Archive for the ‘The Battery House’ Tag

751 Burrard Street

751 Burrard

Here’s the new property occupied by The Battery House on Burrard Street as it appeared in 1921. The building first appeared in the 1922 Street Directory, and the Battery House were the first occupants (so this was probably taken to record the new premises). We thought the Battery House were the developer as the company was incorporated in 1919 with a value of $150,000, although it had existed as a business in leased premises for some year before this. However, we now know that the building permit from 1921 identifies W E Anderson as the owner, and A Rodger as the builder of the $9,500 structure. Mr Rodger was probably Archibald M Rodger, a contractor who lived at 1123 Comox in 1921 and 1121 Davie St in 1922 (and a year later on W3rd – Mr Rodger seems to have liked moving). No architect is identified on the permit, but Mr Rodger seems to have been a contractor favoured by Townley & Matheson, as well as W F Gardiner and J A Benzie, so that may point to a possible designer.

The most likely candidate as the owner was William E Anderson who moved to Vancouver from Victoria in 1921, to a new $20,000 mansion on Angus Avenue. He was president of the Hayes Anderson Motor Co, at the time newly created truck company based on Granville Street.

The company were still here in 1930, when the Manager was identified as William Izett Walker and this building as their general office, Warehouse and Service Station. Mr Walker was born in Glasgow in 1878 and married Elizabeth Macfarlane from Sterling, Scotland in Vancouver in 1913 (presumably a relative of his second business partner P M Macfarlane). Mr Walker appears to have arrived in the city around 1910; he was still listed in an Edinburgh Directory in 1909 and first appears in the Vancouver Directory in 1911 His first business partner, William Ure, seems to have switched from a career in real estate where he initially worked for his father, John Ure, the family having arrived in 1908.

In 1931 The Battery House seem to have down-sized, sharing the premises with The Bell Garage, and a year later the building was home to the Canadian National Garage and the A A Brake Shop. Presumably Mr Walker sold up, as he continued to be listed as an electrical engineer. He died in 1948.

This wasn’t the first building on the site – there was a house built here around 1896, when the street was still almost entirely residential in character, which seems to have been demolished in 1920. We’ve posted an image of one of houses to the south, owned by jeweller C N Davidson (when the street numbering was slightly different), and the other side of the street.

Today it’s a four-storey retail and office building completed in 1993 and designed by Musson Cattell Mackey.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3354


Posted February 19, 2014 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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West Pender and Howe Street – sw corner (2)

808 w pender

We saw what this corner of Pender and Howe looked like in 1947 in an earlier post. The building was erected in 1903 to the design of W T Whiteway for James Reid, who also constructed it at a cost of $19,000. The Pender Hall was upstairs.

This 1919 Vancouver Public Library image shows that it was for a while part of the ever-expanding number of buildings associated with Downtown Vancouver’s love of motordom. The Battery House first appeared at this address (808 West Pender) in 1916. When this picture was taken the business was run by P M Macfarlane and William Walker, and before they moved here the business was located on Richards Street. Before that Mr Walker was in partnership with William Ure, and in 1912 they advertised as Electrical and Mechanical Engineers specializing in Storage Batteries. The company only stayed at this location for five years before moving to Burrard Street.

Before the Battery House moved in, the corner was first occupied in 1905 by a grocers run by John F May. The Pender Hall had its entrance next door and F P Bishop sold wallpaper next to that. The same occupants were all still there in 1910, although Mr Bishop was now in partnership as Bishop Gaskell Co, paperhangers. By 1915, (before the Battery House moved in) the entire building was vacant as the city saw a continued downturn in the local economy.

These days it’s a 1978 15-storey office building designed by Underwood, McKinley, Wilson and Smith.


Posted February 17, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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