Archive for the ‘H A Hodgson’ Tag

East Hastings and Columbia Street – se corner

This is the corner of Columbia and East Hastings around 1985, and we’ve looked at the history of some of the buildings in the picture in the past. Right on the corner is a wooden building – one of very few left in the area – that was built in 1893 by H A Jones. Next door, to the east, is a building developed by W Clark in 1911 costing $17,000 and designed by a relatively unknown architect called Kenneth Fraser. We have no way of telling which W Clark was – there were two William Clarks and a Walter Clark in real estate, and another William Clark who was a reasonably wealthy business owner. The development probably involved the 3-storey building on Columbia Street, which only appeared in the street directory in 1912 as the Chateau Rooms. Mr. Clark’s lot was unusually L-shaped, with 50 feet on Columbia as well as 25 feet on Hastings – the corner 25 x 70 foot lot was in different ownership. The Chateau Rooms on Columbia were originally run by Madame Rose E Chenette. Douglas Jung, the first member of a visible minority elected to the Parliament of Canada had his offices there.

As we noted in an earlier post, the building was altered several times (and at some expense) several times in the first couple of years. At the end of 1912 there were alterations to a shooting gallery. This was the Wellington Arcade, run by H G Wickwire. It was possible to open the gallery because a year earlier this was the Wellington Theatre, run by ‘Lathan’ and Saborne, as well as the Wellington Pool Room in the same premises. There were alterations to the pool room in 1912 as well. Initially the World Wide News Co were tenants here, but they disappeared within a year and Mr. Clark spent another $2,000 carrying out alterations at the end of 1911, presumably to create the theatre and pool room. William Latham ran a business called Commercial Transfer as well as the theatre, and his partner was James Saborne, who also owned the Granville Chop House. (He’s probably the same James Saborne who also ran the Wilson Cafe on Yates Street in Victoria until 1913 when the sheriff seized the building contents for non-payment of debt).

William Latham’s household in 1901 also included James Saborn as a lodger. William was 50, and from England, and James was 21 from Ontario. William had a wife and three children at home, including Beatrice, who was 16. In 1911 James Saborne was 33, from Quebec, living with his wife, Beatrice who was 25, born in England, and their two sons, Eugene and James Oswald. He had two brothers sharing their home. Unusually, James was identified as a member of the Brethren denomination. James and Beatrice had married in April 1904.

In 1921 William Latham and his Welsh wife Eliza were living with their daughter, Jesse, her husband, Arthur Curtiss, and their 11-year old grandson. James and Beatrice Saborne were living at 1128 Granville Street, with their sons, and James was working as a ship’s steward.

To the east is a 1982 building, originally built as a retail centre, but more recently converted to artists workshops and a gallery. Next door is Brandiz Hotel, an SRO hotel that started life as the Howard Hotel and then became the Empire Hotel. It built in 1913 for Seabold and Roberts and designed by H A Hodgson.

Beyond the Chateau Rooms on Columbia, across Market Alley, is the Great Northern Hotel. This is almost certainly a 1911 building developed by Sam Kee and designed by R T Perry. The Great Northern station was initially just across the street to the south. A third storey was added when the building reopened in 1981 as a Chinese non-market housing building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-1905

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East Hastings Street – west from Columbia

We saw a 1905 image down the middle of this stretch of East Hastings in an earlier post. Until the mid 1900s there was very little built on the south side of the street. Here we are looking at a similar view a few years later, showing the south side. The Holden Building is the large office building – a tower in its day – completed in 1911. Next door is the significantly smaller Desrosiers Block, which was one of the few buildings in the earlier post as it was built before 1901. At the end is the Woods Hotel, today known as the Pennsylvania. It was built in 1906 and designed by W T Whiteway who also designed the Holden for William Holden. The Desrosiers Block was developed by Magloire Desrosiers, a tinsmith, who would have designed the elaborate decoration on the building (which recently received a much-needed restoration of its facade), but the architect is unknown.

Closer to us there’s a vacant site next to the Holden. That was developed at the end of 1911 by Con Jones as a billiard hall, with retail below, designed by H A Hodgson. The image therefore must date from the early part of 1911, when the Holden was complete, but before the vacant spot was developed. The lower floor of the building later became famous as The Only Seafoods restaurant.

The 2-storey building to the east was built after 1903, (when the insurance map shows the site as vacant) and before 1911, when it had been developed. There’s a 1904 building permit for the building. It was developed by Yip, Yen C and designed and built by Mr. O’Keefe. Michael O’Keefe was a Victoria based builder, who was more than capable of designing straightforward brick buildings, and Charlie Yip Yen was the nephew of Yip Sang, who ran the Wing Sang Company. The 1920 insurance map still shows a 2-storey building with ‘rooms over’ and a Chinese laundry on the lane.

Next door, the single storey building (with a hoarding on the roof for William Dick’s clothing store) was developed in a similar timeframe, and in 1920 was another billiards hall. It was built in 1910, designed by Sharp & Thompson for Brown Bros & Co, who also constructed the $7,000 investment. They were florists and nurserymen, and they developed this as their city store. Their greenhouses were at Main and 21st Avenue. There were four Browns involved in the business, William, Edward (who was company treasurer), Alfred (who was a florist, and lived near the greenhouses) and Joseph, who lived in Hammond. Today the site once occupied by Yip Yen’s building and the single storey billiard hall were replaced twenty years ago with a non-market housing building called The Oasis, with 30 units designed by Linda Baker for the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation (known today as BC Housing).

Across Carrall Street the original car barn for the Interurban has been demolished, but the new building, still standing today, which included the headquarters for BC Electric on the upper floors had yet to be built. Designed by W M Somervell it was completed in 1911. As the Holden Building was completed in the same year, this confirms the picture should be from early in 1911 when the Holden was complete, and the new BC Electric Headquarters was under construction, but not yet visible.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA M-11-52

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Posted 3 December 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered

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20 East Hastings Street

 

Some of the buildings in this stretch of the Downtown Eastside are in a bad way, but few buildings show the decline of the neighbourhood in recent years more than 20 East Hastings. Built in 1911, it started life as retail stores and a billiard hall. More recently it was home to one of the city’s best pieces of neon art, for the Only Seafoods restaurant. If the owners had sold ‘only seafoods’ they would have been fine, but the restaurant was closed in 2009 with the health inspectors forcing the closure when the trafficking of drugs from the premises were deemed a health hazard.

At that point it was said to be the city’s longest surviving restaurant in the same location. It changed very little over the years with the original ornamental tin ceiling and a full-length wall mirror. There were seventeen chrome button swivel chair-stools and two tiny booths at the back, so only 25 people could pack in. The restaurant was cash only and patrons were given a rude awakening if they were too drunk to sit up. (The area hasn’t changed that much over the decades – just the nature of the substances available).

When it opened, there was the Mexican Jewelry Palace and John Bogress, a boot black on the main floor, and the Brunswick Pool Rooms (which immediately closed down for a while). L W Sauter took over the jewelry store in 1915. A year later it became a restaurant; the Vancouver Oyster Saloon. In 1918 it was bought by Greek brothers Nick and Gustave Thodos, (although the 1918 street directory thought he was Gustave Tohodar, and for many years they were listed as Thodas). Although born in Greece, in 1910 the family were living in Shasta in California. Although it’s said that the restaurant was ‘immediately’ christened ‘The Only’ , the name ‘Only Fish and Oyster’ doesn’t appear in street directories until 1924.

That year City Council moved in next door. They converted The Holden Block (to the west) into a new City Hall, and continued to occupy the premises until 1936.

The $27,000 building was designed by H A Hodgson for Con Jones, who initially leased the shops, although he almost certainly had an interest in the billiards hall. Jones was an Australian; an ex-bookie who was successful in Vancouver in the tobacco trade. He carried out repairs several times over the years; he was still owner in 1925. He had another billiard room on West Hastings in 1921.

We have a 1936 picture of the building with a tobacco shop that had opened in 1930. Con Jones had a seizure while watching a soccer game in 1929 at the sports facility he developed; Con Jones Park. He died five days later, aged 59, leaving a wife and five children. His tobacco business was run under the slogan ‘Don’t Argue’ – completed by the often missed text, ‘Con Jones sells fresh tobacco’. A year after his death the business added a store here, next to The Only – which was now so well known that it appeared in the street directory as ‘Only, (The)’ The Thodos brothers made their modest premises the go-to for fish; especially clam chowder. The arrangement with the Fishing Co-op that they’d only ever receive fresh caught products ensured their food was better than any other restaurant, even after they ceased to be the only fish restaurant in town.

In 1950 Constantine Thodos, known as Tyke, took over from his father. The ‘Don’t Argue sign was replaced with a huge neon sign commissioned from Neon Products. The seahorse (which was never on the menu) had a tail that curved the wrong way, and at night the eye glowed an alarming red, but despite the steady loss of importance for the area, the restaurant still did well for many years. (Our main picture shows the building in 1985). The family decided to quit in the late 1990s, and it looked like it would close, but waitress Mary Wong took over and continued for over a decade, although the continued decline of the area made things difficult. The presence of dangerous drugs beneath the till was the last straw. The sign was removed a year later – either to safe keeping with Neon Products, or to new owners who planned to reopen the cafe one day. A decade later the increasingly derelict building shows no sign of renewal.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-1902 and Bu P56 (detail)

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Posted 17 September 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Howard Hotel – East Hastings Street

We looked at this Downtown Eastside hotel in an early post that featured it when it was named the Empire Hotel. In this 1935 image it was called the Howard, with no indication in the street directory of who was running it. There were several retail units, with Gaining Tailors at the eastern end, then a cleaners – BC Hat Cleaners, and next door Dick Sun, who was a merchant tailor making suits to order. In the window of the hotel entrance was a poster for the Beacon Theatre.

It was built in 1913 and designed by H A Hodgson for Seabold and Roberts. The building permit suggests it was built as apartments for $60,000, although it appeared in the 1913 street directory as the Hotel Seward, and by 1914 had already had the name changed to the Howard Hotel, run by W P Roberts. In 1918 the Daily World reported the result of arbitration on the rent for the hotel, and illustrated how property values crashed from their peak in the early 1910s. “Judgment in the arbitration to determine the rental value of the Howard Hotel was handed down by the arbitrators, Mr. Justice Clement, F. G. T. Lucas and J. S. Gall, the rent being placed at $75 per month. The lease, which started In 1912 at $500 per month, provided for a readjustment at tho end of a five-year period.”

There turns out to have been far more to this story. In the early 1900s this was a house, owned by Dr Eady Stevenson, who had retired from Victoria. In 1901 Dr. Stevenson was shown aged 63, living alone, born in Ontario. He had practiced in the US for many years, having been the second doctor to offer Homeopathic remedies in Los Angeles. He had also lived in Oakland, and had arrived in California travelling overland with a party searching for gold.

Before moving to Vancouver he lived in Victoria; in 1885 he published ‘Religion or Rum: or, The Influence of Religion on the Use of Alcoholic Liquors as a Beverage’. The book was based on one of his lectures; he travelled around speaking on a variety of topics, and practiced temperance, although ‘not intemperantly’.  He died in 1909, leaving a will that had some unusual requirements. Although some of his bequest went to his brother and nephew in Toronto, he appointed trustees, headed by the mayor, who were responsible for finding developers willing to build on his two East Hastings properties, with at least a four storey commercial structure. The rent would be reset every five years, and the money was to support “Vancouver women of good character, who were not connected with any church.” His relatives argued (unsuccessfully) that this showed that he was of unsound mind and guided by spiritualism. “The Judge held that the evidence brought forward in no way established these allegations, and said that Dr. Stevenson’s sanity had been unjustly attacked.”

The hotel was built where Dr. Stevenson’s house was located, and initially brought in rent of $600, which in turn was distributed at the rate of $20 to 20 women in Vancouver and four or five outside the city. This helped the city’s relief department for six years, until the rent collected was dramatically reduced following the arbitration referenced above. Eventually the trustees sold the property that had been developed, the Howard Hotel, but the remaining site held by the Trustees had never been developed and tax arrears mounted, with no income to cover those costs. In 1923 the land was auctioned to cover the outstanding tax bill.

The Howard is still standing today as a privately owned SRO Hotel.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Hot P75

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Posted 6 December 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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East Hastings Street – 100 block, south side (1)

100 block E Hastings

The building on the right of this 1938 VPL picture is 100 East Hastings, inaccurately identified as the McDonough Hall. Next door, 106 East Hastings was initially built in 1911 at a cost of $17,000 by J J Dissette for W Clark (designed by Kenneth Fraser a fairly obscure architect who was sometimes in partnership with Dissette for development) – but at that time it was described as ‘one and a half storeys’. The building we see today was completed around 1920, and it’s actually L-shaped, wrapping round behind the hall to face Columbia Street as well. At the end of the year Mr Clark spent another $2,000 in making alterations to the property, and a year later other alterations including one worth $1,150 on a permit listed as “Office/store; alter shooting gallery” designed by R Grant and another to “alter pool room”.

Vancouver Auto & CycleBefore the building was built the site was empty, as this 1905 picture shows. Once it was complete it had quite the array of businesses. As well as the East End Cyclery at 108, there was also Borland & Trousedale’s real estate offices, the Wellington Theatre (Lathan and Saborne, props) and the Wellington Pool Room (with the same owners as the theatre). There appear to be no references to the theatre’s operation, and by 1914 it has become the Wellington arcade run by H N Wolfield – presumably a shooting arcade (a  fate that befell the Bijou Theatre five years later)

The low wooden building was occupied in 1905 by Vancouver Auto & Cycle, but a year earlier J F Ristein had spent $320 on ‘alterations to stable’ confirming that was the earlier use for the building (as a livery stable). The company was the first auto dealership in the city, and were bought by Fred Begg who moved on from selling Oldsmobiles (in the picture) and Cadillacs to Ford vehicles, and later Chryslers and Dodge motors. By 1912 they had moved to Seymour Street and it looks as if there was a rooming house upstairs at 110 run by Mrs Minnie Olsen, called the Crescent. There were three shops beneath; a tailor (Thomas Kee), Max Moloff’s jewelery store and an auction company that a year later was occupied by a wholesale cigar company. The arcade, the tailor and the Crescent Rooms were still all in operation through to the 1920s, and in 1925 The Modern Company was at 106. By 1930 The Dominion Furniture Co were at 106, Mac’s Minute Lunch was at 108 and the Washington Rooms were upstairs. Ten years later 106 is a cafe – the Muir Cafe, 108 is a rival, the Radio Lunch, and the Washinton Rooms are still upstairs.

The five storey hotel to the left of the picture is the Hotel Seward, Howard Hotel, Empire Hotel and today Brandiz (our very first blog post here). It was built in 1913 for Seabold and Roberts and designed by H A Hodgson. The two storey retail and office building at 108 today was built in the early 1980s.

Image sources Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver City Archives Trans P47

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Posted 9 June 2013 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone, Still Standing

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Empire Hotel – East Hastings Street

Here’s the Empire Hotel at 122 East Hastings in 1951 seen in a Vancouver Public Library image. Sixty years later it’s still there, these days called Brandiz Hotel, although it’s a permanent home for Single Room Occupancy residents. Like many buildings of the era (this one was built in 1913 and designed by H A Hodgson for Seabold and Roberts) the cornice has been removed. The building permit suggests it was built as apartments for $60,000, although it appeared in the 1913 street directory as the Hotel Seward.  Later it was renamed the Howard Hotel, before it became the Empire. The small restaurants and shops next door have recently been demolished, along with the Pantages Theatre, for a condo project.

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