Archive for the ‘Townley and Matheson’ Tag

729 Hamilton Street

Fire Hall No. 1 was probably newly built when this 1950s image was shot. We wouldn’t know who had designed the third location of the city’s Fire Hall No. 1 if the picture wasn’t listed as part of the Townley and Matheson fonds, in the Archives collection. The building replaced the Cordova Street fire hall, which in turn had replaced the first building on Water Street. It was only here for about 20 years; in 1975 the new Heatley Street Fire Hall No. 1 was opened, and Fire Hall No. 8 was opened further down Hamilton Street in 1974 to retain a Downtown fire fighting base – the land for that building having been acquired in 1971 for $60,000!

Here’s another view of the building, designed in the international style, and seen here in 1962. The equipment is on display because the Fire Department had taken delivery of a new set of fire trucks. The urgency to move the relatively new facility was to facilitate ‘The Federal Block’ – an anticipated major government investment proposed in the early 1970s. The entire block, by 1981, was a vacant parking lot, but the project never materialized, and finally, in 1995, Moshe Safdie’s design for the new Vancouver Public Library Central Branch was completed. The Federal Government contributed to the library project by agreeing to lease the corner office tower, and some upper floors, for 20 years. The tower is still Federal offices, but the upper floors of the main building have now been converted to library use, with public access possible very soon to the rooftop garden.

Image sources: City of Vancouver CVA 1399-461 and CVA 354-260

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Posted September 17, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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West Pender and Howe Street – nw corner (2)

We looked at this short-lived retail store in an earlier post when it was occupied by Dunlop tire dealer Norman Tullis, about a year before this picture was taken, late in 1918. A year later in this Stuart Thomson image, the Auto Supply Co had replaced the tire store. They sold Dirigo oils and greases, as well as Premium gasoline. We wondered how this was achieved, then we realized that the single gas pump was actually embedded in the sidewalk, as this detail from the image shows. The Rapid Delivery truck is refueling outside the store, and the board on the sidewalk politely requests that other motorists refrain from parking in that spot. H B Nielsen was managing the business, in a modest building that we think was probably developed by D A MacDonald – there’s a 1914 permit for over $3,000 of repairs where Mr MacDonald was owner, architect and builder. The Dirigo Sulphur and Oil Co appears to have been based in Maine, so the oil travelled a long way to Vancouver.

Next door at 429 Howe the Double Tread Tire Co run by William J Bartle was in operation. The next year F C Roberts was running the business, but by 1921, while the Auto Supply Co were still in business, the tire store had become the Mac & Mac Tire Repair Co. Rupert Parkinson was the vulcanizer, and Margaret Barten the clerk, but there’s no mention in the street directory of who either of the Macs were. In 1922 Herman B Neilson was still managing the Auto Supply Co, and next door Auto Electric Co run by E Marshall and V Holman had replaced the tire business.

In our previous post from five years ago, the Stock Exchange block that’s now on the site, designed by Townley and Matheson and completed in 1929, was awaiting the construction of the Exchange Tower – a contemporary office building incorporated into the heritage building. Today it’s completed, and the corner retail unit is now a Swiss chocolate store. (The project was designed by a Swiss architect for a Swiss developer). The remainder of the heritage part of the building is soon to open as the Exchange Hotel.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-624

Posted July 23, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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524 Homer Street

 

From 1925 to 1927 the Canada Garage was at 428 West Pender Street. From before the 1900s to 1925 there were houses on this Homer Street lot, but from 1926 the Pacific Garage run by M Balmer  and R H Lampman was shown here in the street directory. The odd thing is that there’s a photograph in the Archives of this building dated 1925 and showing it as the Canada Garage (seen on the right). One possibility is that the owners of the Canada Garage intended to move, or duplicate their operation on Pender but then thought better of it, and the Pacific Garage was opened here instead.

One of the first owners of the Pacific Garage also didn’t stay around: Murray Balmer wasn’t listed in the city in 1924, or by 1927. He seems to have been born in New Brunswick, and was in Chase before he moved to Vancouver, and died in Princeton in 1951. Robert Lampman however had been repairing cars on Pender Street in 1924, and was still in the city as service manager of Fordyce Motors in 1927, when J O, A P and R L McLean had taken over the garage. A year later N MacRae had taken over the business. In the 1930s the building was also the office and terminal for Maple Leaf Stage Line.

The 1925 permit to demolish the house that stood here was issued to Homer Garage, but the $30,000 construction permit for the garage was to J H Todd & Sons Ltd, with the building being designed by Townley & Matheson. The owners almost certainly built the garage as an investment. J H Todd & Sons were a Victoria-based fishing canning company. Jacob Todd had built his first cannery on the Fraser River in 1882, having run a wholesale grocery business in Victoria. He was originally from Brampton, Upper Canada, of Scottish stock, and had worked his way westwards, operating as an itinerant trader in the Cariboo, and in Barkerville (losing $10,000 including his building and stock when it burned down), before settling down in Victoria. His canneries produced ‘Horseshoe’ brand salmon, and eventually he owned five locations before the business finally amalgamating with B C Packers in the 1950s.

A variety of different owners ran the Pacific Garage: by the 1950s it was N M Crosby, and by the 1970s it had become the Marine Garage. It was still standing in 1981, as can be seen in this earlier post, but was replaced in 1992 by BC Hydro’s new office tower, designed by Musson Cattell Mackey.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-197,  and  CVA 1399-529.

 

Posted May 3, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Richards and Davie Street – se corner

Here’s the north end of the 1200 block of Richards Street, which today houses the Choices supermarket – one of the earliest food stores to open in the old Downtown South commercial neighbourhood as it started its transition to high rise residential. It started life as a laundry, which was still its use in our 1981 image when it was being operated by Canadian Linen Supply. In 1929, when it was built, it was operated by Canadian Linen Co; the same company still operating over 50 years later.

The architects were Townley and Matheson, who applied their art deco styling to the industrial premises, adopted avery effectively by Stuart Howard Architects in the design of the Metropolis Tower completed on the adjacent site in 1998. The laundry building was converted to retail use as part of the same project, with a density bonus covering the cost of retaining a single storey heritage structure.

This 1934 image shows that very few changes had taken place over the life of the building up to 1981, when it looked very similar, and the scale of the surrounding area matched. These days there’s a park across the street, and a series of residential towers have replaced almost all the older commercial structures.

Image sources; City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E08.15 and CVA 99-4653

Posted April 23, 2018 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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West Pender Street – 900 block, south side

We’ve seen the two buildings on the left in a fairly recent post. On the corner was a building developed by Yorkshire Trust in 1952, designed by McCarter and Nairne. Next door were the Benge Furnished Rooms, later renamed the Midtown Hotel, originally built in 1909 by Fred Fuller using Parr and Fee as architects.

Beuond those buildings in our 1981 before shot is a single storey building, and beyond it the National Trust Building on the corner of Burrard. It dated back to around 1958, and was also designed by McCarter, Nairne & Partners. It replaced the Glenwood Rooms, built for Mrs. Charleson and designed by Honeyman and Curtis, completed in 1907, and seen on an earlier post.

The single storey building seems to have been built around 1924. It’s a little difficult to trace the history. There are two houses shown on the 1912 insurance map, and they first appear as logical numbered addresses in the 1913 street directory. John T Foster lived in one, and Christiana Mcpherson in the other, running furnished rooms at the same location a year earlier. The houses were built before 1900, but had totally different numbers on the block when they were first built. As a result the numbers ended up out of sequence, so one of the older houses, 910 Pender, was between 918 Pender and 934 Pender in 1912. A year later it appears to have been renumbered in sequence as 920. John Foster was still living at 920 in 1921, and Charles Mitchell at 934, an address that eventually disappears in 1924.

A year later the Owl Garage was located here, “R B Brunton , A J Parnin, Props. 100 Car Steam Heated Storage. 24 Hour Service (Day and Night) – Gas, Oils, Accessories.” The Vancouver Archives hold the records for the work of Townley & Matheson, whose “Job no. 193: owner J H Todd, garage, Pender Street” is this building. By the mid 1930s it was still a garage, but by then the Jewel Garage, run by A Cameron and J Parnin. In 1940 it was the Jubilee Garage, (H Turner, J A Whitelegg). By 1950 there seems to have been a substantial change. The garage use had ceased, and it appears to have become an office for Bell Irving & Co, O’Brien Advertising, and the Gas-Ice Corporation who manufactured dry ice. In 1952 the advertising company hired architects McCarter and Nairne to design a building, or conversion here, but it appears that the original 1922 structure was retained. By 1981 these were clearly retail uses, but the original image is quite blurred so no business names are identifiable.

Today this is part of the office occupied by Manulife, completed in 1985, designed by Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership. Initially  it seems to have been developed by the Montreal Trust Company.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W04.25

Posted March 12, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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300 Burrard Street

This relatively modest building sat across from the magnificent Marine Building, and was completed a few years earlier. Today’s building is numbered as 999 West Hastings, and while this is the Burrard Street façade, the Seaboard Building (as it was later known) also took a Hastings address, as 991. Home to the Canadian Australasian Royal Mail Line offices, it was designed by Townley & Matheson. When it was built in 1926, the windows looking north (on the left of the picture) looked out over Burrard Inlet, although today there are large newer buildings obscuring that view. Several other companies occupied offices here, including another shipping line.

Initially it was named after its developer, and main tenants, and so was the Bell-Irving Building. Once it was built it appears that all of Henry-Bell Irving’s interests were run from here, including BC Packers and the Insurance Agency, founded in 1906 and  spun off as a subsidiary private company in 1920 as Bell-Irving, Creery & Co. Ltd. In 1930 the company name was changed to Bell-Irving Insurance Agencies Ltd. Bell-Irving Insurance was a provider of property and maritime insurance; its principal clients were other companies in the Bell-Irving commercial sphere, including Anglo-British Columbia Packing Co. The company was also involved in real estate development and speculation. In 1972, Bell-Irving Insurance Agencies Ltd. merged with A.E. Lepage.

We documented Henry Bell-Irvings history in an earlier post about another Bell-Irving Building. A Scottish railway-building engineer and briefly an architect, Henry Ogle Bell-Irving established a real estate, finance and resource empire, launching his own salmon canning business in 1889 and still its president at the time of his death in 1931.

Originally there was a house on this site, home to William Murray, manager of the Bank of British Columbia in the 1890s. Today there’s Axa Place, built as the Daon Building. It’s an angled tower of gold glazing and brick. The building was the result of intense discussions between the architects, Musson Cattell Mackey, and the City. The final result met the City’s goal of opening up the street end view to the north (though somewhat obscured today by the large trees in the plaza out front) and providing a design scaled to respect the Vancouver Club, its immediate neighbour to the east, and reflect/refract views of the Marine Building across the street.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-14

Posted January 4, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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518 and 522 Beatty Street

We saw these warehouses on Beatty Street as they were in 1927 in an earlier post; here they are as they were in 1974.

On the left is Storey and Campbell’s 1911 warehouse, designed by W T Whiteway which cost $60,000 to build. Jonathan Storey and Roderick Campbell, Jr., were both from Ontario, and in 1892 founded Storey and Campbell which began by selling leather items like harnesses, saddles, and trunks. They initially acquired the saddle-making business of D S Wilson, who moved to Los Angeles; Storey and Campbell expanded the scope of the business over the years – in 1921 their listing said they dealt in shoe findings, leather harness and saddlery, trunks, bags, valises and gloves. The street directory makes it clear that this was a significant manufacturing operation that was large enough to employ a chauffeur and an elevator operator as well as many saddlemakers and leather workers. The advert on the right is from 1932, when they had added golf bags to their range.

The historic building statement claims “As times changed and horses and wagons were replaced, the company also became sole agents in British Columbia for Studebaker commercial trucks. They eventually covered the area from Vancouver to Winnipeg.” We can find no evidence of that at all – a series of dealerships had the Studebaker brand sales over the years – none of them were Storey and Campbell.

In 1901 Jonathan Storey was aged 32, two years older than Roderick Campbell, who was married to Annie. The street directory said he was called Johnathan and put him in a new house at 1771 Haro Street, the same as the Campbell family, with the saddlery business based at 154 West Hastings. Annie had previously been Annie Storey, and the partners were brothers-in-law.

The Campbells moved to a house on the 2000 block of Haro, but Roderick died unexpectedly in 1919, after an operation to remove an impacted tooth. His will was complex, and led to an internal family split. Annie Campbell had to sue her brother, as the Daily World reported “Mrs. Annie Campbell, 1001 Georgia street west, widow of the late Mr. Rod Campbell, is asking the assistance of the court in an attempt to compel her brother, Jonathan Storey, the defendant, to sell property, which they own jointly, and with the proceeds to purchase her interest in the firm of Storey & Campbell Limited. Mrs. Campbell estimates her interest at $159,200.

Following the death of her husband, November 22, 1919, Mrs. Campbell stated today she discussed with her brother the proposal that he should acquire her interest in the business. The agreement was verbal, she said, and was made during the course a trip in her automobile in July, 1920″.

We don’t know how the case was settled, but Annie lived on until 1947, and in 1921 Jonathan Storey was still managing director of the company (as he was in 1951), and was also running the Vancouver Trunk and Bag Limited based on Charles Street. William A Cambell was vice-president of the company, and lived in the Hotel Vancouver – although as far as we can tell he wasn’t a relative of Roderick.

Like some others on the street, the warehouse was constructed with a steel-frame and exterior brick walls, which provided a measure of fire protection. Unusually for the time it had a sprinkler system and was connected with the fire department. There was a showroom and offices on the ground floor and mezzanine. Loading and unloading occurred at the lane and railway tracks, with a large freight elevator next to the loading dock. The building’s storefront underwent alteration in 1940, designed by architect Thomas Kerr, known for the design of several local theatres. Storey and Campbell remained in the building until 1951, when they sold the dry goods business to the Gordon Mackay Company Ltd. of Toronto, reportedly the largest textile distributor in Canada at the time. The building was converted to 48 apartments in 1996, designed by K C Mooney.

Next door, in the centre of the picture, today’s Bowman Lofts building was converted to residential use in 2006, 100 years after it was first built. The original building was five storeys (although seven on the lane as there’s a significant grade drop, and the rail sidings at the back of the warehouses were over 20 feet lower than Beatty Street). It was developed by Richard Bowman, whose history we examined in relation to another warehouse he built on Homer Street. He operated Bowman’s storage, with a warehouse on Powell Street, but this building was never occupied by his storage business. We haven’t been able to track the architect of the original structure, but seven years later another two storeys were added, designed by F Rayner and costing $5,000, but the building you see today was severely damaged by fire in 1929 and rebuilt in 1944 with a new façade designed by Townley and Matheson.

The building was initially occupied by two manufacturing companies owned by prominent businessman W J Pendray: the British Columbia Soap Works and British America Paint Company Ltd. (BAPCO), both headquartered near Pendray’s home in Victoria. The soap works was sold to American commercial giant Lever Brothers after Pendray’s death in 1913. The building remained the local warehouse for BAPCO Paints for many decades. It was also associated with the Vancouver Rubber Co, later Gutta Percha & Rubber Co. Ltd. The flammable nature of these industrial products was the cause of a fire that gutted the building in 1929. A third company, Tilden, Gurney and Co also occupied the building when it was first built. They were an Ontario stove manufacturer, based in a huge building complex in Hamilton. Miller & McDonald, a sash and door company occupied the rear of the premises. In 1907, James Little, the janitor of their premises trapped his foot between the floor and the elevator. It took an hour for the firemen to find him, and his leg had to be amputated, and it was unclear whether he would survive. The newspaper of the day published all the gory details: “While at work greasing the guys of the elevator the ladder on which he was standing slipped, throwing him in such a position that his foot was caught by the moving elevator, horribly mangling it and breaking the bone of his leg just above the ankle. No one else was in the building at the time of the accident, and it is supposed Little lay suffering for more than an hour before being discovered. The ambulance from the Vancouver general hospital was – telephoned for but it was fully thirty minutes before it arrived. It came without a surgeon and with only one man, the driver. No one was there to relieve the injured man. weak from loss of blood and suffering excruciating pain. T. Smith, a glazier for Miller & McDonald, volunteered to accompany the poor old man to the hospital. On the way a freight train at the Beatty street crossing blocked the street for several minutes. No effort was made to break the train to allow the suffering man to be hurried to the hospital It was found necessary to amputate the foot. The patient’s condition in precarious owing to the advanced age of patient. James Little was employed as janitor by Miller & McDonald Sash and Door company. He is seventy – five years of age and has been in their employ for about two months, he has no relatives as far as known.”

The Paint Company commissioned the 1944 rebuild, but later the building changed to clothing manufacturing and offices. A two-storey addition, set back from the facade, was constructed as part of the building’s rehabilitation and conversion to condos, designed by Ankenman Marchand and Gair Williamson Architects.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-6