Archive for the ‘W F Gardiner’ Tag

132 Powell Street

We’re taking a bet that this is a 1912 project developed by Harry Hemlow, and designed by W F Gardiner. The Province newspaper identified a “three-storey apartment house; mill construction; 50′ x 100′; buff coloured pressed brick facing; sandstone used for window ledges; two stores on ground floor; 48 modern rooms up“. There’s a permit for Harry in 1912 that identifies a different block and inaccurate street numbers (that wouldn’t even be on that block), but otherwise it’s a match. The newspaper reported that Harry’s investment was close to Columbia Street – which this is, and it was the lot that Harry owned in 1886 that allowed him to be on the Voter’s List. E J Ryan built the $40,000 investment, which appeared in the 1913 street directory as ‘new building’. A year later the stores were occupied with The Cascade Cafe, and T Ikeda’s dry goods store, with the Cascade Rooms (also run by T Ikeda) upstairs.

Harry Hemlow was a true Vancouver pioneer – he was in the area when it was the town of Granville. He was from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was running the Sunnyside Hotel on the waterfront, that burned down in the 1886 fire. Harry was elected an Alderman on the first Council in 1886. He was interviewed by Major Matthews just before his death in 1932, and asked why he became an Alderman. “For a bit of a lark”. He disappears from the street directories for a couple of years, having apparently gone bankrupt in 1887, but by 1891 had returned and was City Clerk, and from 1893 he ran the BC Electric Railway’s interurban train system. This wasn’t Harry’s only development – he also built a garage in 1912, designed by W T Whiteway. A 1916 biography describes Harry, at 55, as retired: “Is a large property owner; gives special attention to breeding fine stock, particularly Jersey cows. Married Olive May Caples, daughter of W. M. Caples, M. D., Portland, Ore., 1886. Society: A. P. & A. M. Recreations: motoring, hunting, fishing. Conservative; Presbyterian.” In later years his health failed, and Harry died in 1932. “The interment was in the Masonic cemetery. Mr. Hemlow died Monday night at the General Hospital. He resided for the past two years at the Hotel Martinique”. Olive and Harry had divorced, and at his death Harry had apparently no known descendants, and no money to leave them anyway.

Taira Ikeda had been in Vancouver since at least 1904, and had run a store in an earlier wooden building on the same block. A 1907 Daily World article described him as a ‘well known Japanese storekeeper’ when reporting the death of his 19-year old son Setusge, after a four month illness. The Province described him as ‘a well-to-do storekeeper of the East End’. In the inquiry into the anti-Asian riots, the Inquiry listed Tonakichi Ikeda as the store owner’s full name, and awarded him a significant award of $461.50 for the damage to his store and stock, having been forced to close his business for 20 days. Using the longer version of his name finds Tonakichi Ikeda entering Canada from the US in 1910, where his birth was shown in Hiroshima in 1865.

In 1917 the pool hall was run by H Watanaka, (and there was also a barber and a cigar stand) and the Cascade Cafe was run by J P Lum. By 1920 the pool hall morphed into a billiard hall run by John Popelpo. The Cascade Rooms were still upstairs, but by 1916 Taira Ikeda had become a timber exporter (presumably to Japan) with his brothers Yoshio and ‘Fred’. They also advertised to supply labour to lumber companies. By 1925 the operators of the building were irrelevant to the directory compliers; The Cascade Cafe was listed as ‘Chinese’, and the Cascade Rooms ‘Japanese’. The Westerners names were listed – Joel Wepsala ran the pool room and T Jinde was the barber.

During the war, the Japanese names (and the Japanese) disappeared from the area. The stores were vacant, and the Cascade Rooms were run by Louie Quong Yon. In 1955 G Ho was running the rooms. In our 1978 image the sign says ‘Mimi Hotel, Housekeeping Rooms – vacancy’. The store was vacant. The name changed again in the early 2000s to Lucky Lodge – although not so lucky for many of the tenants as the business licence was nearly cancelled when the owners were accused of welfare fraud and extorting money from their tenants. They were also forced to carry out repairs to make the building safe and meet the by-laws a couple of years later. It’s still an SRO rooming house, with a relatively new East Indian restaurant occupying one of the two retail spaces.

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Posted 3 June 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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West Pender Street – 300 block, south side

There has been one building replaced since this 1975 image was shot by W E Graham. On the right is the Victoria Block, (today part of the Victorian Hotel). designed by W F Gardiner in 1909 for the National Finance Co. Next door, the miniature temple is the British Columbia Permanent Loan & Savings Co’s premises. It was designed by Hooper and Watkins in 1907, and was one of the first reinforced concrete structures in the city, costing $40,000 and built by A E Carter. On the outside it has a sandstone skin, while inside there’s marble, elaborate plaster ceilings designed by Charles Marega, and a gorgeous Tiffany-style stained-glass skylight, featuring leaves and fruit. The decorative castings were the work of Fraser and Garrow, who advertised themselves as being “perfectly at home in any manner of work that makes for the embellishment of interiors or exteriors.”

The developer was a local finance house whose founder was Thomas Talton Langlois, originally from Gaspe in Quebec. He arrived in in BC in 1898 when he was 31, and already a successful businessman. Here he organized the British Columbia Permanent Loan Co.; was president, of the National Finance Co. Ltd., the Prudential Investment Co. Ltd. and the Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Co. He also developed an Arbutus subdivision which had pre-fabricated craftsman style houses built in a factory on West 2nd Avenue, and then re-erected on site.

The building was completed at the point where the developer was facing a minor problem. The Times Colonist advertised “A REWARD OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. A reward of $100.00 will be paid to any person furnishing evidence which will lead to the conviction of the person who has started or any other person or persons who are spreading a report to the effect that the British Columbia Permanent Loan & Savings Company is losing or liable to lose money through its connection with any subsidiary, company. The B. C. Permanent has absolutely no connection with any other company, either in the way of investments or loans, except a balance of one hundred and twenty-five shares, being one-twelfth of the Issued capital stock of the. Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Company, This investment was authorized by unanimous vote of the shareholders some six years ago and has proven an exceptionally profitable Investment. For confirmation of these facts we would refer any person to the company’s auditor, Mr. W. T. Stein, C. A., Vancouver.”

Thomas Langlois, like many successful Vancouver business people, retired to California. He moved in 1921, and died there in 1937 and was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery. From 1935 the building became home to the Bank Of Canada. In 1979 it was altered to office space and renamed Park House, and in the past few years has been repurposed as an event space called The Permanent.

To the east is a former printing company building, which has been redeveloped with the adjacent site for Covenant House, a not-for-profit organization that supports street youth. The 1929 building was designed by J S D Taylor for McBeth & Campbell. The facade was renovated in 1948 by architect W H Birmingham. It was given Neo-classical treatments including a decorative cornice installed below the original corbelled brick parapet. In 1998 it was redeveloped and the facade tied into the new 50 bed hostel, designed by Nigel Baldwin.

The small brick building to the east (that looks like small houses) was redeveloped for the 1998 scheme, and had originally extended to the 1929 building site as well. It was developed by ‘National’ (Presumably the National Finance Co), designed by W F Gardiner and cost $7,000 to build in 1909.

At the end of the block Hooper and Watkins (again) designed the $25,000 I.O.O.F Hall, and Lyric Theatre in 1906. The main floor space these days is a furniture store.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-17

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Seymour Street – 700 block, east side

These four buildings were swallowed by the BC Tel (now Telus) data centre, which these days is mostly office space. The BC Telephone Company were already here in this 1947 image. They had developed the tall 8-storey building almost on the right of the picture. Although the company claimed, on the building permit, to be architect and builder of the project, we know that J Y McCarter designed the 1913 structure, because his drawings for it are in the Vancouver Archives.

Next door is Firehall #2. It was built in 1903, cost $29,000 and was designed by W T Whiteway. The small building to the north, (738 Seymour), with the unusual pediment, was designed in 1925 by W F Gardiner for Rose, Cowan & Latta Ltd. They were printers and stationers, and also sometimes publishers of information booklets, commemorating events in the city. In 1925 R R Rose was company president, (but may not have lived in Vancouver), John B Cowan was company secretary, living on W37th, and Edward F Latta lived in North Vancouver. The company were still here in 1947, with the Seymour Cigar Store in the retail unit, with Miss I New and G Hicks offering vocal training at the same address, presumably in an office upstairs. The building replaced a house built here in 1901. It cost $1,000, and the developer was Mr. Morton, possibly one of two carpenters called Morton who lived in the city at that time.

The two storey building to the north (with the protruding ‘button’ sign) was Smith’s Button Works, The Button Works first appeared in 1929, and before that in 1928 it looks as if there was a house here. Smith’s actually did much more than supply buttons, as this directory entry shows. London & British North America Co. Ltd were the developers, and the architect was Philip P Brown. Baynes & Horie built the $15,000 investment.

724 Seymour on the edge of the picture was home to the Quadra Club in 1947. The building seems to have been built around 1932. It housed the Vancouver Little Theatre Association that year, and Paul Pini was running a restaurant in 1934. By 1936 that had become the Old Dutch Mill Cafe, with the Bal Tavern Cabaret, run by Mrs. E Yaci. The cabaret to see 1936 in advertised “BAL TAVERN CABARET NEW YEAR’S JAMBOREE dance to the Delightful Music of CLAUDE HILL AND HIS RHYTHM BOYS Gay Entertainment by MARIE MACK JACK GORDON AND A HOST OF OTHERS” The club had gone by 1937, replaced in 1938 by the Musicians Mutual Protective Union, and the Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union in 1940. There were other tenants – Sills and Grace, who sold hardware, and Technocracy Inc. They were an organisation that proposed replacing politicians and businesspeople with scientists and engineers to manage the economy. They were closed down in 1940 as they were perceived as being anti-war, but allowed to reform in 1943 when it became apparent that they favoured total conscription. They were replaced, briefly, by the National Spiritualist Association of Canada, but around 1942 the Quadra Club moved in, and stayed until the early 1970s.

Curiously, the Archives title for the picture also identifies the ‘Stock Exchange Bldg’, but that is clearly not here. Shell Oil apparently commissioned the photograph from Don Notman’s studios, but the reason isn’t obvious. In the late 1950s BC Tel replaced the Firehall and their 1913 building with a new much larger and more conemporary building, extended north in 1975 with a huge new automated telephone exchange designed by McCarter, Nairne and Partners. (They probably designed the first phase in the 1950s as well). In the past two years the building has been overclad with a glazed screen. Space no longer needed for equipment has been repurposed as offices, and the Telus headquarters is now here, and in the new Telus Garden office added a few years ago at the end of the block. A complex energy saving system has been introduced, recirculating the excess heat from the company’s computer servers.

To the south next to the BC Tel building, the 1940s Farrell Building (just being built in 1947) had an extra skin added in 2000 to improve energy efficiency, and more recently has been sold by Telus as a separate building, now the headquarters of Avigilon security systems, part of Motorola since 2018.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 586-7266

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Powell Street – 300 block

Here’s the 300 block of Powell street looking westward. We looked at the history of T Maikawa’s art deco department store on the right (which today is a food manufacturing business) in an earlier post. In 1936 it replaced a 3-storey building with bay windows, seen here in 1929. It was a boarding house run by Y Uchibori, built around 1907 (when the building permits are missing). Mr. Maikawa had his store on the main floor. Before that there was a house here, occupied for many years by Maggie Phillips, a widow who worked as a nurse. The smaller buildings to the west were owned by builders Champion and White.

Next door. on the edge of the picture is another 3-storey building, a $35,000 apartment building designed (according to the permit) by ‘Horton & Phillips’ for ‘Mrs. Tuthill”. She lived in Glencoe Lodge at the time, and was originally from New York. She married David S. Tuthill, an accountant, in 1874, and they moved to Portland, Oregon. He was apparently successful in business; by 1897 he was president of the Acme Mills Ltd. He died at his home in 1897, from a gunshot to his head, which was probably self-inflicted. By 1899 Emma Tuthill had moved to Vancouver, and become a partner in F.R. Stewart and Company, a firm of wholesale produce merchants. Her daughter, Helen, married a Portland bank manager in 1898, and they also moved north, (her husband became an accountant at B.C. Sugar, and later President) but she died in 1915. Her mother died in 1927, and both are buried in Mountain View Cemetery. The architects were actually Horton & Phipps, but the clerk could be permitted the error as they were a Victoria partnership.

On the left is the 1912 rental apartments designed by William Gardiner, according to the building permit for David Sanguineti, who paid E J Ryan $45,000 to build the building. David and his wife Mary were from Italy and in their late 40s in 1911, and apparently earned enough income from their three lodgers and other sources to not have to work (according to the census). Their lodgers included an Italian tailor and an engineer.

David had arrived in Canada in 1880, when he would have been aged around 17, and Mary was 33 when she came in 1898. We had some trouble tracing David in Vancouver, until we remembered the struggles clerks had with spelling names. That way we found David living in the household of Angelo Calori in the Hotel Europe, in the 1901 census, when he was recorded as David Sanguinati, a barkeeper. The street directory managed a typo and a spelling puzzle, and called him Davis Sanguinetti in 1901 (the first time we find him in the city), David Sanginnet in 1902 and Sanguinette in 1904. By 1909 David was living on East Cordova and was the hotel Europe’s clerk, listed as Sanquineti. Strangely, although he supposedly developed this relatively expensive building in 1912, he was listed as David Sanguite, a labourer, that year.

In 1914 David applied to prospect for coal and natural gas on a 640 acre property on the Fraser River. By 1916 he was recorded as Sanguineti again, and once more was the clerk at the Hotel Europe. He still had the same job in 1920, and was only 59 when he died in 1921. He has a prominent memorial in Mountain View cemetery, which tells us he came from Genova. His widow, Maria Martina Sanguineti was buried with him following her death in 1937. She died at St Paul’s hospital, and the funeral cortege left from Angelo Calori’s home in the West End. For David to have accumulated sufficient funds to develop a building like this from a clerk’s job in a hotel seems unlikely. It seems more likely that he was backed by other partners, most likely Mr. Calori who was very successful, and reasonably wealthy.

The building housed the Sun Theatre from 1912-1918. It was in the eastern half of the building, so not quite in this image. C F Edwards ran the movie theatre initially, and in 1913 advertised ” CHANGE OF PROGRAMME DAILY THE SUN THEATRE 368 POWELL STREET, 6 BIG REELS. 5c. The home of Variety – Meet Me at the Sun. (Kindly note the Star is not the only six-reel show in town.) The operation appears short-lived, or at least there was no advertising after that year. By 1915 the building had become part of Japantown. The Canadian Japanese Association had their offices in the Sun Rooms, along with Japan Canada Resources Co and M Yamada’s real estate business, and the Theatre.

A story in the Vancouver Sun showed the attitudes to the Japanese population after they had been forced from the coast into internment camps in 1941. “PRESENT OPERATOR FINED $50 FORMER JAP LODGINGS ‘NOT FIT FOR HUMANS’ E. C Thompson, operator of a rooming house at 376 Powell, was fined $50 by Magistrate Mackenzie Matheson Monday for an Infraction of the health bylaw. In fining the defendant His Worship expressed the belief that former Japanese rooming houses were “in a filthy condition and not fit for human habitation.” Counsel for Thompson told the court his client had taken over the premises in 1941 and had since that date been ‘waging a relentless war on vermin’.

Today the Japanese connection has been restored with the building’s name; Sakura-So, now owned by the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, and providing 38 units in a renovated SRO. (There’s also the New Sakura-So, a seniors housing facility located in Burnaby). All of the tenants have come from the street or shelters, and have a chronic history of homelessness, and are supported by on site tenant support workers paid for through income from tenant rents, retail rents, and an annualized grant from Vancouver Coastal Health. Sakura So offers “supported transitional units” and aims to move residents to better and more permanent housing over time. Lookout spent over $3m improving conditions and adding bathrooms in the property in 2015. A grant of $190,000 from the City of Vancouver was tied to an agreement that the rooms would remain as social housing, at welfare rates, for 60 years or the life of the building.

The building next door was built as a bank in 1913. Designed by Parr Mckenzie and Day, it cost $30,000 as it was built with reinforced concrete construction for the Japan Trust Co. It replaced a building that had been erected in 1904 as tiny ‘cabin’ housing developed by H C Train.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-2467

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Posted 15 October 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End

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630 Alexander Street

Unlike a couple of other buildings that were developed on this block with potentially more innocent intent, we can be certain that this was developed as a brothel (even if the permit said it was a rooming house). It was far from cheap for such a modest building – $15,000 – and developed by Ollie Gilbert. She hired on of the city’s more upstanding architects, W F Gardiner, and E J Ryan as builder in 1912. Six years earlier she had built a very expensive house on Harris Street (E Georgia today) for the same purpose. The street name was briefly changed again to Shore Street, and Ollie and all her girls were listed there in the 1911 census. She was 38, from the US, having arrived in Canada in 1906. She had 10 female lodgers, most with no stated occupation, but two claiming to be musicians, one a hairdresser and one a dressmaker. They were all from the US, except Jeanette Gibson from Quebec.

Ollie managed to keep her business out of the papers, except for one unusual case in 1915, when two local men, W. J. Taylor and R. J. Lewis appeared on charges of conspiracy to defraud, in connection with the sale of land in Oregon. She had already closed her establishment, although from the court case it was clear she was still in the city. “Miss Ollie Gilbert was the first witness called, and she testified to having been induced by the accused to pay $250. She believed she was buying 160 acres of land in Oregon.” The accused were selling documents which appeared to give title to the land, but actually were only forms that allowed an application to acquire the land. As the land itself was subject to another court action in the US, the offer was fraudulent. The men were convicted of fraud and sentenced to two years and 18 months’ imprisonment respectively. (Another witness who lost money on the same scam got minor satisfaction. William Hayes, a CPR employee from North Bend explained that “when he had learned that the land he had paid $260 for was worthless and that the land game was “bunco” he had Interviewed Taylor and In the argument had thrashed him and he himself had spent a night In the cells for it while Taylor put two weeks in the hospital.

After the first war this part of Alexander had been ‘cleaned up’ (although Nellie Arnold was still living here), and this became a Japanese owned rooming house operated by H Soga in 1922. By 1941 Howard Harman was running the rooms here (and also working as a machinist at the Heatley Machine Works, so probably his wife, Bessie, was running things), and in 1955 Tony Fediw. While several of the former brothels are still standing today, Ollie’s building was replaced in 1985 with the Dera Co-op, designed by Davidson & Yuen, with 56 units of non-market housing.

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Posted 8 June 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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East Cordova Street – west from Jackson Avenue

This 1970s shot shows the buildings on the corner of Jackson Avenue, with Oppenheimer Park down the street on the right. The four storey building on the corner dates back to 1911 when it was developed by Frank Vandall. He first appeared in the city directories in 1909, managing the Roseleaf Rooms on Westminster Avenue (Main Street), although he was giving Vancouver as his location in legal filings in 1908. He moved on, and a year later was managing rooms at 143 Dunlevy Avenue. His own building, listed as the Vandall Block, was designed by W F Gardiner a year later, and cost $80,000 to build. According to the permit, Mr Vandall built it himself, but we know that Mr. Gardiner let the contracts to the various specialist sub-trades, so it appears that no overall contractor was hired.

Mr Vandall proved to be elusive, missing earlier census records and not showing up in 1911. In 1895, Frank Vandall, a miner, was living in Revelstoke, and in 1898 he had two partners in a placer mine on French Creek. In 1906 and 1907 there was a Frank Vandall working as agent with William Moody, surveying and marking timber to cut on the BC coast. In 1908 Frank Vandell was a land agent in Vancouver. It’s likely that his absence from the 1911 census was due to his death; a Frank E Vandell died in August 1911 and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. In 1912 his widow was recorded in the street directory, and while she was missing from the 1913 directory, was running the Roof Garden Rooms on Jackson in 1914, and for several years after that. Frank was only 45 when he died, and had been born in Ontario.

We think another Frank Ernest Vandall, who was born in March 1911 in Seattle, and died in 1957 in Vancouver, aged 46 was almost certainly Frank and Nellie’s son; His father was also named Frank, and his mother was formerly Nellie Ernestine Bishop. Frank junior was buried in Mountain View with his parents. Nellie had died in Capitol Hill in Seattle in 1943, and was also buried in Mountain View cemetery next to Frank. She had been born in Dublin, and left a sister in Ireland and two more living in England.

Over the years the rooms (which have their entrance on Jackson) were run by a number of different proprietors. The corner store changed too: in 1918 D D Radakovich ran a grocery store, and Nellie E Vandall was running the rooms upstairs. In 1922 A H McLean was running the Roof Garden Rooms, and by 1925 Mrs. Marriott. The corner store by then was part of Japantown, run by Shimoda Sugakichi. By 1940 the rooms had become the B C Rooms, run by T Sakamoto, but the Japanese connection was severed as the entire community were moved to internment camps away from the coast. In 1942 Mrs M Mcintosh was running the rooms, and on the same two legal lots there was a small cottage and the Jackson Rooms, run by E Karlson. The two rooming houses continued operations for many years, (and are still operating today), but in the late 1980s the small cottage was replaced with an infill building and all three became a larger Jackson Rooms.

The building closer to us, with the bay windows, was developed in 1909, although some part of it had been completed earlier. Mrs. Hannah Peterson added a frame addition that year that she had claimed (on the permit) to have designed herself. She ran a lodging house, but unfortunately for us, had moved out by 1911 when the census was collected, and Frederick Frey had replaced her. She might have been the Swedish Hanna Peterson, who had arrived in 1889. We know nothing about Frederick, because only his name was recorded – no other details were noted, so we don’t know where he came from or how old he was. The rooming house is also now a non-market housing building called The Vivian, run as transitional women’s housing by Raincity.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-349

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Howe and Davie Street – sw corner (1)

For many years this site remained vacant, as site remediation from the earlier use as a gas station was needed. Eventually the site was cleared, excavated, and redeveloped, but the gas station use went back many decades. Here’s the Home gas station seen in a 1929 Vancouver Public Library image. The street directory doesn’t mention the gas bar, but that year Mutch Tires are listed, and a year later they had been replaced by Wallace and Co’s radiator repair business. A year earlier there appears to have been a house here, so the date for the picture looks to be correct. W F Gardiner designed a series of gas stations for Home Oil between 1927 and 1937, so he may have designed this one.

A few years earlier George Mutch’s tire store had been on Granville Street, and it was still there a year later, but for just one year, 1929, they tried branching out with a second location, although the timing was probably unfortunate, given the state of the economy. Home Gasoline were based in Alberta, and in February of 1929 they hit a bonanza. Pierre Berton told their story; “In January you could buy a hundred shares of Home Oil for $350 (or $3.50 per share) with a down payment of less than $50 and sell them in March for $1,585 (or $15.85 per share), But hardly anybody sold, because everybody believed stock prices would continue to rise. And for another six months they did.” Will McMartin in the Tyee explained that Home Oil’s stock-market valuation made William C. Shelly, B.C.’s finance minister and the company’s president, who had bought his seed shares for just a dollar each, an extremely wealthy man. By March 5, Home Oil hit an all-time high of $18, and Shelly’s personal stake in the firm was estimated at close to $2 million. Six months later as the stock market weakened, investors began to sell their Home Oil stock. On Oct. 25, the day after Black Thursday, the company’s shares were down to $12.65. Home Oil Co. Ltd was nearly wiped out in the years following the stock market crash. From a high of $18 the company’s stock two years later was trading at just fifteen cents. William Shelly lost his personal fortune, and his job as Finance Minister.

Today the building here is called Alto, a condo building completed in 2010 whose name references the ten foot ceilings.

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Posted 26 February 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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May Wah Hotel – East Pender Street

The May Wah was developed in 1913 at a cost of $75,000 by Barrett & Dean as ‘apartments/rooms’, designed by W F Gardiner. The building opened in 1915 as the Loyal Hotel, a name it retained until at least 1930. Mr. ‘Dean’ was really Evans Deane, born in Australia. He built a block in New Westminster as well, and in 1910 newspapers was described as ‘Evans B Dean, capitalist’. Mr. Barrett was George A Barrett, another broker. Both were involved in 1910 in a rail car company, drydock and ship building. Barrett and Deane also built the Empress Theatre on East Hastings. The street directory showed three partners in G A Barrett & Co; George Barrett, Evans Deane and Harry Musclow.

Evans Deane had first been in Vancouver around 1880, when he was working on tunneling contracts through the Rockies for the CPR. He moved to San Francisco from 1882 and 1887, and lived in Oakland, where he was a printer. He had first arrived in San Francisco in 1876 when he worked for a stockbroker for a number of years. He met his wife, Sophie who was from San Francisco, and they married in 1885, and apparently moved to Vancouver a year or two later. By 1891 Mr. Deane was a real estate broker and insurance agent in Vancouver. From 1903 to 1920 the Deane family, including their four children, lived in the West End.

In 1917 the Daily World reported a complex case involving the hotel: “TENANT MUST VACATE Lease of Hotel Property Held Not to be Good One. Evans B. Dean, a former owner of the Loyal Hotel, after conveying his title to other parties, made lease of the property for five years at $75 per month to a Chinaman; when as a matter of fact it is stated that the place can easily be rented for $200 per month. This morning the mortgagees, the Sun Life Insurance Company, who are now in possession of the title, made an application in supreme court chambers to have the lease broken and the tenant evicted. It was stated by Mr. H. A. Bourne that the lessor at the time he rented the property had no power to do so. and that the present tenant really stood in the position of a trespasser. The present titleholders had an opportunity to lease the place for $200 per month for the first six months, and at $250 per month after that period. Mr. Alex. Henderson, K. C, for the tenant, claimed that his client had acted in good faith, and it was not certain the lessor at the time the lease was made did not have power to make it. His lordship, however, ruled that it had been shown with sufficient clearness that the lease was not a good one, and ordered the tenant to vacate by the end of March.”

In 1918 Mr. Deane retired from real estate, and concentrated on his main interest, yachting. He was a life member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. As well as owning yachts, including at different times Tillicum, Wide Awake and Alexandra, Mr. Deane owned a powerboat called Davey Jones. The family appear to have moved to Washington in the 1930s, but when Sophie Deane died in 1940 it was in Vancouver, and Evans was still here a decade later when he died, aged 91.

George Barrett was a builder in 1901, living in the West End in a house he built in 1901. The census shows him with his wife Mary, their four children, and sister in law, Laura Blackwell. He appears to have been born in England, but his wife came from Ontario, where they married in 1887 and where their 11 year old son, Henry, was born. The seven-year old, Meryl, was born in BC, so they presumably arrived in BC in the early 1890s. By 1903 he had moved into real estate, and in 1911 the family moved to a new house on E 19th, developed (according to the building permit) by Mary Barrett.

The Loyal was renamed the New Orient in 1947, the Le-Kiu in 1950, the Garden in 1956, the Sydney in 1969 and finally the May Wah in 1980. Le-Kiu are a Chinese grocery wholesalers who from 1967 to 1995 had a store at 262 East Pender that was the first Western-style supermarket in Chinatown, where instead of telling a clerk what you wanted to buy, it was self-serve. The company were formed by H Y Louie’s grandsons, although they are a different branch of the family from the Louie family who own London Drugs.

The hotel was bought by the Shon Yee Association in 1926, and has been used as a Single Room Occupancy hotel for almost a century. Our 1985 image shows that it has hardly changed over the past 30 or so years. Most recently it has been acquired in early 2017 by the Chinatown Foundation. More than 100 low-income seniors, mostly women, as well as a few businesses call the single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel home. The intention is that over the next few years the building will be renovated including seismic upgrades as well as cleared fire exits, and repaired roofs and walls.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2386

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Posted 16 November 2017 by ChangingCity in Chinatown, Still Standing

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Hartney Chambers – West Pender Street

The building on the corner of Homer and West Pender is numbered as 347 West Pender, because this is only a short block. It’s a small building because it shares the lot with an older structure, the original offices for the Daily World newspaper in 1892, and later for the News Herald. Down the street is the Pender Ballroom and the Riggs-Selman Building.

Hartney Chambers was completed in 1909, and designed by W F Gardiner, who then had his offices here. He tendered the building in the last week of February 1908, and tenants were advertising their businesses in the building a year later. Tenants leased either a single or double room in the building, and so were small , often one-man businesses. The Daily World in July 1908 described the building, which today could benefit from some attention, but at the time had ‘a handsome entrance’ to the offices on the upper floors, with a tiled entrance and space for a shoe shine stand. The facades, which have been painted for many years, was originally of pressed brick with New Zealand stone trimmings. The building was fitted with electric lights and steam heating,

We had no idea about who the ‘Hartney’ is that the building was named for, or why the name appeared on it. There were no contemporary records we can find that link the building to an investor called Hartney, although there were two possible candidates in the city, Charles and Patrick, and neither one seems more likely than the other. Both ended up running hotels in the city. The Hartney Real Estate Co had offices in 1907 on West Hastings, but frustratingly their advertisements don’t identify the owner, and the company seems to have lasted only a few months.

The developer was listed on the building permit as Peter G Drost, and the Daily World referred to it as the Drost and Turnbull Building. Adkison & Dill built it at a cost of $22,000. Drost continued to own the building, as he carried out some repairs in 1919. He was born in Ontario around 1863, and in 1891 was living in Whitewater in Selkirk, Manitoba where he was a grocer. That’s where the ‘Hartney’ name almost certainly comes from; Mr. Drost acquired a homestead in Manitoba, and then in the 1890s ran a flour and feed store in the newly expanding railway town of Hartney. In 1895 a fire destroyed much of the centre of the town, reaching Drost’s store.

In 1901 he was still in Manitoba, but in Brandon. He first shows up in Vancouver in 1903, with this rather odd entry, as a manufacturer. The advertisement from the Delta News from November 1902 explains a little more.

In the 1911 census he was living on the 2600 block of Columbia street of Vancouver. In the census he was described as retired (at age 48), but in the directory he was listed as a broker, with his office in this building on West Pender. His wife, Anne, aged 52 was with him, also from Ontario, along with Estelle, 26 and Harold, 23, born in Ontario, and four more sons aged 18 to 12, all born in Manitoba. In 1911 Mr. Drost used the same team of architect and builder to build a rooming house on Powell Street.

Mr. Drost was a Methodist, and involved in running the Central City Mission. In 1912 he was manager of the Mission, reporting that “2,034 men had been given free beds apart from the men who had been given free shake – downs”. In 1930 he had a huge row with the directors, who ran the operation in a way that he didn’t believe followed Christian values as it was run as a private company, and sometimes turned the destitute away. Clearly his disagreements were eventually resolved as the Archives have this image of him in 1949, burning the mortgage for the Mission.

Our image was shot some time in the 1970s, and today the building is still standing as a backpackers hostel. In 1918 it was home to the Vagabond Club, but by 1920 there were some rooms in residential use and by 1930 it had switched to entirely residential use as the Hartney Apartments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-16 and CVA 371-1576

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Posted 4 May 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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Richards Street – 900 Block east side (2)

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The building on the right of this 1981 image is also on our previous image. It dates from the mid 1950s, although that might have been a refurbishment of a $10,000 building designed and built by Bedford Davidson for the Pioneer Auto & Carriage Company in 1920. They were a firm of auto body builders run my William Alexander, Michael McLean and William Benson, and seem to have developed from the Pioneer Carriage and Shoeing Co, shifting from horses to horseless carriages.

The decorative building to the north was built in 1913,  a $30,000 office and store designed by W F Gardiner for the North West Trust Co., Ltd. It too was part of Vancouver’s expansive motordom, occupied initially with the showrooms of the Albion Motor Co, (a Scottish vehicle manufacturer), the Albion Motor Express  and the United Auto Agency of BC offices.

Off in the distance on the left is the first building on the block, the Pioneer Steam Laundry, built in 1908 and still standing today. While the steam laundry building remains, the rest of the block here is taken up by The Savoy, a 2000 condo tower designed by Hancock, Bruckner Eng + Wright.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E09.11

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Posted 20 March 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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