Archive for the ‘V D Horsburgh’ Tag

East Pender Street, 100 block – south side lane

This 1914 image shows the end of the lane behind Main Street (recently renamed from Westminster Avenue), where it joins East Pender (opposite our previous post, so the south side of the street). On the right is the Sherman Hotel, and on the left there’s a vacant lot. It had been occupied by the Glasgow Hotel, developed by Michael Costello in 1889. Residents of the hotel (which had become a rooming house) were rushed out of the building in the fall of 1912 when a fire broke out in a harness shop on the ground floor. The Daily World journalist made the most of the story: “The building was fast filling with smoke and writhing tongues of flames leaped through the flooring to shoot Into the rooms above”. The $1,000 of damage was covered by insurance.

In February 1913 it was announced that Parr McKenzie and Day had been hired to design a replacement building for the site which would have office space over stores. In September it was announced that the plan had changed: the site had been sold to a financial institution: “One of Vancouver’s big financial Institutions, the agent who handled the transaction will not disclose the purchaser’s Identity, has bought the southwest corner property of Main and Pender for a consideration that figures out at $3000 per front foot on Main street. The property is described as lots 1 and 2 in block 15 of D. L. 196. It extends along Pender street for 122 feet and has a frontage on Main of 66 feet. It was formerly known as the Glasgow hotel. H. McKlnnon & Company, real estate agents, put through the deal. The property was owned by Mr. Robert Alexander. The purchasers will erect a fine ten-storey modern store and office building within a very short time on the property.”

No doubt falling foul of the economic collapse that was already severely affecting the local economy, and made worse by the outbreak of war in Europe, the Canadian Bank of Commerce (today’s CIBC) scaled back their plans. The new building was only slightly larger than the hotel, although the design was monumental. The imposing new branch was designed by their Scottish-born architect, V D Horsburgh (based in Toronto) at a cost of $100,000. Local architect W F Gardiner supervised the construction by Baynes and Horie. While the building didn’t extend all the way to the lane, and at the back was built of brick (seen here), the front had four huge (hollow) columns, one of the architect’s favourite architectural elements.

The Sherman Hotel was part of Chinatown, receiving a $15,000 alteration in 1910 designed by J C Day for Kwong Wing Chong. The company imported Chinese Curious and Kimonos, and operated from the other end of the block. A 1917 court case identified Chim Cam, a Chinese silk merchant, who originally carried on business in Nelson, B .C., under the firm name of Kwong Wing Chong, and later, with a number of others, one of them being Chin Mon, started a partnership business in Vancouver under the firm name of Kwong Wing Chong, Importing Company. Chim Cam resided in Nelson, and the Vancouver business was managed by Chin Mon .

The building only appear that year, with James Cannon running the hotel. Prior to this there was a Sherman Hotel, but it was on Water Street, also run (and apparently owned) by Mr. Cannon. Briefly, both hotels operated under the same name. Earlier, in the late 1890s there were houses here, almost all occupied by ladies in the acknowledged (but fiercely debated) Dupont Street red light district. By 1906 they had almost all been forced to move on – many of them to Alexander Street – and once they had gone the street name was altered to East Pender to obliterate all memory of the ‘street of shame’.

In 1920 there were two $1,000 alterations, one for the hotel owner, Chas King, and one for the Shong Yee Tong Association.

Image source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA LGN 1231


Posted 1 October 2018 by ChangingCity in Chinatown, Gone

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The Glasgow Hotel – 503 Main Street

If the street directories are to believed, the Glasgow Hotel started life as 301 Westminster Avenue and ended it as 503 Main Street only 24 years later. It wasn’t moved – it’s just that the street was both renamed and renumbered in the intervening period (as was the cross street, from Dupont to East Pender).

There’s nothing really remarkable about the Glasgow – it doesn’t feature in any contemporary historical material, but it was a substantial building that was redeveloped in relatively short order. A building for this location was designed by Mallandaine and Sansom for a real estate broker called Frank Granville, who had an office on Cordova Street and lived about a block away on Gore Street. While a ‘Granville Block’ was reported in 1899 in the Daily World, no building of that name shows up subsequently.

Instead the water permit for the Glasgow Hotel was taken out by M Costello in May 1889 (two years before the photo was taken). This would be Michael Costello, a former Union soldier in the American Civil War who had built the Eagle Hotel a little further south by the False Creek Bridge in 1886. Mr Costello would later own the Victoria, the Central and the Commercial hotels, and in 1889 and 1890 was elected Alderman. The choice of hotel name seems odd given the developer was Irish and the name of the subsequent proprietor in 1890 – Fritz Schneider – who had last been working as a chef at the Hotel Vancouver.

Although it called itself a hotel, like many such establishments it had many residents, and by the end of its life (in 1913) it was called the Glasgow Furnished Rooms. A permit was approved in 1908 to add 60 rooms, designed by Robert MacDonald, but we’re not certain they were ever built. If they were, it wasn’t for long as in 1915 the Canadian Bank of Commerce replaced the hotel by completing their imposing new branch designed by their Scottish-born architect, V D Horsburgh (based in Toronto), at a cost of $100,000. Local architect W F Gardiner supervised the construction by Baynes and Horie which followed Mr Horsburgh’s preference for columns – ideally as big as it was possible for columns to get. His Edmonton bank has a traditional Greek Temple facade held up by four massive columns, and his Nanaimo branch four even bigger columns in a shallow curve. In Vancouver the columns are also huge, but grouped on either side of the entrance (and hollow). And so it still stands, and is still a bank for the same owners nearly a century later.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Hot P84