Archive for the ‘M E Williams’ Tag

Thurlow and West Georgia Street – se corner

This image dates back to 1973, just before these buildings were demolished to be replaced by the new office tower designed by Musson Cattell Mackey for Prudential Insurance. Don Docksteader’s Volvo dealership occupied the corner, while to the east was a 1912 3-storey building originally built for Begg Brothers, another car dealership. Costed at $60,000 and built by Dominion Construction it was designed to be a 5 storey structure originally by a relatively unknown architect, M E Williams. Four years later Begg’s added the single storey addition for $15,000, described as ‘Garage & repair shop; lot to the west of the present building & will occupy all of the space btwn this building and Thurlow St., and Georgia to Alberni Street’.

We saw the same corner view in an earlier post that showed the Begg showroom around 1920. In 1924, Begg sold Chevys, Cadillacs and Nashes. Fred Begg was president of the Vancouver Motor Dealers Association when he died in 1939. Fred’s three sons, Roy, Lloyd and Stuart Begg continued running the family business. They sold Chevrolet vehicles for many years, before switching to become a Chrysler dealership up to 1950, still located here. In 1951 they added another showroom a block away in another early vehicle dealership location, but continued to use this location as well for several years.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-383


Posted 7 December 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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1062 West Georgia Street


The Begg Motor Company were the city’s first car dealership. Their first location was on east Hastings, then they moved to Seymour Street, and then in 1912 to a new building on the south side of W Georgia Street. Begg Motors began selling Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Hudson, Chalmers and Dodge Bros. cars along with Republic and National trucks. The company later extended its buildings on the back of the property through to Thurlow Street, ending up as a full line Chrysler dealership and also selling Fargo trucks. Here’s how their premises looked around 1920; by this time they also had dealerships in Victoria and New Westminster.

begg-motors-1062-georgia-1910sbcbr-1916-04-10-p1-beggFrank and Fred Begg were from Lindsay, Ontario, and arrived in the city in 1898. By the time they built their new premises in 1912 they had done pretty well, although they seem to have realized things weren’t going quite as well for the economy, and scaled back their initial plans. The 1912 permit for their new building described it as 5 storeys high, costing $60,000 and designed by M E Williams, but as built it had only three floors – that’s it on the left.

In 1916 a $15,000 addition was approved, including the addition to the west, and also at the back and along Thurlow. The Dominion Construction Co built both projects, and they were the builders of the only two projects we can find designed by M E Williams, which makes us wonder if he acted as their in-house designer. Mark Williams was listed as an architect in the 1912 street directory; the only year he appears in the city. There was no architect hired for the 1916 addition – the Begg Motor Company designed it themselves.

Musson Cattell Mackey designed the 1974 16 storey office tower for the Prudential that now sits on the site.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Trans N12 and M-11-81


Posted 3 November 2016 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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