Archive for the ‘Fred Cheeseman’ Tag

898 Seymour Street

Here’s Fred Cheeseman’s shiny new gas and service station on the north east corner of Seymour and Smithe, seen in this 1936 Vancouver Public Library image. Fred had built a new car dealership and service centre on Howe Street a a few years earlier, and the business was actually run by Francis G Cheeseman, Fred’s son. If the dates on these Frank Leonard pictures are correct, they didn’t hang around in the 1930s where construction was concerned. The image above dates from July 1936, and the one on the right from June of the same year. The new premises were known as Cheseman’s Safety Service Garage.

The service station lasted barely 20 years, and the Cheeseman family were no longer associated with it. In the mid 1950s Green and Weston ran the tire and parking part of the business, while D G Dunn operated the gas station.

In 1957 a parking garage replaced this building, joined a year later by another identical structure on Richards Street, linked at the upper level across the lane. In 2009 Vita, a 29 storey residential tower was completed here, joined a year later by its Symphony Tower cousin, at 32 storeys. They both sit above two parkades; one underground for the strata residents, and one above grade forming most of the building’s podium, offering public parking for Downtown visitors and in particular those attending the Orpheum Theatre across Seymour Street (with an entrance also on Granville Street).

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Posted November 15, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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1147 Howe Street

This 1933 image by Stuart Thomson shows Fred Cheeseman’s car dealership on Howe Street. Fred had garages in other locations; in the 1920s F G Cheeseman was owner of the Strathcona Garage on West 37th Avenue. In 1936 he built a new reinforced concrete garage in an art deco style on Seymour Street. Fred’s dealership was first here on Howe Street in 1931, as Cheesrman-Franklin, with Francis G Cheeseman shown as manager; Fred Cheeseman had already retired, and either died or moved away after 1930. We haven’t been able to find anything to tell us where Fred came from. Although he was working for Begg Motors from 1917, he seems to have been missed in the 1921 census.

Franklin was the make of cars they initially sold; before this they had been sold at Pacific and Granville. There were 253 North American automobile manufacturers in 1908. That had fallen to 44 by 1929, principally through mergers. Eighty per cent of output by 1929 was by the ‘big three’; General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. Auburn cars, sold here in 1933, hung on a bit longer – production ceased in 1937, along with Cord and Duisenberg Motors, controlled by the same company. Based in Auburn, Indiana, the art deco manufacturing plant is now a museum of the company’s production.

We know what the garage looked like inside; that was photographed as well. The ramp on the right has rollers and a gearbox under the rear wheels showing that it is a Bendix-Cowdrey brake testing machine.

By the late 1930s Oxford Motors had taken over these premises, agents for Morris, M.G, and Flying Standard cars, all built in England. Today the Pacific Cinemathique is here, an art cinema built in 1985 as part of a 13 storey office building designed by Eng & Wright.

CVA 99-4337 and  CVA 99-4336

Posted November 12, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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