Archive for the ‘Reinhart Hoffmeister’ Tag

1260 Granville Street

Hayes Anderson were a newly created truck company in late 1921 when this image was probably taken. They assembled their trucks in a manufacturing plant on 2nd Avenue: the factory is still standing today, but for sale for redevelopment. This building was earlier – it dates back to 1910 when it was developed by Reinhart Hoffmeister. He and his brothers developed a series of buildings around Downtown, often occupied by motoring related businesses. There were several on the other side of the same block, and like this one, the Hoffmeisters also indicated that they were both architect and developer of the building, which in this case was valued at $10,000. Although it was described on the permit as two storey, it looks as if it was built as three.

The earliest company to move in here was the Pacific Garage and Auto Co, owned by S R MacClinton and Howard B Spence. They sold a surprising number of different automobile brands: Peerless, Mitchell, Waverley Electric Pleasure Cars, Johnson Motor Trucks and Stevens-Duryes. The business lasted only a year with the Metropolitan Motor Car Co moving in. They were run by Charles R Thomas, and sold Hudson Automobiles – in March 1912 Mr. Thomas recorded the remarkable success of selling eight cars on the same day. The Waverley sales were taken on by Hoffmeister Brothers, in their premises on West Pender Street. The Canadian Pacific Porters Club were initially upstairs, but in 1912 McGillivray & Reek ran a pool hall.

By 1923 Hayes Anderson had scaled back, and were sharing the premises with the Vancouver Parts Co., a condition that continued until 1928. The parts business built their own property that year, leaving Hayes Anderson with the entire building. At the start of the war the vehicle connection had ended; Store Fixture Supply occupied the building, and they were still here in 1955.

Unusually, the building continues to have office space on the upper floors, as it did in this 1922 image.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Trans N20



Posted 27 January 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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Granville Street – 1200 block, west side

This 1981 view of the west side of Granville’s 1200 block shows Oak windshields and custom auto glass on the corner of Drake Street. Today it’s the wildlife thrift store, but it started life in 1917 as an auto garage, occupied initially by Dixon’s Motors, who sold Ford cars. The auto glass use was here in 1978, under a different business name, and we looked at that use more closely and at the building next door in an earlier post. It was built by Reinhart Hoffmeister in 1912, who probably also developed the next two buildings to the north (no longer standing today). He operated his electrical machinery and supplies company from 1271 Granville in the 1910s. In 1978 it was a piano store, and when the company moved here in the mid 1950s it was run by Elizabeth Williams, (listed for decades as ‘widow of W R Williams’).

The next 25 foot wide 2-storey building is a mystery in terms of it’s developer; in 1920 it was owned by W A Clark, who also owned and developed the next building north in 1911. We suspect he may also have built 1267 Granville as well. The three buildings were replaced in 2002 by Candela Place, a new non-market housing building designed by Burrowes Huggins Architects for the City of Vancouver, with 63 self-contained rooms managed by the Coast Foundation..

The more substantial 5-storey ‘brick apartment house’, designed by Parr and Fee and built by Peter Tardiff at a cost of $60,000 was developed by W A Clark. He was a real estate broker, who also built the Albany Rooms (the Regal Rooms today) on the 1000 block of Granville in 1910, with the same architect and builder. He was from Ontario, and was one of two William Clark’s involved in real estate in the city, which must have been confusing at times. In 1911 he lived with his wife, May, their five daughters, and a servant, Tanda Ishira, who was from Japan.

When it first opened this was the Newport Rooms, although more recently it became the Granville Hotel. Acquired by the City Of Vancouver in 2003 for $2.8m, it’s still run as an SRO Hotel, the Granville Residence. The city paid over $4m more to repair the building, including rebuilding the façade which was in a pretty poor state in the early 2000s. The room count reduced from 100 to 82, and each is now self-contained with bathrooms, small cooking areas and averaging 160 sq. ft. in area.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W00.09


1295 Granville Street (2)

1295 Granville

Our 1978 image shows this modest single storey retail building operating as an auto glass supplier. For many years it’s been used as a thrift store, but relatively unchanged in appearance in nearly 40 years. We saw in our previous post that 1271-1295 Granville 1935it looked significantly different when it was first built in 1917, occupied in 1921 by Ford dealers Dixon Motor Co.

In 1925 Dixon’s were still in business, and Mutch’s tire store was next door, at 1275 Granville. That’s a 2-storey building from 1912 developed by R Hoffmeister, who claims to have designed it himself, with Wiles & Fisher building it at a cost of $8,000. It had a 25′ frontage to Granville, but stretched to 75′ on the lane, behind the next two 2-storey buildings to the north. Reinhart Hoffmeister in 1912 was an electrical engineer and contractor who operated his own electrical machinery and supplies company from 1271 Granville, (the building behind the car in this 1935 image), so quite probably designed both buildings.

Both R and H Hoffmeister also owned property on the same block on the opposite side of the street: Henry (known as Harry) and George Hoffmeister operated a car dealership on Pender Street offering both gasoline and electric models, and were electrical engineers as well. Harry had arrived from Ontario in 1886, one of seven brothers whose father was an international lawyer living in Clifford, Ontario. Reinhart followed a little later in 1888; a steam engineer in a flour mill, he learned about electricity as it was being installed for the first time. William, another engineer arrived in 1893, having worked for Allis machinery and the Pullman company. Hoffmeister’s were dealers for the Dominion, and the E N F (Flanders), and Detroit Electric vehicles: according to Major Matthews in an interview with Reinhart, architect Thomas Fee bought the first electric vehicle.

The Hoffmiester company were pioneer electrical contractors; castings were designed by the company to make generators that supplied electrical power to a number of the city’s earliest businesses, including the pulp mill in Port Mellon and the BC Sugar refinery. Mr. Hoffmeister also had an interest in the Vancouver Manufacturing and Trading Company; a sash and door and furniture factory that also made pails and tubs, with a sawmill in connection with it as well located at the foot of Burrard Street. Reinhart Hoffmeister’s building was Williams Piano House in 1978 (a company that had moved into the building in the early 1950s), and it’s a private liquor store today. At some point between the 1930s and the 1970s the sash windows were replaced with aluminum, and the brick detail lost to stucco.


Posted 31 March 2016 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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