but we suspect it was his investment (and the name of the building a pun based on his name). George was originally from Denham in England, was president of the Elks in BC in 1930, and before this building he managed a larger building, the Angelus Hotel on Dunsmuir Street (designed by Parr Mackenzie and Day in 1912 – so possibly by Franklin Cross). In 1911 George had just arrived in Vancouver in the same year, was aged 25 and was working as a night clerk in a hotel, lodging with the Howard family at 969 Main Street. A year later he was working at the Alexandra Hotel, and living on Prior Street. In 1913 he owned a house on E 30th Avenue that he altered by adding an additional room. George was still running the apartments in 1940, although he retired soon after. He died in Vancouver in 1973, having never married. The St George Apartments were still standing in 1974, as this picture shows.

1045 Haro 1

In 1980 City View was developed here by Qualico Developments, with 160 apartments over 7 floors.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu N254 and CVA 778-119


Posted August 10, 2015 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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