Archive for the ‘R T Perry’ Tag

800 block – East Hastings Street

800 E Hastings south side

On the right of our 1965 image is the Rice Block. We looked at Mr Rice’s earlier history, and his architect, Otto Moberg, in the previous post. The block, built in 1912 was initially called the Thistle Rooms, with the Thistle Restaurant, which was one of the retail units in the building on Hastings Street, run by Mrs. Lily Muir from 1913. The Thistle Rooms in 1914 were run by Joseph Duminie. He was born in Ontario, and in 1911 was still living there.

By 1920 D H Rice had started yet another career – he was General Manager of the International Advertising Co, living at 800 E Hastings (the alternate address for 404 Hawks). T Ozaki was running a grocery store at 804, James Haughton had a drugstore on the corner, and the Scottish Ham Curers were at 802 East Hastings. Strangely, there’s no mention of the rooms above, although there are residents listed in the directory giving their home address as 800 E Hastings. A year later the Ham Curers have become Sweid Produce, D H Rice is now “gen mgr Internatl Moving Bill Board”, and had moved again, to 1232 W 15th.

In 1922 he appears to have cloned himself – there’s an entry for “Danl H of Rice Inv Co” living at 1041 Comox (but oddly, cross checking there was nobody called Rice listed there – the Bonaventure Apartments, so maybe that was an error). That company had offices at 321 Pender, and there was also a listing for “Danl H agt Natl Life Assce Co r 800 E Hastings”

In 1923, Danl H was a broker, home was  now 1663 Robson. Lorne Rice was a dentist living at the same address: we identified Lorne aged 1 in 1901 when his parents were in Rossland where his father was a grocer. Lorne had moved out again in 1924, and in 1925 Daniel was now a salesman with Paddon & Vogel, real estate brokers at 445 Homer.

In 1926 he has a new business partner and yet another new home address: Danl H Rice of Rice & Nickerson h 2870 Laurel. Another Rice was living at home; Angela was a stenographer with Fleisehmann Co. Lorne was a dentist on Robson Street, and had his own home on Nelson Street. W D Nickerson and Dan Rice were now selling real estate from an office at 441 Homer Street – two doors down from his previous employers, Paddon & Vogel. Things stayed the same for the next few years: by the late 1920s Angela had left home and Daniel’s partner was no longer involved, but he continued in the real estate business, as did Mr. Paddon (but not Mr. Vogel) two doors away.

Once things started getting difficult in the real estate business and the 1930s recession set in, Daniel switched businesses once again. By 1932 he was manager of the Pacific Mutual Benefit Association, still living on Laurel. Lorne Rice had moved his practice address, and his home several times, but he was still a dentist, now on Granville Street. In 1933 Angela Rice still had the same job, but was living on W 13th. The Laurel Street address appears, but now the resident was Olive Rice, widow. The death certificate is confusing – it says that Daniel Rice was born in Ireland (which is quite possible, but it doesn’t match census returns describing him as American, or his brother’s birth in Minnesota). He was aged 62, described as retired, and living with his son, Lorne, on W 36th Avenue for 27 years (which as we’ve seen is very inaccurate, as they had both moved several times over the years). A year later Angela had moved in to live with her mother. Olive Catherine Rice, born in Ontario in 1874, wife of Daniel Henry Rice, died in St Paul’s Hospital in 1955. Her death was registered by her daughter, Angela Berts. A year later another of the Rice’s children, Lawrence, died in Golden aged 57. We assume this is Lorne Rice’s real name, born in Toronto in 1899, and married to Mary McDonald from Boston in Vancouver in 1924.

Two doors up the street is the Hastings Dance Studio, home to the Vancouver Table Tennis Club. It started life as an Italian venue, a hall for the Venetian Benefit Association, designed by R T Perry in 1928. Opening as the Silver Slipper Club, Stevie Wilson outlines in Scout Magazine how in the 1930s The Celestial Gents (Canada’s first modern Chinese swing band) played here, as did The Pony Pals, an early version of the 1940s BC country band The Rhythm Pals. After a period when it was called the Hastings Auditorium, (as in this 1965 image, with dancing on Wednesday and Saturday) in the 1980s it became the Viking Hall. It was home to concerts by punk bands including the Pointed Sticks, who played here in Dennis Hopper’s movie ‘Out of the Blue’. Now located in a part of the city where developers are eyeing up opportunities, and where the recently adopted Downtown Eastside Plan anticipates redevelopment, it’s long term future is probably in peril.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 772-20

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Posted September 28, 2015 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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East Pender and Columbia Street (3)

Pender & Columbia 2

We saw what this view looked like in 1929 in an earlier post. We looked in more detail at the building on the corner in another post. Remarkably few of the buildings further east (up the street) have changed very much since the earlier 1929 image, or since this 1978 image. The biggest change (in summer in particular) is the addition of street trees.

Next door to the hotel is a 1903 building designed by W T Whiteway for merchant, Chu Lai. He arrived in British Columbia in the 1860s, worked in the Cariboo and by 1876 he was able to open his own firm, Wing Chong Company, at the corners of Store and Cormorant streets in Victoria. He was Hakka from Guangdong province, and his company became the centre of the Hakka community. Chang Toy (founder of Vancouver’s Sam Kee company), when he first arrived in the area stayed at the company’s property before finding work in New Westminster. The Sam Kee company developed the hotel building on the corner in 1911. Chu Lai died in 1906 in Victoria, survived by four wives (two living in China), five sons, and three daughters.

The 3-storey building next door is a mystery to us – completed around 1910, we haven’t managed to identify a client or architect. There’s a small, more recent building to the east of that, built in the 1950s, and then the substantial Wong’s Benevolent Association with the Mon Keang School, and the Lee Building is beyond that (which we featured in an earlier post). On the far right of the picture is the Sun Ah Hotel, home to the Ho Ho Restaurant (today Foo’s Ho Ho). It was designed for Chinese merchant Loo Gee Wing by R T Perry and R A Nicholais.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-459

Arts & Crafts Building – Seymour Street

Arts & Crafts Building Seymour

We saw the Arts and Crafts Building on the 500 block of Seymour Street in an earlier post. It was built in two stages; the first phase was designed by Thomas Hooper for Evans and Hastings and constructed by Norton Griffiths Steel at a cost of $45,000 in 1911, during the city’s first really big boom. In 1927 R T Perry was hired to add another three storeys, which he achieved without dramatically altering the building’s style. Subsequent restorations of the building have also respected the original design far more than in many examples.

Evans and Hastings were printers and publishers, sometimes printing books privately published by the author. They had been around in the city for a long time; in 1890 Thomas Evans and Thomas W Hastings bought the printing business of Robert Mathison, the first printer in the city, and renamed it to reflect the change in ownership. Among the wide range of printing jobs that Evans & Hastings could handle were promotional portrait photographs. Thomas Hooper had his printed by the company in 1910. The company operated from 641 Hastings Street before moving to Seymour. Thomas Evans lived up the street in the 700 block of Seymour; Thomas Hastings in the West End.

When this 1924 Vancouver Public Library image was taken there were a number of tenants on the upper floors of the building. Daly & Morrin Ltd (manufacturer’s agents for drapery) and Cluett Peabody Co (shirt manufacturers) were on the second floor while on the third floor were the Dominion Map and Blue Print Co (still in business today as Dominion Blue) and The Multigraphers, Henry Levy, who supplied chemists, Arthur Smith who was another manufacturer’s agent, the McRoberts Optical Co and Percival W Thomas who was an assayer and chemist.

Later, Evans and Hastings were taken over by the Wrigley Printing Co with premises on the 1100 block of Seymour. Today the building still holds its value as an office building, sold in 2013 to an offshore investor for over $15 million.

Posted September 4, 2014 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown, Still Standing

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East Pender and Columbia Street (2)

Columbia Block 1972

Over the forty plus years since the earlier view of this building, relatively little changed on the building originally designed by R T Perry for Sam Kee. In 1935 they were the Tung Ah Rooms; they were still called that two decades later. Just as in 1929 W Santien and Co were occupying the store: but instead of dry goods they sold men’s furnishings – they were still there ten years later as well.  Next door was Tom’s Taxis and the Sen Sen barber’s store; in 1955 it had become the Joyland Arcade. At 107 in 1945 was Way Lee’s confectionary store;  ten years later the Dai Yew Club operated. By 1972 when this picture was taken Con’s Appliances occupied the main floor and the rooms upstairs hadn’t changed their name – they were still the Tung Ah Rooms, although the building had been tidied up and named the Columbia Block. A VPL shot from 1961 show’s Con;s was already established in the building then.

In 1974 the rooms were closed as a result of new City by-laws. It was closed down for seven years, and reopened in 1981 with an additional floor. It had fewer, quite a bit larger rooms, but they were still small. The developers were the Dart Coon Club – an organisation loosely associated with the Chinese Freemasons. The Club still exists, but have their club premises on the other side of the street, but they administer the rooms here. The Chinese Freemasons included Harry Con, who ran Con’s Appliances and was also active in the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association who eventually stopped the redevelopment of the entire Strathcona area. In 1967 he had published the first history of Canada written in Chinese, and in 1982 was awarded the Order of Canada. They hired Joe Wai to design the renovated store fronts and third floor addition.

Today the Chinese Tea Shop have their store here, and along Columbia are three newly opened ‘pop-up’ stores. Three murals, added in 2010, show the Wah Chong Laundry (which was on Water Street), Chinese men in 1936, and a 1905 merchant called Lee Chong. The artist is Arthur Shu Ren Cheng and the work was initiated by the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-451

Posted January 13, 2014 by ChangingCity in Altered, Chinatown, Still Standing

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East Pender and Columbia Street (1)

Columbia & Pender 1929

Here’s the three storey building on the north-east corner of East Pender and Columbia. It didn’t start life like this – it was a two storey building originally, and it was on the corner of Dupont Street (the previous name for this stretch of East Pender).

We’re not totally sure who designed it, or who developed it. It first shows up as the Avenue Hotel in 1896, and W S Cook was the proprietor in 1898. It was located in an interesting part of town that was partly Chinese (so the Hope Sun Co, tailors, were in a retail unit at 107 Dupont in 1898). However, the rest of the block was houses – housing the other main business activity that this part of Dupont was known for. Next door Mrs Laura Scott was resident, while at 115 Dupont Dora Reno was landlady, an American who a few years earlier had run a facility in Fairhaven, south of the border. They were by no means alone – the rest of this side of the block was occupied by young ladies including Pansy Moore, Frankie Preston and Florence Hastings.

In 1889 there had been a Chinese tenement, with Sam Lung’s laundry next door. By 1895 the site appears to be empty, and there were houses next door, occupied by Miss Mackenzie and Miss Jones. Miss Dora Reno was on the block then too, but at the other end at 131 Dupont. A year later this building, the Avenue Hotel was open, but the stores were still vacant. The ladies – or a number of ladies – were here (although only Frankie Preston and Dora Reno seem to be the long-term occupants of the block).

In 1901 Mr Cook was still proprietor of the hotel, and next door Laura Scott was landlady, with Dora Reno next door to her, then Miss Hill, Frankie Preston, Minnie Robertson, Hattie Stewart, Lottie Mansfield, Frankie Reid and Jennie Manning on the corner of the lane behind Westminster Avenue (today’s Main Street). The 1901 Insurance map shows the Avenue as a Chinese Hotel. The 1901 census confirms an observation from the 1891 census – while Miss Reno, Miss Preston and the other ladies on the street were usually listed as having the profession of lodging house keepers, there were generally three, four or five other ‘lodgers’ – all female, often listed as seamstresses, milliners or dressmakers. Most, but by no means all were from the USA, with others from a variety of European countries including England, Ireland, Germany, and France.

It’s likely that this version of the hotel was built by ‘Sam Kee’. He hired R T Perry to design a brick hotel costing $15,900 to build on Columbia Street in 1911, although the clerk recorded a street block on Pender. The Archives have a 1912 register for the Great Northern Hotel in the Sam Kee Company records. The Sam Kee business was on the opposite side of Dupont as early as 1889, and we know Sam Kee owned the hotel in 1915; he hired W H Chow to design alterations to 107 East Pender and he also carried out repairs to a club in the building in 1917. By that time it was no longer the Avenue Hotel – it was the Great Northern Hotel (it changed it’s name between 1906 and 1907). It was associated with the great Northern Railway who had their railway station across the street, with the tracks running in north on a trestle over False Creek. A few years later they built a magnificent new station on the False Creek Flats (demolished in 1965).

Even up to 1911 W S Cook was still proprietor, an amazingly long tenure in a city that generally saw a revolving door of hotel operators. William Cook hailed from Nova Scotia, and had been in the city in 1892 when he bought a lime-burning business based on Dupont street from Donald Menzies. While his family seems to have missed the 1901 census, in 1911 he’s head of a big household with a housekeeper, two married daughters (and their husbands), two sons aged 19 and 15 and a 10 year old daughter.

The club that Sam Kee repaired was the Oceanic Club, and by 1917 the Sam Kee store was next door to the hotel in a 1903 building designed by W T Whiteway for Chu Lai, a Victoria-based merchant. Technically there was no Sam Kee – that was a company run by Chang Toy, but the company name is almost always referred to as if there was a real person. By 1917 there were no ladies on the block – they’d been run off (mostly to Alexander Street) and all the businesses had Chinese names.

By 1929 when this image was shot, the hotel and the area was still almost completely Chinese. The hotel was no longer a hotel, and no names are associated with some of the business – just ‘Chinese’ and ‘Chinese Rooms’, although W Santien & Co were identified as being at 103 E Pender, Chinese dry goods merchants.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-2465

Randall Building – 535 West Georgia Street

535 W Georgia

In 1929 the brokerage firm of S W Randall Co saw their new office building completed on West Georgia. The design is attributed to R T Perry; it had elements of gothic and some art deco, and a somewhat unusual arrangement of two double bays of windows to the west and a single, slightly offset bay to the east. It bears some resemblance to Townley and Matheson’s Stock Exchange Building, completed a year later, but there are several other buildings by other architects, all taking the same gothic theme, and built around this time.

Sam Randall was born in Ontario in either 1878, 1881 or 1882, (depending which record you believe) and probably arrived in Vancouver in 1914. (One version of his biography says it was 1908, but the 1911 census shows him still in Ontario). He was initially the sales manager of a hardware company, Fittings Ltd, and lived at the St Regis Hotel when he first arrived, but soon found a house on Main Street. By 1920 he had become president of the Canada Pride Range Co, and had a house on W 49th Avenue, and he was still in that same house and holding the same job in 1928. That same year he appears to have established his own brokerage company, having been a member of the Vancouver Stock Exchange before 1927.

Randall’s main passion was horse racing, initially entering the business in 1919. He became the dominant figure during the 35 years he directed the Ascot Jockey Club of Vancouver and the Vancouver Thoroughbred Association. The long-time operator of Exhibition Park, formerly Hastings Park in Vancouver from 1920, he also operated Lansdowne Park on Lulu Island from 1924, and managed the Willows track in Victoria until 1947 and also operated Brighouse Park in Richmond and Colwood on Vancouver Island. Randall was the first Canadian track owner to adopt the photo finish and the first western manager to install an electric starting gate 1939.

This wasn’t his first property development; in 1926 Townley & Matheson had designed a smaller building on Richards Street for him. He sold Lansdowne Park and the Randall Building in 1945, reportedly for a million dollars, to the BC Turf and Country Club, concentrating his efforts on the Hastings course. He retired due to ill health in 1955, and died in 1961.

In 1991 jeweller Toni Cavelti gave the building a comprehensive but completely sensitive upgrade, adding a penthouse floor (set back from the parapet) in the process. The project, designed by Blewett Dodd Ching Lee, gave the building an almost identical appearance to our 1929 image. Only the recently restored mural of medieval goldsmiths on the east side of the building (by Kitty Mykka) in 1993 made the building look any different. In 1999 Cavelti sold his company to Henry Birks who still sell Cavelti designed jewelry, and now Time and Gold operate in the store location.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3763.

Paris Block – 53 West Hastings Street

In 1907 Hooper and Watkins designed the Eastern Building on West Hastings Street, although there seems to have been a 1908 permit as well.  Although the Statement of Significance on the building says it was initially an apartment building, the 1908 and 1909 Street Directories shows a fur company, replaced a year later by a real estate company on the second floor, along with the Northern Club, and W A Clark, another real estate broker on the third floor. John F Deeks developed the building, but in 1909 Burton & Jackson, props. of the Strathcona Hotel carried out the conversion to a hotel (although Mr Deeks owned the building until at least 1917).

John and his wife Minnie had been in the city since at least the turn of the century; both coming originally from Ontario (John was born in Morrisburg, and was photographed as a competitive cyclist in the Toronto Wanderers team in 1893). John’s father, George, had been born in England but his mother was also from Ontario. John was born in 1868, 1869 or 1870, depending on which census you look at. The Deeks seem to have had a t least two children, Marion, born in 1903 and George who died very soon after his birth in 1905. John was a successful hydraulic miner, finding gold at Pine Creek in Atlin in the early years of the century and selling out to the North Columbia Gold Mining Company in 1904.

In 1909 R T Perry designed $15,000 of alterations to the building for Mr Deeks (a substantial sum in those days, suggesting significant changes to the building). With these changes, by 1910 it had become the Strathcona Hotel, while a shoe store (initially Starks, and later McKeen’s) had the ground floor. Pierre Paris moved into the main floor in 1919, offering “Corrective Footwear Made to Measure” along with high grade shoe repairing. In 1913 W D Woods, obtained a permit to carry out repairs to the hotel. (As Mr Deeks still owned the hotel in 1917, Mr Woods may have been an agent, or possibly another operator of the hotel). It stayed as a hotel for many years; the Paris company closed down in the 1970s (soon after this 1978 image was taken) – although family members are still in the orthotics business elsewhere in the city. John Deeks died in 1935 and Minnie in 1937.

Next door the Miller Block was built-in 1947, and part of the seismic support for the heritage building includes the adjacent new Annex building by Gair Williamson, also by Salient.

As this image shows, by the early 21st Century the building was in poor condition. Although in theory a Single Room Occupancy Hotel, in practice nobody had lived in the building since 1974. After two other owners, and several false hopes for refurbishment, a permit was issued in 2006 to allow a comprehensive  renovation of the building by Gair Williamson for Salient Developments, completed in 2008. The Acme Cafe moved in downstairs and 29 condo units were created on the upper floors.