Archive for the ‘R V Winch’ Tag

Winch Building – West Hastings Street

R V Winch developed one of the largest and most prestigious office buildings of its day. Five storeys, over a basement, designed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style, it was completed in 1911. Mr. Winch, originally from Ontario, started in the city as a meat and game dealer with a store on Cordova Street. We looked at his second retail location on that street in 1890. He had hired Thomas Hooper to design a retail store in 1889, and he returned to Hooper and Watkins in 1907 to design this building. Construction took 3 years, was completed in 1911, and cost a reported $700,000. It was described as “an entirely modern Class A office building, the first of its kind in British Columbia” It’s something of a departure from some of Thomas Hooper’s other buildings – here he was given a generous budget (initially costs were estimated at $380,000) so he designed a stone-clad building (albeit on a steel and reinforced concrete frame) that would look at home in London or Paris.

There was no cost-cutting on the interiors either; the interior woodwork was carried out by Stewart & Co of Guelph, Ontario, although most of the other trades were local. It was one of the earliest reinforced concrete buildings to be erected in the city, closely following the adjacent Post Office, (also completed in 1911, which is probably when our BC Archives image was taken) The six-storey building featured 312 steel grillage beams, granite piers and reinforced concrete floors. It contained 130 offices and two Otis Fensom elevators. The stone for the façade came from the Fox Island Quarry at the mouth of Jervis Inlet.

Initially there were many businesses with their offices here, including of course Mr. Winch himself. During the 1920s an increasing number of the offices were rented as federal government facilities, and the building was eventually purchased by the Federal Government for a number of departments in 1928. In 1939 the new owners added more office space, but reduced the interior design of the original by removing the first floor’s glazed domed ceiling seen in this early interior shot.

While still a Federal Building, and used as offices on the upper floors, the building was dramatically transformed in 1983 by Henriquez Architects with Toby Russell Blackwell into the Sinclair Centre, with retail stores as well as the government offices around a central atrium that combines four heritage structures.

Image Sources: BC Archives and City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1376-14

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Posted June 22, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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Temple Building – 515 West Pender Street

Because the building permit records for the early 1900s are missing, we’ve had difficulty in making sure attributions here are correct; we’ve already revisited this post twice as a result of further research.

The Temple Building in the centre was built in 1906. When completed it was numbered as 505-519 West Pender. In 1906 the main floor tenants included BC Assay and Chemical Supply Co at 513, while W S Holland of Holland and Davidson Real Estate was at 517. In 519 W Pender, Guilding & Folley, auctioneers occupied the space in 1906, but in 1908 it was Morrison and Morrison, builders supplies, E G Blackwell, manufacturer’s agent, and Hood Brothers, real estate. That’s a clue to who developed the building. The building was designed by Grant & Henderson, and developed by the Temple Realty Company, based in California. The Hood brothers were related to the Temple family of Santa Rosa, California, where a number of other members of the Hood family also lived, and where the brothers lived for a few years.

Robert Hood, one of the Hood brothers, arrived around 1906. He was originally from Cupar, in Fife, Scotland, and once in Vancouver successfully ran a real estate business for over 50 years. (He was also a writer, having attended the University of California in 1905 where he obtained a B Lit. His first novel was published in 1918, and he published seven books; fiction, non-fiction and poetry over a thirty year writing career).

William Bennett Hood, his brother, had been in the city longer. In 1902 he was running a fruit and vegetable business with Minnie Aldridge. They were forced into receivership, and the business was wound up. He married Della Archibald of Santa Rosa in 1909, but died in 1917.

The company was more ambitious than some rivals, advertising in an Oregon newspaper in 1920 for example “FIVE-STORY and basement modem brick hotel, on Granville street, Vancouver. B. C, 75-ft. frontage, most of furniture goes with building, tenant’s lease expiring, for sale at a sacrifice. HOOD BROS., 626 Pender street west, Vancouver.”

Upstairs, at 515 was the Monte Carlo Rooming House. This arrangement remained for several years, although the real estate offices by 1909 were occupied by “the International Brokerage Co. A Sinclair, timber broker, the B C Ink Co and A Erskine Smith, mines” (he was a mining broker, living up the street in the St Francis Hotel). When this 1946 Vancouver Public Library image was taken, Vick’s Radio Service was in one main floor retail unit, Harvey & Riach’s furniture store occupied the other space, and upstairs were the Temple Rooms.

To the west is a 2-storey building that was developed in 1905 and designed by Grant and Henderson for trader and broker R V Winch. Mr. Winch was amazingly successful, amassing a fortune from starting in grocery and game retailing,  canning salmon, and then also became a broker, supplier, and insurance and shipping agent. He invested his profits from these businesses into real estate, building one of the city’s most prestigious office buildings, and trading in real estate across the city. He owned a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost in 1910, and had three servants at home in 1911.

We identified the development by an early image in the BC Archives that shows the cornice in 1912, identifying the building as “R V Winch Building” although it was shown by then on the insurance map as the Ackroyd Building. We assume the name change is because Mr. Winch had already built the much larger and fancier Winch Building on West Hastings. There was a 1910 Building Permit issued to Akroyd & Gall for $6,000 ‘alterations to office’.

Today the Conference Plaza development is here, completed in 1996 and designed by Aitken Wreglesworth Associates. The Pender Street facades recreate a low podium similar in scale to what was there before, with a 30 storey 252 unit condo tower on the corner with Seymour.

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Posted May 25, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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66 West Cordova Street

 

RV Winch 66 Cordova

We identified a building in a previous post as probably being Thomas Hooper’s building for grocer and meat and game dealer R V Winch. We thought that this photograph showed the same building, although we weren’t certain (although the street numbering and the insurance map from 1901 suggested they might be the same). Clearly this is R V Winch’s store, photographed in 1890 and in the Vancouver Public Library collection. (They have another version of the same picture dated as 1888, but that date is less likely to be accurate).

winch (background) 1893We’ve charted Mr. Winch’s progress in the city on another blog, because he ended up building one of the finest buildings in the city’s early history. His first store was on the same block as this, but further east, at 20 Cordova Street. That was redeveloped as part of the Dunn-Miller block now occupied by the Army & Navy store, and Mr. Winch moved to this new property a bit further west in 1889 – initially numbered as 52, although by the time this picture was taken in 1890 it appears to have become number 66. We couldn’t find any directory records that show him in any building address numbered as 66, it was either 52 or 58 Cordova, but then we noticed way off in the background of our previous post (photographed in 1893) that this building could be seen, just past the wooden hotel buildings that were replaced in 1909 by the Hotel Manitoba.

In 1889 the Vancouver Daily World identified the location of a development by Mr. Winch’s as a 44 foot wide building ‘just to the east of Dougall House‘ which was on the end of the block, several lots to the right in this picture. As this is a 25’ building, we now think Mr. Winch built that investment further down the block, but kept his store here.

R V Winch initially had a business partner – Joseph Shupe – but that partnership dissolved quite quickly. A few years later in 1894 he had another partner, his brother-in-law G E Bower, who was from the same town, Cobourg Ontario, and who started out as a salesman with company in 1892. He was no longer associated with the Winch businesses by 1903, and a few years later built one of a number of investment properties.

W A Grafton, in conversation with Major Matthews recalls selling game to the company. “You see, I used to sell all the fish and game—deer and grouse—to the Hotel Vancouver at first, or to Coughtery, the butcher, and then I changed over to Dick Winch” (Winch and Bower.) “The biggest lot I ever sold to Winch was thirteen deer and sixty-seven brace of grouse all shot by my brother and myself on Bowen Island, and in two days; deer were ‘thick’ then. Winch gave me sixty-eight cents a brace for the grouse, and five cents a pound for the deer.

You could sell the deer only at the opening of the season. After that, you could not sell them; the market was glutted; they did not want them. After the Comox started running, they brought in too many from up north, but you could always sell blue grouse.”

By 1902 the Winch store had moved to the Flack Block on Hastings Street, and a few years later a new building went up on Pender Street. Richard Winch took a gamble on shipping canned salmon to England, was successful in the hugely profitable enterprise, and on the strength of his expanding business empire became wealthy enough to acquire a Rolls Royce and built the Winch Block, now part of the Sinclair Centre.

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Posted April 27, 2015 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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58 and 62 West Cordova Street

58-60 Cordova

We had our attention drawn to this image of buildings on Cordova Street by one of our readers. The picture was taken in 1938, and the Vancouver Public Library image shows protesters headed back from the occupation of the Post Office (photographed for the Province newspaper). From the Past Tense blog  “Unemployed protesters occupied the main Post Office (now the Sinclair Centre) for a month in June 1938. Because it was a federal building, it was up to the RCMP to kick them out, which they did with the help of clubs, tear gas, and a gauntlet of city police. The occupiers were demanding work and wages after the relief projects were shut down leaving thousands destitute. In total, 42 people were hospitalized, including five Vancouver Police constables.”

We’ve struggled to identify the buildings, as they’ve been gone quite a while. However, we think we’ve pinned them down: on the left 58 and 60 West Cordova was a building that we think was designed by Allan McCartney as the architect of a block for F.A. Boehlofski. There’s an 1889 Vancouver Daily World notice announcing the project, located between Carrall and Abbott and in 1886 Boehlofski (or Boechlofsky as he was identified then) was a tenant at this address, with no owner being identified on the voter’s list that year. If we’re right that he was the developer, we’ve come across the owner before – he was running the International Restaurant here in 1889, the International Hotel in 1890 across the street and a block to the west, and in 1898 the Boulder restaurant, also across the street in the same block. Frederick Avon Boechlofsky was born in Hungary around 1835, and he was in the city before the fire. He had two daughters (who worked as waitresses in his restaurant) and two sons; all the children had been born in the US, the youngest in 1879. His daughter Ivy Freda married in 1889 at aged 19, and had been born in Marysville, California in 1870. Cecilia, born in 1873, married in 1899, and her birthplace was listed as San Francisco. In 1880 Frederick was in Portland, Oregon, working as a hotel cook (aged 41) with three daughters, all born in California, and two younger sons born in Oregon. His wife, Margaret, was shown as coming from Germany, although later Canadian census records showed Hungary. A third daughter, Hannah, married at least three times but her birthplace was never identified.

Allan McCarney was born in the Bahamas, West Indies and travelled with his family to New York and Montreal before moving to British Columbia where he worked as an engineer at the Hastings Sawmill. We’re not sure whether he had any qualifications to design buildings, but he had completed quite a few before he died ‘a comparatively young man’ in 1901.

Hugh Harvey ran the Harvey Boot Factory – a successful logging boot facility (competing with Leckies) at this location, after moving from the Dominion Hotel on Water Street in 1921. Mrs Peterson sold jewelery from the adjacent store, and upstairs were the offices of the Relief Project Worker’s Union.

We thought the building next door, selling ‘Pride of the West’ overalls was built by pioneer trader Richard Winch in 1889, with Thomas Hooper supplying the design, perhaps his first commission for a commercial building in the city. We think that’s still quite possible; the 1889 newspaper description is for a 44 foot wide building, two storeys, just east of the Dougall House (which was on the corner). There’s a smaller building to the west of this one, next to the Dougall House, and that was built in the same year for Arthur Sullivan. Winch had a store slightly to the east of here in 1893, which made us initially think that was his development too – but it was only 25 feet wide, and not that close to the Dougall House. The overalls were made at a factory on Cambie Street from before the Great War, and E J Smardon was selling them in his men’s furnishing store in 1938, with the Pacific Rooms upstairs.

Today there’s a new residential building designed by Henriquez Partners for Westbank, who built 96 low-cost home ownership units here in 2012 in a 10 storey building that also has 12 units of non-market housing over a retail base.

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Posted April 16, 2015 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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