Archive for the ‘Hotel Alcazar’ Tag

311 Dunsmuir Street

311 Dunsmuir

Here’s another gas station that you won’t find today. The Dunsmuir Service Station was opened in 1931 by Roach and Rosbotham at the corner of Hamilton Street. L A Roach and Thomas Rosbotham had another service station at 680 Beatty Street. 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.

Photographer Jack Lindsay took two picture of the station in 1946 when it was managed by William Krikau. He had moved to Vancouver from Rosthern, Saskatchewan during the war, initially working for Dominion Bridge, then moving to Silverdale in mission in 1950 to run his own garage.

Today the site is part of BC Hydro’s 1992 new office, with the supposed theme of water flowing down the mountains (the roof of the tower) to generate power. The Delmar Hotel, behind the service station, still stands behind the recently planted rainforest in the park, designed by W P White in 1911. Dalton and Eveleigh’s larger Alcazar Hotel, to the left of the gas station was built a year later, and is now part of the tower site.

Image Source: City of Vancouver archives CVA 1184-1738

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Alcazar Hotel – Dunsmuir and Homer

The Hotel Alcazar sat on Dunsmuir Street, close to the Dunsmuir Hotel. Designed by Dalton and Eveleigh, it was completed in 1912 in the boom that saw much of Downtown Vancouver developed. It cost $140,000 to build for Dr D H Wilson and it lasted for 70 years before it was demolished. Dr Wilson was a medical doctor, born in Ontario in 1855, who practiced in Manitoba. He was elected to the Manitoba legislature in 1882 and became Minister of Public Works, got married in 1887 and resigned from politics in 1888. He moved to Vancouver the next year, practiced medicine for another five years, and then retired (again) with directorships in a number of financial and insurance companies. When he died in 1926 his estate was worth $85,000.

The site of the hotel sat for another decade before Musson Cattell Mackey’s postmodern headquarters for BC Hydro were constructed on the site. These days the front of the office includes a water feature called Water Works by Tokyo-born Tony Bloom that was inspired, it is said, by a traditional Japanese deer scarer, a shishi odoshi. The Alcazar also featured some somewhat unexpected art in the form of Jack Shadbolt murals from the 1940s that could be found in the dining room.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N446.1

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