Archive for the ‘Parr McKenzie and Day’ Tag

1030 Robson Street

This 1974 image shows a 3-storey brick apartment building on the 1000 block of Robson. It was developed by Oscar Schuman, (listed as Schumann on the permit), who was owner of the Beaver Cafe, and who lived on Point Grey Road. E J Ryan built the $20,000 development, designed by Parr, McKenzie & Day, in 1912.

Oscar was listed in the 1911 census as a 38-year-old German restaurant owner, with his wife, aged 22, called Olga, from Russia, and a daughter called Margaret who was two. In 1910 he had been fined $100 for selling alcohol in his unlicenced Hastings Street Cafe. In a sting operation, Inspector McMahon ordered whisky with his meal, and paid for it on leaving. Although the owner was not present, he was fined for the offence, as his defence that “He kept the whisky for making sauce, and no one was Instructed to sell It.” wasn’t considered credible. That same year the death of his baby daughter, Anna, was reported.

He first showed up in Vancouver in 1903, when he was running the ‘Saddle Rock Restaurant and Oyster Parlors’ in the Boulder Dining Room on Cordova Street. He sold that in 1907, and this wasn’t his only development – he also built a frame apartment in 1908 on Cornwall Avenue. Despite his German origins, he was still in the city in 1915, running his new rooms here, which were called the Auld Rooms. His family however moved on; there’s a record of Margaret crossing from Washington State to Victoria in 1915, and in 1920 Olga and Margaret were living in a boarding house in Seattle. Oscar himself had left Vancouver by 1916, and we can’t find him after that.

This became the Robson Hotel, run by Charles Pearse in 1918. By 1930 it had become Robson Lodge, a name it retains. Nothing much seems to have happened here. The address appears in the press, but only to advertise rooms. In the 1970s a room was $135 and in the 1980s a 2-room suite was $375 a month. The one excitement was in 1945, when the Sun reported “Police Arrest Silk-Tie Toter. Charles Bryan Codd of 1030 Robson was arrested by police late Sunday in a lane in the 100 block East Pender and charged with theft. Police say they found on him four boxes containing two dozen silk ties, allegedly stolen from the Gum Jang Company, 102 East Pender

In 1974 the Salamander Shoe Store and Happy Feet Shoe Repair were alongside the Robson Florist. At some point the entrance to the apartments was shifted from the centre of the main floor to the east side. For over a decade, this was home to a branch of Cafe Crepe, but that closed during the covid pandemic and the retail space is now for lease.

The single storey stores to the right were developed in 1922 by E Winearls, and built by Bedford Davidson. In 1999 they were replaced with a contemporary glass fronted box, designed by W T Leung.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-323

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Posted 20 September 2021 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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Powell Street – 300 block

Here’s the 300 block of Powell street looking westward. We looked at the history of T Maikawa’s art deco department store on the right (which today is a food manufacturing business) in an earlier post. In 1936 it replaced a 3-storey building with bay windows, seen here in 1929. It was a boarding house run by Y Uchibori, built around 1907 (when the building permits are missing). Mr. Maikawa had his store on the main floor. Before that there was a house here, occupied for many years by Maggie Phillips, a widow who worked as a nurse. The smaller buildings to the west were owned by builders Champion and White.

Next door. on the edge of the picture is another 3-storey building, a $35,000 apartment building designed (according to the permit) by ‘Horton & Phillips’ for ‘Mrs. Tuthill”. She lived in Glencoe Lodge at the time, and was originally from New York. She married David S. Tuthill, an accountant, in 1874, and they moved to Portland, Oregon. He was apparently successful in business; by 1897 he was president of the Acme Mills Ltd. He died at his home in 1897, from a gunshot to his head, which was probably self-inflicted. By 1899 Emma Tuthill had moved to Vancouver, and become a partner in F.R. Stewart and Company, a firm of wholesale produce merchants. Her daughter, Helen, married a Portland bank manager in 1898, and they also moved north, (her husband became an accountant at B.C. Sugar, and later President) but she died in 1915. Her mother died in 1927, and both are buried in Mountain View Cemetery. The architects were actually Horton & Phipps, but the clerk could be permitted the error as they were a Victoria partnership.

On the left is the 1912 rental apartments designed by William Gardiner, according to the building permit for David Sanguineti, who paid E J Ryan $45,000 to build the building. David and his wife Mary were from Italy and in their late 40s in 1911, and apparently earned enough income from their three lodgers and other sources to not have to work (according to the census). Their lodgers included an Italian tailor and an engineer.

David had arrived in Canada in 1880, when he would have been aged around 17, and Mary was 33 when she came in 1898. We had some trouble tracing David in Vancouver, until we remembered the struggles clerks had with spelling names. That way we found David living in the household of Angelo Calori in the Hotel Europe, in the 1901 census, when he was recorded as David Sanguinati, a barkeeper. The street directory managed a typo and a spelling puzzle, and called him Davis Sanguinetti in 1901 (the first time we find him in the city), David Sanginnet in 1902 and Sanguinette in 1904. By 1909 David was living on East Cordova and was the hotel Europe’s clerk, listed as Sanquineti. Strangely, although he supposedly developed this relatively expensive building in 1912, he was listed as David Sanguite, a labourer, that year.

In 1914 David applied to prospect for coal and natural gas on a 640 acre property on the Fraser River. By 1916 he was recorded as Sanguineti again, and once more was the clerk at the Hotel Europe. He still had the same job in 1920, and was only 59 when he died in 1921. He has a prominent memorial in Mountain View cemetery, which tells us he came from Genova. His widow, Maria Martina Sanguineti was buried with him following her death in 1937. She died at St Paul’s hospital, and the funeral cortege left from Angelo Calori’s home in the West End. For David to have accumulated sufficient funds to develop a building like this from a clerk’s job in a hotel seems unlikely. It seems more likely that he was backed by other partners, most likely Mr. Calori who was very successful, and reasonably wealthy.

The building housed the Sun Theatre from 1912-1918. It was in the eastern half of the building, so not quite in this image. C F Edwards ran the movie theatre initially, and in 1913 advertised ” CHANGE OF PROGRAMME DAILY THE SUN THEATRE 368 POWELL STREET, 6 BIG REELS. 5c. The home of Variety – Meet Me at the Sun. (Kindly note the Star is not the only six-reel show in town.) The operation appears short-lived, or at least there was no advertising after that year. By 1915 the building had become part of Japantown. The Canadian Japanese Association had their offices in the Sun Rooms, along with Japan Canada Resources Co and M Yamada’s real estate business, and the Theatre.

A story in the Vancouver Sun showed the attitudes to the Japanese population after they had been forced from the coast into internment camps in 1941. “PRESENT OPERATOR FINED $50 FORMER JAP LODGINGS ‘NOT FIT FOR HUMANS’ E. C Thompson, operator of a rooming house at 376 Powell, was fined $50 by Magistrate Mackenzie Matheson Monday for an Infraction of the health bylaw. In fining the defendant His Worship expressed the belief that former Japanese rooming houses were “in a filthy condition and not fit for human habitation.” Counsel for Thompson told the court his client had taken over the premises in 1941 and had since that date been ‘waging a relentless war on vermin’.

Today the Japanese connection has been restored with the building’s name; Sakura-So, now owned by the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, and providing 38 units in a renovated SRO. (There’s also the New Sakura-So, a seniors housing facility located in Burnaby). All of the tenants have come from the street or shelters, and have a chronic history of homelessness, and are supported by on site tenant support workers paid for through income from tenant rents, retail rents, and an annualized grant from Vancouver Coastal Health. Sakura So offers “supported transitional units” and aims to move residents to better and more permanent housing over time. Lookout spent over $3m improving conditions and adding bathrooms in the property in 2015. A grant of $190,000 from the City of Vancouver was tied to an agreement that the rooms would remain as social housing, at welfare rates, for 60 years or the life of the building.

The building next door was built as a bank in 1913. Designed by Parr Mckenzie and Day, it cost $30,000 as it was built with reinforced concrete construction for the Japan Trust Co. It replaced a building that had been erected in 1904 as tiny ‘cabin’ housing developed by H C Train.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-2467

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Posted 15 October 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

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Angelus Hotel – Dunsmuir & Howe se corner

This 1912 hotel was swallowed up in the construction of the Pacific Centre Mall in 1974, so this 1972 image must show it very soon before it was demolished. Sitting on the corner of Dunsmuir and Howe, it was designed by Parr Mackenzie and Day and resembles a number of other hotels from that era in this area of Downtown. When Thomas Fee and John Parr finally parted company in 1912 after designing hundreds of Vancouver buildings, Parr took two new partners and continued working with them for several years, although the economic downtown and then the First World War saw work dry up across the city.

E J Ryan built the $145,000 building, described as ‘apartments/rooms; four-storey mill construction store and rooms building’. W J Bowser and G I Wilson were the developers. They owned several properties, with other buildings on Granville, Seymour and Hastings. They continued to own this property, hiring hired Sidney Eveleigh to supervise various changes to the building in 1921.

Bowser development interests were secondary to his political career. Born in New Brunswick, he was a lawyer, arriving in Vancouver in 1891. He was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1903 as a conservative, becoming attorney-general from 1907 until 1915 when he became premier of British Columbia until 1916. Accusations of corruption saw a divided conservative government replaced by the liberals, but Bowser stayed as leader of the opposition until he lost his seat in 1924.

George Ingram Wilson was also from New Brunswick, and as an early pioneer of the city had made his fortune in the canning industry partnering with Alfred Buttimer and George Dawson in the Brunswick Cannery. He had extensive mining interests as well, one apparently shared in the same consortium with William Bowser in the New Victor Mining Co., ‘Formed to acquire and work the mineral claims known as the “ New Victor,” “ Royal,” and “ Excelsior,” situate on Wild Horse Creek, in the Nelson Mining Division of the West Kootenay Mining District’. Both men lived in the West End, although Bowser moved to Victoria around the time this building was constructed. They had known each other a long time; in 1896 G I Wilson was president, and W J Bowser vice president (for Ward 2) of the liberal conservative association in the city.

The hotel started life as the Ansonia Hotel, run by Mrs. J Lancaster, but two years after it opened in 1914 it was listed as the Angelus hotel, run by Philip Gaovotz. The hotel soon had many long-term residents, while downstairs was what appears to have been a well run bar. The Liquor Board (initially pressured by the Health Officer) applied more stringent requirements to how they were run, but the Angelus was allowed to delay some of the required upgrades. While men could (by invitation) drink on the segregated ladies side of the bar, women weren’t allowed on the men’s side. The ladies side was therefore required to have a men’s lavatory, which the Angelus lacked, but as there were no recorded problems, the inspectors, who noted the lapse in 1948, allowed the situation to remain through to 1954.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-371

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Posted 5 July 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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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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