Archive for the ‘R Bowman’ Tag

518 and 522 Beatty Street

We saw these warehouses on Beatty Street as they were in 1927 in an earlier post; here they are as they were in 1974.

On the left is Storey and Campbell’s 1911 warehouse, designed by W T Whiteway which cost $60,000 to build. Jonathan Storey and Roderick Campbell, Jr., were both from Ontario, and in 1892 founded Storey and Campbell which began by selling leather items like harnesses, saddles, and trunks. They initially acquired the saddle-making business of D S Wilson, who moved to Los Angeles; Storey and Campbell expanded the scope of the business over the years – in 1921 their listing said they dealt in shoe findings, leather harness and saddlery, trunks, bags, valises and gloves. The street directory makes it clear that this was a significant manufacturing operation that was large enough to employ a chauffeur and an elevator operator as well as many saddlemakers and leather workers. The advert on the right is from 1932, when they had added golf bags to their range.

The historic building statement claims “As times changed and horses and wagons were replaced, the company also became sole agents in British Columbia for Studebaker commercial trucks. They eventually covered the area from Vancouver to Winnipeg.” We can find no evidence of that at all – a series of dealerships had the Studebaker brand sales over the years – none of them were Storey and Campbell.

In 1901 Jonathan Storey was aged 32, two years older than Roderick Campbell, who was married to Annie. The street directory said he was called Johnathan and put him in a new house at 1771 Haro Street, the same as the Campbell family, with the saddlery business based at 154 West Hastings. Annie had previously been Annie Storey, and the partners were brothers-in-law.

The Campbells moved to a house on the 2000 block of Haro, but Roderick died unexpectedly in 1919, after an operation to remove an impacted tooth. His will was complex, and led to an internal family split. Annie Campbell had to sue her brother, as the Daily World reported “Mrs. Annie Campbell, 1001 Georgia street west, widow of the late Mr. Rod Campbell, is asking the assistance of the court in an attempt to compel her brother, Jonathan Storey, the defendant, to sell property, which they own jointly, and with the proceeds to purchase her interest in the firm of Storey & Campbell Limited. Mrs. Campbell estimates her interest at $159,200.

Following the death of her husband, November 22, 1919, Mrs. Campbell stated today she discussed with her brother the proposal that he should acquire her interest in the business. The agreement was verbal, she said, and was made during the course a trip in her automobile in July, 1920″.

We don’t know how the case was settled, but Annie lived on until 1947, and in 1921 Jonathan Storey was still managing director of the company (as he was in 1951), and was also running the Vancouver Trunk and Bag Limited based on Charles Street. William A Cambell was vice-president of the company, and lived in the Hotel Vancouver – although as far as we can tell he wasn’t a relative of Roderick.

Like some others on the street, the warehouse was constructed with a steel-frame and exterior brick walls, which provided a measure of fire protection. Unusually for the time it had a sprinkler system and was connected with the fire department. There was a showroom and offices on the ground floor and mezzanine. Loading and unloading occurred at the lane and railway tracks, with a large freight elevator next to the loading dock. The building’s storefront underwent alteration in 1940, designed by architect Thomas Kerr, known for the design of several local theatres. Storey and Campbell remained in the building until 1951, when they sold the dry goods business to the Gordon Mackay Company Ltd. of Toronto, reportedly the largest textile distributor in Canada at the time. The building was converted to 48 apartments in 1996, designed by K C Mooney.

Next door, in the centre of the picture, today’s Bowman Lofts building was converted to residential use in 2006, 100 years after it was first built. The original building was five storeys (although seven on the lane as there’s a significant grade drop, and the rail sidings at the back of the warehouses were over 20 feet lower than Beatty Street). It was developed by Richard Bowman, whose history we examined in relation to another warehouse he built on Homer Street. He operated Bowman’s storage, with a warehouse on Powell Street, but this was never occupied by that operation. We haven’t been able to track the architect of the original structure, but seven years later another two storeys were added, designed by F Rayner and costing $5,000, but the building you see today was severely damaged by fire in 1929 and rebuilt in 1944 with a new façade designed by Townley and Matheson.

The building was initially occupied by two manufacturing companies owned by prominent businessman W J Pendray: the British Columbia Soap Works and British America Paint Company Ltd. (BAPCO), both headquartered near Pendray’s home in Victoria. The soap works was sold to American commercial giant Lever Brothers after Pendray’s death in 1913. The building remained the local warehouse for BAPCO Paints for many decades. It was also associated with the Vancouver Rubber Co, later Gutta Percha & Rubber Co. Ltd. The flammable nature of these industrial products was the cause of a fire that gutted the building in 1929. A third company, Tilden, Gurney and Co also occupied the building when it was first built. They were an Ontario stove manufacturer, based in a huge building complex in Hamilton.

The Paint Company commissioned the 1944 rebuild, but later the building changed to clothing manufacturing and offices. A two-storey addition, set back from the facade, was constructed as part of the building’s rehabilitation and conversion to condos, designed by Ankenman Marchand and Gair Williamson Architects.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-6


1008 Homer Street

1000 Block Homer 2

The 5-storey warehouse on the corner of Homer and Nelson Street was owned, designed and built by R Bowman in 1909. There was a well-known Vancouver architect, J H Bowman, but R Bowman was somebody else (and no relation, as far as we can tell). Heritage Vancouver have found the Vancouver Sun description of the development. In October, 1909 they reported that “A building permit was this morning taken out by Mr. R. Bowman for a five-story block located on the southeast corner of Nelson and Homer streets, the site having been recently acquired from the C.P.R. The building will be of brick construction throughout, and is designed for warehouse and factory purposes. It is understood that before it was planned a ten-year lease of the premises was made to representatives of a local industry which will employ 50 hands as soon as operations are started“. The ‘local industry’ mentioned in the article was the Vancouver based Bogardus Wickens & Begg Glass Company (formerly the B.C. Plate Glass Importing Company).

In 1901 Richard Bowman’s Trade or Occupation is described in the census return as storekeeper and the 1911 Street Directory clarifies that he was storekeeper for the CPR shops. However, in 1911, the single word entry for Mr Bowman’s occupation says ‘Income’ and the 1912 Directory (which reflects what he was doing in 1911) refers to him as a commercial agent. He arrived in Canada from England either in 1875 or 1881 (the two census records show different dates). By 1901 He had a wife, Nancy (who had also been born in England but arrived before Richard either in 1866 when she was only aged four or 1870 when she would have been eight.), Their son, Oscar, is listed as being born in Ontario in the 1901 Census, and England in 1911, and was born in either 1883 or 1886. As far as the 1911 census is concerned he had not arrived in Canada (as an immigrant at least) until 1907 although he was living with his parents in Vancouver in 1901. James Bowman, Richard’s nephew, was also living with the family in 1901. The Bowman family lived in a turreted house at 1101 Harwood before moving to Osler.

We don’t know if Mr Bowman really designed the building. F H Rayner was architect for the added floors on Bowman’s warehouse on Beatty Street, and a house for him on Osler Avenue, but that was in 1913.  He only has one other building listed, also in 1913, so he probably wasn’t in Vancouver in 1909.

Richard Bowman’s son, Oscar joined him in running Bowman Storage, but Oscar died in 1923, and in the 1920 US Census Richard and Nancy Bowman are living in Long Beach, California. Richard died in Vancouver in 1926 and Oscar’s widow, Beatrice, ran the company from 1926 to her death in 1941. Beatrice married Oscar in 1913 and became bookkeeper for the Bowman company.

At some point – apparently quite early in its history – the building added office uses to the upper floors. While today there is a Shoppers Dug Mart on the main floor and a TD Bank beneath it, in the early 1950s it was the Canada Cycle & Motor Co. Today there are a number of office users upstairs, including several mining exploration companies, acupuncture, aromatherapy and a yoga studio. In 1952 it was the Canadian Mercantile Insurance Co, the Commerce Mutual Insurance Co and C R Padget’s real estate office.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E12.30 (1981)

Posted February 12, 2013 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, Yaletown

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