Archive for the ‘T A Fee’ Tag

1119 Broughton Street

This is the same house in both images, but it’s not in the same location. Redeveloped in 1994, there are now 8 condos on the lot. The house here was originally constructed in 1904, and the architect designed it for his own use.

Thomas Fee was born in Quebec, and trained in architecture in Minneapolis in the late 1880s, and initially arrived in Vancouver in 1891. However, he wasn’t yet building or designing homes, instead he was shown on the corner of Davie and Seymour, in Yaletown, working as a grocer. He was shown aged 27 in the census that year, and his wife was 20. He next appears again in the directory when he had started building houses in Vancouver from around 1894, when he was living on Robson Street. In 1898 Fee went into partnership with English architect John Parr, and immediately turned out designs for buildings like the Ralph Block on Hastings Street as well as many houses. They often featured a circular corner turret, as this does, although strangely, it’s down the street rather than on the corner (perhaps for a view over English Bay).

In the 1901 census Thomas Fee, was shown aged 38, living with his wife Francis (now shown only 3 years younger than him), his six year old daughter Olga, four year old son ‘Blakley’ and his wife’s mother, Jane Paton aged 73. They were living on Burrard Street at the time. Thomas apparently felt the need to underplay his age by two years; earlier census entries and his death notice say he was born in May 1861. He had married Frances Paton in Melbourne Methodist, Drummond, Quebec in 1888, when she was 22.

By 1911 the Fee family had moved to another house he had designed at 1025 Gilford Street. (It was demolished in the 1960s). Frances had her name spelled correctly, Olga was listed with her full name, Olga Merle, Blakely’s name was recorded correctly as Blakely Fowler and Grace Helen aged nine was now a member of the household. Jane Paton was still alive, given her full name, Lucretia Jane, aged 83, and Frances’s sister Helen Elizabeth was also living in the house, along with Charles Fee, Thomas’s brother. It appears that Blakely changed his name as a teenager; the last reference under that name was a trip to the US when he was 16; in subsequent records (including his marriage in 1918) he had taken his father’s name and was Thomas Arthur Fee jnr.

Even when he was building his family home Thomas Fee was looking to add investment value. The permit for the corner of Broughton and Pendrell was for two frame dwellings, so almost certainly the house next to the Fee family home was Thomas’s investment property, also designed by Parr and Fee. That house was lost in a fire in 2018.

The first occupant here after the Fee family moved was Henry B Ford, a family physician in partnership with his brother-in-law, and with a Downtown practice. He was here with his wife and four children for three years, before moving across False Creek.

Andrew A Logan, a timber broker, lived here for many years from around 1911 (and we assume bought the property). He was an Ontario butter and cheese trader in the 1880s, in Morrisburg, and moved to Vancouver in 1908. In 1908 he held a timber licence in the Kootenay, on Alice Arm. In 1913 he had interests in mining as well as lumber; he’s believed to be seen here in an Archives image from around 1913, examining a quartz sample with gold deposits from the Gem mine, near Nanaimo.

In 1915 Mr. Logan only just escaped death, when he was bludgeoned on the head in his basement by an assumed burglar (who was never identified). We’ve put the details of the story as they appeared in the local press on the left.

Mrs. Logan died in 1922, aged 70 having caught a cold that turned into pneumonia. At the end of the year Andrew remarried to Mrs. Emma Wright, of Winnipeg, who had been born in Ontario in 1872.

In 1925 the press reported “Vandal Hurls Stone Through Art Window
An unidentified vandal on Friday afternoon destroyed a stained-glass window In the home of A. A. Logan, 1119 Broughton street, by hurling a large stone through It. Though the act was committed In daylight, no residents In that locality appeared to have been the perpetrator of the act of wanton damage.

Andrew and Emma moved to the St Julien Apartments in 1928, selling off ‘costly furnishings and an excellent piano’ at auction (including a mahogany four-poster bed, and French novels). Andrew died there in 1929; two of his three children lived in Winnipeg, with one son in Vancouver. Emma died in 1953, in Essondale, in Coquitlam. By that point the house here had become a rooming house run by J Collins. Our image shows the house in 1985, two years after it been converted back to a single family home. The renovation and condo project in 1994 that saw the house moved to the corner was designed by Clare McDuff-Oliver.

Image source: CVA 790-1699 and CVA 1376-547


Posted 11 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Altered, West End

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327 – 331 Main Street

This modest building has sat relatively invisible behind the Ford Building (once the Dawson Building) for over a century. It was developed in 1903, and designed by Thomas Arthur Fee (usually partnered with John Parr as Parr and Fee). His client was listed as ‘White, Stanley (Senator)’, who was also listed as the builder of the $9,000 building.

Quite why Mr. White was listed as a Senator is unclear. There was a Senator White in the Canadian parliament in 1919, but he was called Gelard White, and was from Ontario. All other records show the developer to be Arthur Stanley White (almost always known as ‘Stanley’), in business with his father selling men’s clothes from a store a block two blocks to the south. Benjamin and Stanley White travelled to Canada from Britain on the ‘Lake Huron’ in September 1897. Benjamin had sold his home and its contents and Stanley sold his business interests in Haverfordwest in Wales, and they set off from Liverpool to Quebec. Both Benjamin and Stanley were listed on the passenger list as ‘prospectors’, headed for the Yukon gold fields. Perhaps conversations with other passengers changed their plans; when they arrived in Canada 11 days later they were recorded as clothiers, and their destination as Vancouver. They established an outfitters store on Cordova Street, but only six months later sold the business to Donaldson Trading Company of Manitoba. Stanley White and Company opened almost immediately in the 500 block of Westminster Avenue, (now Main Street), selling ‘men’s furnishings’, notably hats and caps.

They obviously did well; Stanley developed this building in 1903, and a year later his father returned to England, via New York, for a four month vacation, and then again in 1905 to Wales, where he married Jane Evans, a widow. Benjamin stayed in Wales, but died less than a year after his marriage. In 1904 Stanley had taken a two month trip to the World’s Fair in St Louis, and in 1905 he was travelling to meet his father and his new bride, but was struck with rheumatic fever in New York, and didn’t reach Wales. On his return he auctioned off the contents of his house, on 9th Avenue, and a year later he got married to Eliza Chase. A month later he sold his clothing business. His health was still poor, and in August he took a trip to Europe following a period in the general hospital.

He isn’t listed in the city from this point on; his marriage ended in divorce, and he remarried to Maude Judd in 1909, in Seattle. His second wife gave birth to a son, also called Arthur Stanley White, in 1910, and they moved to California where Stanley was involved in real estate, living in a villa on the Santa Monica seafront. They had two more sons, in 1914 and 1919, and Stanley was still selling real estate in Los Angeles in 1950. Maude died in 1952, and Stanley in 1959, and they are both buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica. (More details of Stanley and Benjamin White’s lives can be found on WestEndVancouver).

The White Block initially was home to The White Block Dining Room, run by Mrs. Frank Peterson, as well as a a tailor, a liquor store and a stationers. A few years later the second floor seems to have become residential, known as The Galena Rooms. For a while the Star Theatre (a movie house) was here, but it moved to a new location across the street in 1921. In 1925 this was listed as home to the Chinese Library, and the BC Public Market. In 1930 the rooms upstairs were known as The Togo Rooms, run by K Kagawa. Downstairs the market was between The Standard Importing Co (tea and coffee importers), and the Canadian Window Bakeries. After the war, all three businesses were still there, but the second floor was known as the Canada Rooms. In 1955 there was a fish market, a clothing store, and the home of Titan Chain Saws, as well as the Canada Rooms. Our 1978 image shows the Paris Restaurant, offering Canadian Chinese Cuisine, and the New Modern Barber Shop. Today the building is for sale and the vacant retail spaces have most recently been occupied as offices, while the second floor has a lawyer and a doctor’s office.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-49.29


Posted 22 February 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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626 Seymour Street

This small retail unit sits on part of the assembled Bay Parkade site, that will one day be redeveloped by the Holborn Group. Seen here in 1974, it was part of the Y Franks appliance chain. Our ‘after’ shot was photographed over two years ago, when the Source electronic chain still operated here. Today the unit is vacant (and under 24 hour video surveillance, according to the developer’s rather ominous website images).

The building was constructed in 1921, built by Baynes and Horie and cost $12,000, designed by Thomas Fee for F G Evans. In the early 1920s Fee spent much of his time in Seattle, but continued to design Vancouver buildings. Frederick Evans was shown in the street directory as the manager of Dominion Canneries B C Ltd, with a house in Shaughnessey Heights that he had built in 1920 at a cost of $15,000. However, the census for 1921 shows his occupation as ‘none’ which implies he had just retired at 52 (although he actually continued to manage the canning company until the early 1930s), and suggests that this was an investment property. He was born in Ontario, as was his wife Sarah, but the two children, 17 year old Muriel and Winifred, 13, had been born in BC. In 1911 the family lived on Haro Street, and Frederick was listed as a produce broker. In both census records they had a servant as well – in 1911 from Scotland, and in 1921 from England. The canning company handled fruits mostly, but also Green Beans, Peas, Tomatoes, Tomato Soup, Pork and Beans, Jams, some late vegetables and citrus fruit for marmalade. In the mid 1920s they opened a new production facility on Drake Street.

When the building was first completed, the first tenant was William Ralph, who had built his own property on West Hastings in 1899. Ralph sold stoves, and other appliances. In 1929 the premises were vacant, and then V A Wardle, a furniture company moved in. In 1932 they were replaced by Y Franks, the stove and appliance company run by Yetta Franks, the widow of Zebulon Franks, and her son David. Over 40 years later the company was still operating here.

Image source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-415


Posted 12 February 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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900 Granville Street – east side (2)

Off in the distance, behind the tram in this 1948 image, is the Vogue Theatre. To the south is Parr and Fee’s design for T McWhinnie’s Harvard Rooms which we looked at in an earlier post. (That’s the Siesta Rooms and The Roxy today). Hidden by the tram is 944 Granville Street, probably designed by Thomas Fee as in investment around 1905, with four apartments upstairs numbered as 946 Granville. There were three nondescript single storey retail stores to the south, then another two storey building at 972 Granville, almost identical in design to 944 up the street, and therefore very likely also designed by Thomas Fee. Like that building it had four apartments upstairs, and retail below; in 1948 the Kiddies Arcade and Lynn’s Ladies Apparel. In 1916 it was owned by G D Scott, a real estate broker, who may have been the developer.

There’s a narrow two storey shopfront hidden by the tram, but visible in this c1915 image of the same block. It was yet another Parr and Fee design developed by builder Peter Tardiff, whose history we looked at in connection to the Broughton Apartments he developed in 1912. He was probably born in Quebec as Pierre Tardif. The building at 968 Granville started life as The Family Theatre in 1910, and continued to be listed as such through to 1915. There’s an odd situation in that Irwin Carver & Co made $1,500 alterations to the building 2 months after the initial $25,000 construction permit. Peter Tardiff is still listed as the owner, but Irwin, Carver were the designers and builders – even though Tardiff was a builder himself, and had built the structure. It’s possible that they were hired by the operators of the theatre to carry out fit-out alterations.

The Family Theatre itself is an oddity; there seem to be few records of its existence or operation. It opened in June 1910, and lasted less than 7 years. (The building is behind the octagonal sign advertising Cambie Ice Cream, which is attached to the store to the south). In the year it opened Mrs. Clara B Colby, an American who had lectured in Seattle a week earlier, spoke on “The Spiritual Significance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in England”. As with a few other theatres on Granville Street, it was also used on a few Sundays to attract larger crowds to religious services, adding an orchestra to the hymn singing. In 1911 it was announced that “The feature for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Is Pathe’s Animated Gazette. These weekly pictures of the world’s doings, is proving a great attraction at the popular theatre, and deservedly so, for this theatre is the only one in the city that imports the Gazette direct from London, Eng., thus ensuring their patrons the news of the world first hand.” In 1914 we know the theatre was showing movies, because the Manager, Peter Carter, was fined “$10 and costs with the option of ten days in gaol for allowing young boys in moving picture theatres after the curfew hour.”

In January 1917 an advertisement appeared: “BICYCLES AND SUPPLIES GET A MOVE ON. YES. THAT’S WHAT we are doing. We remove Into the old Family Theatre, Granville Street, on Jan. 15. After that date Fred Deeley, The Cycle Man, will occupy the largest and best equipped cycle store In Western Canada.” Fred was born in 1881 in Bromsgrove, England. After 10 years in business in England, he first visited B.C. in 1913, representing Birmingham Small Arms, manufacturer of BSA motorcycles. He moved and in 1914 opened Fred Deeley Ltd. in a 12-foot-wide store at 1075 Granville. In 1916 he acquired a Harley-Davidson franchise, moving to 1126 Granville. He moved to the theatre location a year later, but by 1923 had moved again to Hastings Street, selling BSA, Paragon and Red Bird bicycles as well as Harley Davidson motorcycles. By 1925 he owned a motorcycle shop, bicycle shop, and one of Canada’s larger car dealerships.

The last building on the block dates from 1914, designed by Braunton & Leibert for G B Harris costing $17,000 and built by J Nelson Copp. When it opened Pill Box Drugs were on the corner here; later it was home to Kripps Drugs, who expanded and remodeled the property before moving to Kerrisdale a few years ago. At 990 Jack Stearman had his lock & keys business in the location that in 1915 was a Pool and Cigars store. Two clothing stores took the remainder of the space: Darlings’s Style Shop and Vogue Menswear. G B Harris owned property in the city over many years; he carried out repairs to the Boulder Hotel on Cordova Street in 1901, and had N S Hoffar design a block of stores on Carrall Steet ‘adjoining the old Burrard House’, in 1889. George Berteaux Harris was from Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, although after leaving home he worked in Boston in the US and then on the railway in Panama. He collected and classified birds in Trinidad for three years, working for a Boston ornithologist. He was back in Annopolis in 1881, shipping apples to England and first visited Granville in 1884, returning to his family in Nova Scotia every two years, eventually bringing his wife and children to live in 1895. When he built these stores he was Chairman of the Vancouver Rowing Club. He died in 1936.

Today there are a series of recently developed single storey but double height retail buildings.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archines CVA 229-15 and SGN 1602 (extract)


64-72 West Hastings Street


For the time being this is a vacant site, although not for much longer as the City of Vancouver are planning a 10 storey building including non-market housing here. In 1923 there was a more modest 2-storey structure shown in this Vancouver Public Library image. To the east, just coming into the edge of the shot was the Columbia Theatre, built in 1912.

We haven’t managed to definitively pin the owners and developers of these two storey buildings down, but we suspect it’s another of the investments owned by full-time architect and part-time property developer and investor Thomas Fee. He certainly appears to have been the owner when alterations and repairs were made in 1916, and Fee and Stevens were listed as owners when more extensive repairs were carried out in 1913. He even hired architect W T Whiteway to design alterations to number 70 in 1909, and Baynes and Horie to design and make repairs in 1919, following a fire.

In the picture, these buildings contained BC Barber Supply at 64 W Hastings, the United Empire Club upstairs with Stag Billiards at 68, and Samuel Cohen’s Army Surplus store at number 70. Sam’s business expanded into other premises down the street over the next few years and became the Army & Navy store. At 72 the Pacific Coast Development Co (where R H Wright was Manager) had their offices.


Posted 5 January 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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160 West Hastings Street

160 W Hastings

This is the only building that has been redeveloped in a century on the south side of the 100 block of West Hastings. Built in 1986, it’s possible to see what the architect of the new building, John Perkins, was trying to achieve with the design. The building it replaced had elements that weren’t so very different. Built in 1901 at a cost of $10,000 by Hay Brothers, the design was by Thomas Fee for his favourite investor, Thomas Fee.

Chocolate Shop Cafe 160 W Hastings interiorToday there are four rental residential units over 3 stores, but in the 1920s this was home to the Chocolate Shop Café. We’re putting the picture at around 1924 when the Grand Army of United Veterans were occupying the second floor, and the H&E whose illuminated bicycle sign hung over the bikes in the window were Haskins and Elliot. The café offered French Pastries and a soda fountain, and had a significant staff – here they are, lined up for the camera. In 1924 the business was run by Nick and Dennis Sagris. (In 1927 Dennis escaped with his life when attacked by a cougar while hunting on Gabriola Island. “Eighteen charges of buckshot were needed to kill the animal”.) Nick Sagris was running a chocolate shop on Granville Street in 1921 before opening the café. Like the proprietors of the Trocadero café next door, Nick originally was from Greece.

Haskins and Elliot had two stores, this one and 800 West Pender, and sold and repaired bicycles and sharpened mowers. Their store moved on soon after this picture was taken; in 1925 it had moved to 44 West Hastings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3476 and CVA 99-3475


Posted 21 July 2016 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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71 to 83 East Hastings Street

Unit block E Hastings 1

There are two buildings in this 1934 Vancouver Public Library picture that date back well over a century; although one has been partly rebuilt in recent times. Today it looks like three buildings because half of the 1902 building on the corner with Columbia has retained (for the most part) its original appearance, (without the cornice) while the other half was extensively altered in the early 1930s, and was rebuilt again a year or so ago, with an additional small set-back third storey. The three storey building on the left (west) side of the image also dates back to 1902, and shares an architect with the other building. This 1934 Vancouver Public Library shot shows the renovation completed for long-time occupant of the building, BC Collateral.

T A Fee designed the three storey building to the west (on the left edge of the picture) for Thomas McWhinnie. We’ve looked at a Granville Street property designed for the same client by Parr and Fee, and the hotel further north on Columbia Street that he co-developed in 1911. We’re not sure if there was a delay, or poor recording by the street directory company, but it doesn’t seem that the rooming house on the upper floors was in operation here before 1905. Borland and Brown developed the wider 2-storey building, and they hired Parr and Fee as architects. We’ve seen other Borland investments in earlier posts, including a four storey building on Granville Street (where we looked at his history) and the Maple Hotel a little up the street from here. This is another reminder that Parr and Fee designs are by no means obviously identifiable; this building has traditional sliding sash windows, and no shiny white bricks.

The subdivided building took on a significantly different appearance after the 1930s renovation. The windows were smaller, and squarer, and a distinctive canopy was added. In the 1960s BC Collateral expanded into the three storey building, with a huge revolving sign being added a few years later to the three storey building. The two buildings were painted to match, creating even less coherence from the original disposition of the lots. BC Collateral first started operations in 1918.

In the 16 years before they moved in, the buildings shown here went through several iterations. The 2-storey building started life as the Horseshoe Saloon on the corner, and the Horseshoe Restaurant next door. In 1905 there was a rooming house above the Horseshoe Restaurant (the saloon having apparently closed). The restaurant was run by Peter Bancroft, and Mrs. F McElroy was running the rooming house. The Fidelity Real Estate Co. was next door to the saloon. By 1912 Mrs. John C Gillespie’s Horseshoe Rooms were above the unnamed saloon run by Phil Hacquoil and John Trachy, with a cigar shop and candy store also having store front space. The Horse Shoe Hotel was shown on the corner, run by A Pauche, J H Pates and W Murdoch.

The heritage statement for the building needs to be revisited. It says “The BC Collateral and Loan Buildings are of heritage value to the downtown east side for the business’ continuous local entrepreneurship for nearly 90 years. They are also valued as examples of commercial buildings that have been adapted to continuously suit the needs of one business.” That was once true, but BC Collateral no longer operate here. Instead there are newly rebuilt rental rooms above two retail stores. The 1970 revolving sign has been restored, although it no longer references BC Collateral (as they’re no longer here).


Posted 14 April 2016 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

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Granville Street – 900 block, east side (1)

900 Granville east

We’ve seen one of these buildings in a post a short while ago. That’s the building with the Aristocrat Cleaners and the Elite Café. We’re pretty certain it was designed by Thomas Fee as his own investment. To the north (on the left) the Siesta Rooms were built by T McWhinnie who hired Parr and Fee to design it and Peter Tardiff to construct it in 1910. It started life as the Harvard Hotel, with Langridge Furniture operating from the main floor. Thomas McWhinnie also owned the Columbia Hotel from the early 1900s and built the current building (that’s still standing) on Columbia Street in 1911.

In both the 1943 Vancouver Public Library picture, and today, the Vogue Theatre occupies the lot to the north (on the edge of the picture). It’s a late art deco design by Toronto-based Kaplan and Sprachman, dating from 1940. The Jewish Virtual Library says that Sprachman lived and worked in an almost exclusively Yiddish world, and most of his clients were Jews. That wasn’t true here – his patron was George C Reifel; brewer, reputed rum-runner and (according to the 1911 census) a Methodist. Ten years earlier the Reifel family had built the Commodore Ballroom on the block to the north.

To the south of the Elite Café were two single storey retail buildings, dating back to the early part of the 1900s. We haven’t traced a permit for their construction, there were two recorded in 1915 for repairs and alterations by two owners; G E Boughton and Powers & Broughtton, (sic) who were listed as agents. The clerk on the second permit was obviously feeling the need to add superfluous letters – Mr Boughton was the owner.

Over the years many businesses set up and closed here. In this 1943 image the La Salle Shoe Repair store was next to the Little Saratoga coffee shop (owned by Alex Constabaris) and the La Salle barbers. The shoe repair was run by C E Westlake, while the shoe repairer was C D Peterson. The La Salle Lunch was on the opposite side of the street. The Constabaris family were grieving a wartime tragedy; Alex and Helen’s son, James, was piloting a Lockheed Hudson III patrol bomber from Newfoundland for delivery to Britain in 1942 when the plane crashed at sea. His body was eventually recovered, and he was buried in Ireland. A lawyer, he received the Governors Gold medal when studying at the University of Alberta in 1938.

Today the Siesta Rooms are a Single Room Occupancy hotel, with the Roxy nightclub downstairs. Next door are two recent buildings, both designed by Studio One Architecture for Bonnis Properties.


Posted 3 October 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone, Still Standing

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944 Granville Street

944-950 Granville St

It’s just possible that this is one of the buildings that Thomas Fee designed and built for himself. In 1915 he certainly owned it, and submitted a permit for $75 of repairs he had designed. Often the design of the windows in Parr and Fee buildings shows the same unusual central pivot on the main pane – there’s an example on the building to the north (on the left of the picture). However, this isn’t a definitive design feature – the Fee Block in the 500 block of Granville that Thomas designed for himself in 1902 had sash windows. The bay windows aren’t common on Parr and Fee buildings, but we’ve seen them use them on other buildings like the Alexandra Hotel. With no permit we can’t be certain one way or another. The building probably got built around 1906; it wasn’t there in 1903 (the block was almost completely empty then), but had been completed by 1912.

Timms 944 Granville 1908 VPLGalloway-Dorbils Books occupied the first store. The 1920 edition of the Ubyssey had an advertisement for “Edwin J. Galloway, The Old Book Shop, established 1890. High School and University Books, a specialty. New and Second-Hand Books of every description carried in stock, or procured at short notice. Libraries or single books purchased for cash at a fair valuation,” By 1943 when this Vancouver Public Library image was taken the name was slightly changed; Mr. Galloway died in 1931 but the business continued as Galloway – Dorbils.

The first storeowner here was Charles W Hills who sold ladies millinery. Charles was born in Toronto, but he arrived in Vancouver via Victoria with his wife, Jane, and young son, William. He moved to California around 1911, but Jane stayed in Vancouver and ran the business for a few more years. By 1943 the hats could be obtained from the Aristocrat Cleaners, but the first store here was occupied by one of Vancouver’s finest photographers, Philip Timms.

0378\ncouver Public Library picture of his store shows the edge of the Hills window as well as the store on the other side, Kyle and Sons Goodcheer Market, a butcher and grocer. Timms didn’t purely concentrate on photography; his store sold books, sheet music, and photographic supplies. He didn’t last very long here – by 1901 he had already moved and it looks as if the Hills store took the opportunity to expand.

In 1908 there were four suites upstairs: Mr Hills lived literally ‘over the shop’, next door was Daniel Kirkpatrick and the third was occupied by Charles W Armstrong and Hugh M Dunn in the remaining unit. In the 1943 picture the Elite Café were tenants; the Museum of Vancouver have the cafe’s A La Carte Menu from 1948.

We’re not sure how long this building lasted. The next image we’ve found for the building is from 1981. There’s a store on this site, but not this store; it’s only a single storey building. By the late 1990s the site was vacant, and it was only in 2012 that a replacement was built, an office and retail building designed by Studio One Architects for Bonnis Properties.


Posted 18 September 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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West Hastings from Homer – north side (2)

Hastings from Homer 4

Our previous summer view of the north side of the 400 block of West Hastings had street trees completely obscuring the two buildings in the centre of the block. Here’s a winter shot of the same view (compared to a postcard from around 1905). The next two facades are also completely obscured (even when the tree doesn’t block the view); underneath are two interesting buildings completed at or before the turn of the century, and now covered in sheet steel.

The 3-storey structure with Roman arched top floor windows (the third building from the corner) has two possible designers – either it was built in 1889 for D Campbell, and designed by William Blackmore, or it was the Abbott Block designed a year earlier by N S Hoffar. Both were described in contemporary newspapers as ‘beside the Lady Stephen Block’, but it seems more likely to be the Abbott Block as that was ‘half way down the block’ according to an 1888 Daily World report (and it does look like a Hoffar design). If so, then the building with the triangular pediment and huge curved window would be W T Dalton’s 1898 block for A P Costobadie. This is most likely to have been Akroyd Costobadie, an Englishman who almost certainly never lived in Vancouver – he was an absentee overseas investor at the time. His building was described as ‘adjoining the Abbott Block’. The Costobadie family were originally French Huguenots – (some family members used de Costobadie, although they were not part of the French court), and many of the men in the English family in the 19th Century had the name Palliser in their full name – as was true for A P Costobadie.

Millar & Coe 1918Over the years both buildings, being rental investments, saw tenants come and go. The upper floor of 419 West Hastings was the Butler Hotel from before 1910 for at least 5 years, run by Mike Fitzpatrick. Before that, in 1901, there were a number of offices including the Northern Pacific Railway Co, the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

In 1918 Millar & Coe moved in, and they would remain the tenants well into the 20th century – for over 90 years. They dealt in china and glass, and supplied restaurant quality pottery in the city, but earlier they also sold toys. As the 1974 image below shows, the building façade was visible through to the 1970s, while the 3-storey building to the east was covered up in the 1950s (but has a slightly different sheet steel façade today). The original façade was altered in 1918 for Millar and Coe’s arrival – they consolidated two stores to move to the new building, owned by E A Morris. He hired Thomas Fee to design a new three-storey addition & front of the Morris Building; “brick construction to conform with present building”. Fee’s design was a window wall with maximum glazing – very different from today’s wall of grey painted sheeting, (although it’s possible some of the original storefront is still intact).

400 W Hastings north side

400 block W Hastings n side 1944 Here’s another view that we can’t replicate, taken in 1944. It shows that The Lady Stephen Block was indeed called the McMillan Block, and that Millar and Coe were not the only long-standing occupant of the block. Evans-Sheppard Ltd sold shoes here, and Sheppard Shoes were still here in 1974.

Image sources, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-144 and Str N131