Archive for the ‘James Borland’ Tag

200 East Pender Street

Despite some liberties taken with the cornice, which these days (and in our 1978 image) has a fake Chinese pantile affair, this is a genuinely old building in today’s Chinatown. When it was first built in 1895, it was a main street (called Westminster Avenue) – not Main Street, and with almost no Chinese businesses. Chinatown was located to the west of here, and expanded eastwards later. Here it is in a 1910 Vancouver Public Library image, before the tiles were added, but around the time when Chinese tenants started to move into the area. The Mon Sun Barbershop was here for over seventy years, and the King Hong Co. Chop Suey House was also here for a long period. The upper floors were used for lodging rooms, professional offices, and the meeting rooms of a Chinese musical society. Among the early professional tenants was Dr. J. Scott Conklin, remembered as a ‘noted B.C. Medical pioneer’.

It was built by James Borland, who was originally from Ontario, arriving in Vancouver around 1891 He started as a builder with two houses built in 1892 – both still standing. He ended up developing a property empire, including several hotels and other commercial investments. For this project (when he was still shown as a plasterer in the street directory) he might have partnered with James Ironside, who built the next door building to the south. He won the contract to plaster the new Mount Pleasant school in 1892. Most buildings along Westminster Avenue were half the depth of the lot, with a rear yard.  In 1907, Borland extended the building east along Pender Street to the lane. In 1919 he sold it to Chinese owners, but the tiled element wasn’t added until 1970. Today there’s an accountant’s office upstairs, and Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng moved from a few doors away to occupy the main floor.

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Posted May 2, 2019 by ChangingCity in Chinatown

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71 to 83 East Hastings Street

Unit block E Hastings 1

There are two buildings in this 1934 Vancouver Public Library picture that date back well over a century; although one has been partly rebuilt in recent times. Today it looks like three buildings because half of the 1902 building on the corner with Columbia has retained (for the most part) its original appearance, (without the cornice) while the other half was extensively altered in the early 1930s, and was rebuilt again a year or so ago, with an additional small set-back third storey. The three storey building on the left (west) side of the image also dates back to 1902, and shares an architect with the other building. This 1934 Vancouver Public Library shot shows the renovation completed for long-time occupant of the building, BC Collateral.

T A Fee designed the three storey building to the west (on the edge of the picture) for Thomas McWhinnie. We’ve looked at a Granville Street property designed for the same client by Parr and Fee, and the hotel further north on Columbia Street that he co-developed in 1911. We’re not sure if there was a delay, or poor recording by the street directory company, but it doesn’t seem that the rooming house on the upper floors was in operation here before 1905. Borland and Brown developed the wider 2-storey building, and they hired Parr and Fee as architects. We’ve seen other Borland investments in earlier posts, including a four storey building on Granville Street (where we looked at his history) and the Maple Hotel a little up the street from here. This is another reminder that Parr and Fee designs are by no means obviously identifiable; this building has traditional sliding sash windows, and no shiny white bricks.

The subdivided building took on a significantly different appearance after the 1930s renovation. The windows were smaller, and squarer, and a distinctive canopy was added. In the 1960s BC Collateral expanded into the three storey building, with a huge revolving sign being added a few years later to the three storey building. The two buildings were painted to match, creating even less coherence from the original disposition of the lots. BC Collateral first started operations in 1918.

In the 16 years before they moved in, the buildings shown here went through several iterations. The 2-storey building started life as the Horseshoe Saloon on the corner, and the Horseshoe Restaurant next door. In 1905 there was a rooming house above the Horseshoe Restaurant (the saloon having apparently closed). The restaurant was run by Peter Bancroft, and Mrs. F McElroy was running the rooming house. The Fidelity Real Estate Co. was next door to the saloon. By 1912 Mrs. John C Gillespie’s Horseshoe Rooms were above the unnamed saloon run by Phil Hacquoil and John Trachy, with a cigar shop and candy store also having store front space. The Horse Shoe Hotel was shown on the corner, run by A Pauche, J H Pates and W Murdoch.

The heritage statement for the building needs to be revisited. It says “The BC Collateral and Loan Buildings are of heritage value to the downtown east side for the business’ continuous local entrepreneurship for nearly 90 years. They are also valued as examples of commercial buildings that have been adapted to continuously suit the needs of one business.” That was once true, but BC Collateral no longer operate here. Instead there are newly rebuilt rental rooms above two retail stores. The 1970 revolving sign has been restored, although it no longer references BC Collateral (as they’re no longer here).

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Posted April 14, 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

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Maple Hotel – East Hastings Street (2)

Maple Hotel

We last saw the Maple in 2012, when it was called the Washington Hotel, and awaiting a significant (and picture-perfect) restoration thanks to the Provincial Government’s program of restoring and seismically updating a series of heritage buildings run as Single-Room-Occupancy residences. The earlier post examined the story of developer James Borland, and some of the hotel’s shadier past. This 1935 image appears to be pretty much the only image of the building’s earlier appearance. The original Maple Hotel name has been restored, along with a reproduction sign on the front of the hotel. There are now 81 units, restored glazing and cornices, and the entire Parr and Fee designed structure’s brickwork has been stabilized, and plumbing and electrical systems replaced.

There are thirteen buildings in the current restoration package, partnered by Habitat Housing Initiative and BC Housing (who funded $87.3 million toward construction and implementation costs, plus additional funding over a 15-year maintenance period. The Government of Canada contributed up to $29.1 million through the P3 Canada Fund.) Merrick Architecture were the architectural partner, and Barry McGinn was responsible for the conservation plan. That document says “It was built for the James Borland, an established building agent to cater to the largely male business travelling public, with such in-house amenities as a poolroom, a gentlemen’s clothing store and a restaurant. On the upper floors, every other floor had a communicating door, which might be convenient for a travelling businessman to reside in one room and work in the adjacent room.” “The original storefront retail alcove was quite deep, providing for display window on both sides of the alcove. By 1936, this retail space had been replaced by a restaurant, the Cairo Café, and the display window areas appear to have been replaced by seating.”

Inside quite a few details of how high-end the hotel was can still be seen; the stairs are marble, with marble wainscoting. This has been restored, the front centre-hung windows have been restored to their original appearance but with double-glazed units in the restored wooden frames, and there’s a gorgeous lighting program on the building at night, as well.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Hot N65.

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East Hastings Street – 100 block, north side

E Hastings from Main

Here’s another image showing how little some parts of the city have changed in over 50 years. Our ‘before’ picture was taken in 1961; the ‘after’ on New Years Day 2015. While the buildings haven’t necessarily changed much, the use they’re put to isn’t necessarily the same. The Ford building on the immediate right of the picture became low-cost rental housing in 1985, having been developed as an office building called the Dawson Building, built by Bedford Davidson. On the extreme left of the frame is the Carnegie Library which the sign shows was still the City’s Museum in the early 1960s. Heading west down East Hastings the first tall building is the Maple Hotel – looking really good in both pictures for a building dating from 1912 (designed by Parr McKenzie and Day for James Borland). In between the two pictures the building lost its cornice as our earlier post showed, but now a BC Housing restoration has given the entire building a new lease of life.

The two low buildings to the west are from 1904 and 1912; the second by Parr and Fee, who also designed the Balmoral Hotel next door for J K Sutherland, also in 1912. Beyond that are two small buildings dating from 1919 and 1920. The three-storey building beyond that is identified on the insurance maps as the ‘Crowe and Wilson Building’. We’ve looked at its history (and the buildings beyond) when we saw the same block looking east from Columbia Street. Today it’s home to Insite and Onsite, but it was a rooming house called the West Inn in 1961, having changed from the Western Sporting Club when a police raid closed down an extensive gambling operation. The ‘W’ of Woodwards can be seen in both pictures – today it’s a new sign is a slightly different location.

Image source: City of Vancouver archives CVA 2011-068.09

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Maple Hotel – East Hastings Street (1)

The Maple Hotel was built in 1912 by James Borland – the same man who developed 1090 Granville Street in the same year. In 1909 James was listed in the city’s Directory as a builder and contractor. Peter Trousdale was a clerk with William Holden, (presumably the same William Holden responsible for the Holden Block)  but a year later (and in 1911) the newly formed partnership of Borland and Trousdale were at 108 E Hastings.  From 1912 to 1921 they were based in Borland’s new building in suite 101. Parr and Fee obtained the building permit, but Fee had left the partnership just before the building was to be built and Parr’s new partnership with Mackenzie and Day supervised its construction.

James Borland was listed in later years as a real estate broker, as was Peter Trousdale in the 1911 census. Trousdale, like Borland, was a Presbyterian, lived in the West End, and had arrived from Ontario. In the 1922 street directory, son Stanley Borland was listed as a law student living at the family home, 1934 Nelson Street, and Peter Trousdale was managing the building he developed, the Trousdale block on E23rd Avenue. In 1925 James Borland had moved to 1361 Minto Crescent, his son Stanley was a dairy manufacturer and in 1930 was running Borland Ice Cream on W 6th Avenue. James is listed as still being in the real estate business from 193 E Hastings. Peter Trousdale is a salesman for the Permanent Loan Company, although still living in his own development off Main Street.

It’s not clear whether James sold the hotel, but in 1930 Mr and Mrs Johnson were running the hotel and from 1932 to 1934 L Facchin was managing. In 1935 the hotel was renamed as the Hastings Hotel. This was no doubt connected to the notoriety it collected the year earlier when local bootlegger and brothel keeper, Italian born Joe Celona was charged (and sentenced to prison the year after) for running a brothel on the fourth floor of the hotel. Local (and prosecuting counsel’s) disgust was greater because he supplied white girls to Chinese clients. (for more on Joe see the Past Tense blog entry). James Borland died in 1937 aged 72 and Peter Trousdale died in 1948, aged 76.

These days the hotel is called the Washington hotel, and its 84 non-market units are managed by the Portland Hotel Society on behalf of BC Housing who acquired it in 1998. It’s part of a recent announcement of a $116 million program to improve and restore heritage features on 13 of BC Housing’s buildings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Hot N65

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1090 Granville Street

We’ve seen 1090 Granville before, off in the distance on the 1000 block of Granville Street. It was designed by Braunton and Leibert for James Borland, who started small, as an Ontario born plasterer, building two houses (still standing) in Strathcona in 1892. By 1901 he was identified in the census as a contractor and he had built a two storey commercial building on Westminster Avenue (also still standing, although much altered). He was living with his wife Sarah and children Alfred and Stanley. In 1902 Borland and Brown hired Parr and Fee to design a building on Hastings Street (which can be seen here), built by Baynes and Horie next door to BC Collateral. In 1904 he had a court fight to acquire a site from Joseph Coote – the site being wrongly identified on the receipt. He won, and acquired the site where the Dawson Building would be erected for $20,000. In 1911 he was mis-identified as Barland but was living with his wife, children and now a daughter, Gladys, and their Chinese domestic Chufat at 1934 Nelson Street (close to Stanley Park, in a rather well to do area of town).

In 1912 he really pushed the boat out, hiring Bedford Davidson to build Parr and Fee’s design for the Maple Hotel (now the Washington Hotel) at a cost of $80,000, and also this Granville Street building designed by Braunton and Leibert which cost $55,000. We don’t often see how much the land cost, so it’s interesting to see it cost twice as much as the building cost to construct. Although built as retail space with rooms above, by 1920 the only occupant was the Standard Furniture Co. By 1933 when this picture was taken it had become the T Maher Furniture Co, who were still there in 1939, but gone in 1940. Today the building still has retail at the base, but it has returned to its intended residential use on the upper floors and since 1991 the McLaren Housing Society has provided low cost, supportive housing for persons with HIV & AIDS.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4324

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Posted March 13, 2012 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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