Archive for the ‘Harry Howe’ Tag

690 Beatty Street

Today this is a pocket park, next to the Drill Hall on Beatty Street. In 1921 Union Oil of Canada obtained a permit for a new $1,500 gas bar here, presumably using an in-house design as no architect was mentioned. The building was first noted in the street directory in 1923, although no name was associated with Service Station No. 163. In 1929 the owners are identified as Roach & Rosbotham: Leonard A Roach and Thomas Rosbotham.  In 1926 Thomas was the attendant at a Union Oil service station, and a couple of years earlier he was an orderly at the Shaughnessy Hospital. In 1931 they opened another service station on Dunsmuir Street.

By 1933 this was known as the Georgia Viaduct Service Station, run by Henry Howe. He ran the same business right through to at least the 1950s, as Henry Howe and Sons.

The new public space, built as part of the Spectrum tower development (sitting on top of Costco) in 2007 featues an artwork by Toronto artists Yvonne Lammerich and Ian Carr-Harris called “Writing to You”. The artwork has two cast bronze sculptures at either end of the pedestrian mews. On one side is a table on tiled ground with a letter lying on its surface with several pages left out. On the other side of the site rests a military trunk on broken ground with a corresponding letter on the trunk. The letters are from over eight hundred that Major Lloyd Augustus of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) and his wife Mary Augustus wrote to each other every day during the Second World War, while Lloyd was stationed overseas.

The Archives image from the 1940s doesn’t identify the location, just that it’s Harry Howe’s Service Station. There are several other great images shot by Jack Lindsay in 1945 of the gas station, including this one that shows an attendant filling the gas tank of a 1937 DeSoto Touring sedan with British-American (B-A) Premium Peerless Ethyl gasoline.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1184-1748 and CVA 1184-1749



Posted 25 December 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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