Archive for the ‘W P White’ Tag

553 Hamilton Street

The Del Mar Inn started life as the Cadillac Hotel. Built in 1912 for A E Hansen, according to the permit, it was designed by W P White and built at a cost of $33,000 by Frantz Construction. We haven’t successfully identified the developer’s identity; The only potential developer with a name that matched the permit living in the city at the time was Alfred E Hanson, who was listed as a contractor, and it seemed unlikely that he could fund a $33,000 development. (There was an A E Hansen in Seattle, and as the architect also came from that city, it was possible he was an absentee investor).

The Daily Building Record said Mr. Hanson lived at 1236 East 12th Avenue; Albert E Hanson lived on East 12th, but at 1033. The address of 1236 wasn’t recorded in the street directory. Adding to the confusion, the 1911 census recorded Mr. Hanson as Albert A Hanson, aged 50, retired and born in the USA. He was shown as arriving in Canada in 1909, although that seems inaccurate as his three children living at home, aged 19, 18 and 14, were all born in BC. His wife, Mary was from Ontario. The 1901 census said Albert Hanson was in Vancouver in 1901 as a hotel keeper, with wife Mary and five children at home. He was American, aged 44, and had arrived in Canada in the 1880s. Albert Hansen was shown in the 1901 street directory running a boarding house at 852 Powell Street. In 1891 they were living in Yale, with the CPR employees, where he was aged 34 and described as a retired foreman, presumably of a railway construction crew. Mary was shown born in Quebec in that census.

In 1913, when the hotel opened, it was run by William Jureit. He had been lodging on West Hastings in 1911 with his wife and three children, and was a builder who had just arrived in Canada from Germany in that same year. In 1915 Mrs Helen Mulholland had taken over running the building, which was partly a rooming house rather than a hotel, with a bookkeeper and a warehouseman among the tenants, and a real estate company occupying the main floor space.

In 1920 there were different proprietors, Mrs E Montgomery and Mrs J Carmichael, who also both lived in the property. By 1925 the name had changed to the Cadillac Rooms, run by Mrs E Fletcher, but by 1930 it had reverted to the Cadillac Hotel run by Mrs Jennie Cook. In 1935 Mrs K Sobotka was in charge, and in 1940 Joseph Fay. By 1945 it had become known as the Coast Hotel, run by S B Farmer, and by 1955 the name was changed again to the Del Mar Hotel, run by Joseph Lasky.

In 1975 the Hotel was bought by George Riste, born in Alberta during the 1930s, but who moved to Vancouver in 1960 after working in the pulp mill in Port Alberni. He leased a number of hotels over the years, the Bon Accord, the Hornby, the Senator, and then the Del Mar. Then he bought the Del Mar, and ran it as both rooming house and hotel. It was popular with passengers from the nearby bus depot, often recommended by Greyhound drivers. In the early 1980s BC Hydro started acquiring property on the block, assembling most of the land – except the Del Mar. Mr Riste, who by the mid 1970s managed the building as a 30 room SRO hotel, wasn’t interested in selling, at any price. After years of offers, BC Hyrdo gave up and built around him. A small, hand-painted sign was placed over the entrance. It reads: “This property is not for sale and it has not been sold. Thank you. The Owner.”

In 1990, Mr. Riste collaborated with the artist Kathryn Walter with whom he wrote the slogan: “Unlimited growth increases the divide”. A typographic artwork, with seven inch-tall copper letters, was installed as a frieze on the building’s façade. Art galleries have occupied the main floor for many years, including by the mid-1960s, the Bau-Xi gallery, and today the Or Gallery; our image shows it in 1977. George continued to actively manage the property until 2007, and died three years later just short of his 90th birthday. His family continue to own and manage the property as exemplary privately owned low-income housing.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 810-44

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Posted January 11, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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Englesea Lodge – Beach Avenue

sylvia-hotel-1

We’re looking along Beach Avenue in the 1960s in an Archives image that was shot by Leslie Sheraton. On the right is the Sylvia Hotel, and on the extreme left is the last remaining building on the water side of the street; Englesea Lodge. Like the Sylvia Hotel, Englesea Lodge was designed by W P White, a Seattle architect. In some ways it had a similar design, with brick cladding although it’s the base rather than the upper story that has a white finish. It was smaller than the Sylvia, two storeys shorter, and cost less to build – the Permit was issued in 1911 and E Cook built it for $115,000.

The developer listed on the permit was Annie Davidson, although the Province newspaper said it was built for A A Davidson. The Davidsons arrived in Vancouver from Victoria, where Augustus Alexander Davidson ran the jewelery store that traded as Davidson Brothers. His brother, Cicero Davidson, ran the Vancouver store, and also invested in real estate, building an apartment building and a retail building, both still standing today.

It looks as if Augustus (although he seemed to have been known by both of his names at different times) and Annie arrived in the city around the turn of the century. They were first shown in the 1900 Street Directory when A A Davidson was a partner with his brother in the jewelery business, and also had a real estate office. The family briefly lived on Melville Street, but then moved a block away from Cicero on Burrard Street. The 1901 Census shows Alexander aged 38, born in New York and coming to Canada in 1864. That birth date is at odds with his marriage and death certificates, which are more likely to be accurate, which show him born in 1864. He married Annie McKeil Adams, aged 21 who had been born in Victoria in 1893 when he was shown to be born in Lockport, New York. According to the 1901 census his brother Cicero was born in Ontario 1859, but the 1871 and 1881 census records only show Augustus living with a brother called Freman, born in 1862 in the US. Augustus was shown living with his mother, Mary Jane (34) and older brother Freman Davidson in Guelph in 1871, and both boys were shown born in the US. Augustus and Freman were still in Guelph in 1881, but living with John Davidson aged 49 and his wife Elsie, who was aged 39. That makes us think that Cisero may have changed his name (from Freman, or Freeman) when he moved west, abandoning the even more unusual father’s mother’s family name.

 In 1897 both Augustus and his brother, Cicero were two of the four owners of a $250,000 mining company, Winchester Gold Mines of Fairview, Victoria, formed to purchase the Winchester claim in Yale. The same year they were also partners in the $250,000 Shamrock Mining Co with the intent of taking over the Shamrock claim in Osoyoos. Cicero was also briefly a defendant in a case against the Orphan Boy Gold Mining Company on McCulloch Creek where the owners (including C N Davidson) were accused of defrauding shareholders. Augustus seems to have maintained active involvement in the region’s mining activity, but there’s no mention of Cicero retaining an interest.

In 1911 Augustus and his family were living at 2030 Beach Avenue, which is where the lodge was built a year later. The notoriously unreliable 1911 census shows A A Davidson was aged 44, born in 1867 (five years older than the previous census held ten years earlier had suggested). Annie was shown as aged 40, (so she had added eleven years in a decade). While in 1901 they had a son, Randolf aged 7 and another, Douglas aged 4, ten years later there was John, aged 18, Douglas aged 14 and a daughter, Elsie, who was 7. (We assume John and Randolf are the same child, following the family preference for name switching to try to confuse future historians).

Augustus died in 1950 aged 85; Annie was 88 when she died in 1960. Eve Lazarus chronicled the end of the Lodge in 1981. The City of Vancouver had acquired all the property along the waterfront, and while the houses had been cleared away and the park extended to the street, the Lodge was too big to treat in quite the same way. It cost the City $375,000 in 1967, and although rents covered the cost of purchase, by 1975 it was decided to demolish it anyway to complete the undeveloped park. Then that decision was reversed and in 1980 29 of the 45 apartments remained occupied, and there was talk from the city of investing $1.3 million to turn the building into senior’s housing. In February 1981 a suspicious fire was set, the fire brigade were said to have been instructed to let it burn, and with the lucky outcome of no injuries or deaths the Park Board had a contiguous park along the foreshore.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 2009-001.106

Posted October 3, 2016 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Sylvia Hotel – Beach Avenue

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The published accounts will tell you that the much-loved Sylvia was built by Abraham Goldstein, and named for his daughter, Sylvia. The hotel started life as the Sylvia Apartments, and was named for Mr. Goldstein’s eldest daughter. However, according to his marriage certificate Mr Goldstein’s name was Adolf, and he was born in Russia, and the 1901 census has him as Adolph, born in Germany, while in the 1911 census he was shown as A D Goldstein and being born in Poland. Eastern European borders were often changing and confused, but it’s almost certain that Mr. Goldstein came from the Pale of Settlement, the area of Russia created by Catherine the Great in 1791 that Jewish settlers were allowed to move to. His wife, Sarah Jonas, came from Timaru, New Zealand, and they married in Vancouver in October 1899, and first show up in the Street Directory in 1900. Sarah’s father was known as Moss, but he had been born Moses Jonas, in Brighton, England, became a seaman and having moved to Timaru was an auctioneer, built a theatre, the town’s synagogue, and was elected mayor.

In 1903 A D Goldstein was a manufacturer’s agent living on Pender Street (the same occupation as in the 1901 census), but by 1906 he was shown as a financial broker. The family are identified on the 1911 census with 11-year-old Sylvia, Cyril, aged eight and Aileen who was two. Sarah’s sister, Clara Gossage was living with them, and so was J M Goldstein, Adolph’s brother, and a four year old nephew. There was also a domestic servant, K F Pearson.

In 1913 when his $250,000 investment, designed by Seattle architect W P White and built by Booker, Campbell & Whipple was completed, Mr. Goldstein was still listed as Adolph, still a financial broker, living on Pendrell St. (He had G H Moon design alterations to his home and added a garage, also in 1913). Isaac Goldstein was working with him, living on Nelson Street. In 1914 Mr. Goldstein’s name appears for the first time as Abe, no doubt in part because having a German name wasn’t necessarily a comfortable experience at that time. Isaac Goldstein appears to have left the city around 1916.

In 1923 Abe D Goldstein is shown as the proprietor of the Sylvia Apartments, and Cyril is shown living at home on Pendrell, working as a law student at Tupper and Bull. Sylvia was at home as well. The family moved to the US that year. In 1930 Abraham and Sarah were living in Los Angeles with their son, Cyril. Sylvia went with them, having obtained a degree from UBC. However, she returned to Vancouver, and while taking a boat trip with a group of Jewish singles caught the attention of her future husband, Harry Ablowitz, by diving off the boat into False Creek. (She was a strong swimmer, having been taught by Joe Fortes).  The couple were married in 1928 and settled in North Vancouver, later founding a realty company.

Both Sylvia and Harry Ablowitz were active in the Vancouver business community and in numerous Jewish organizations. Sylvia sat on the board of many Jewish community groups and helped to establish the Jewish Community Centre, the Louis Brier Home, a hospital at Oak and 41st Avenue and a golf course. She was a member of the National Council of Jewish Women and, until her mid-90s, was still volunteering her services with the Jewish Family Service Agency, doing telephone checks for isolated seniors. She died at UBC hospital aged 102.

Our image shows the hotel in 1932 when it was still surrounded by houses and dominated the newly-planted street. In 1936, the Sylvia Hotel, then in receivership, was transformed into an apartment hotel and by the beginning of the Second World War, many of the suites had been converted into single rooms. While many hotels in Vancouver ended up as apartments or SRO hotels, the Sylvia went the opposite way. By the 1960s it had become a full-service hotel. Prior to the building boom in the West End during the 1960s, The Sylvia’s dining room was on the eighth floor with a slogan of “first-class dining in the sky,” Today it has been relocated to ground floor level, and offers one of the best views out over English Bay, past the trees that in summer now obscure the view from the upper floors.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-2632

 

 

Posted September 29, 2016 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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Orwell Hotel – East Hastings Street

orwell-hotel

There’s not much changed between our 1978 image and today. The Orwell was developed in 1911, and if anything it’s in better condition now than then. BC Housing acquired the building in 2007, and have carried out a series of improvements and restored the façade, which was designed by W P White. Today it’s run by Vancouver Native Housing Society. When it was developed H S Rowling was the developer, and Booker, Campbell & Whipple were the builders of the $70,000 reinforced concrete building. As far as we could tell from Building Permits it was Mr. Rowling’s only development project, although that turns out to be inaccurate.

Henry Soar Rowling was President of the Vancouver Real Estate Co, and unusually, he was a local. He was born in New Westminster in 1864, son of a Royal Engineer who arrived in British Columbia in 1858 on the North American Boundary Commission. Henry was a contractor in 1881, later operating tugboats on the Fraser River and then the Burnett River that runs out of Burnaby Lake. In conversation with Major Matthews he recalled hauling logs to the mills, including along a skid road where Gore Avenue is today, near Greer’s Beach (in Kitsilano) and from Brockton Point (in Stanley park).

In 1903 he moved into real estate. A 1914 biography said he owned two business blocks, ‘and much business and residential property’ as well as the Orwell (a rooming house when it was built) he constructed a building on the corner of Vernon and Albert Streets.

Posted September 19, 2016 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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311 Dunsmuir Street

311 Dunsmuir

Here’s another gas station that you won’t find today. The Dunsmuir Service Station was opened in 1931 by Roach and Rosbotham at the corner of Hamilton Street. L A Roach and Thomas Rosbotham had another service station at 680 Beatty Street. In 1926 Thomas was the attendant at a Union Oil service station, and a couple of years earlier he was an orderly at the Shaughnessy Hospital.

Photographer Jack Lindsay took two picture of the station in 1946 when it was managed by William Krikau. He had moved to Vancouver from Rosthern, Saskatchewan during the war, initially working for Dominion Bridge, then moving to Silverdale in mission in 1950 to run his own garage.

Today the site is part of BC Hydro’s 1992 new office, with the supposed theme of water flowing down the mountains (the roof of the tower) to generate power. The Delmar Hotel, behind the service station, still stands behind the recently planted rainforest in the park, designed by W P White in 1911. Dalton and Eveleigh’s larger Alcazar Hotel, to the left of the gas station was built a year later, and is now part of the tower site.

Image Source: City of Vancouver archives CVA 1184-1738

West Cordova and Granville

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We saw another angle of this corner in a much earlier post. The single storey stores built by the Allen Brothers and designed by W P White saw a number of different occupants over the years. In this 1926 picture the corner was occupied by Stan’s Express – although it’s not completely clear what Stan (who was Stan Collins) did so speedily. Next door was a cafe called the Burnaby Lunch (run by Mrs Lydia Brazee, who lived a few doors down in the Almer Hotel), and McIver’s Garage was at the back. Pacific Coast Taxis also operated from here (run by S T Cann and C W Cote) – that’s their office underneath the Coca Cola sign.

West Cordova and Granville 3

Here’s another 1959 view of the same corner. Lando’s Furs now feature prominently, (and around the corner was also Lando’s Indian Curio store) but you could also pick up cigarettes from Wilson’s News-Stand or stop for a haircut from the Principe Brothers. All this was about to change – the signs on the windows show the tenants were being ‘FORCED OUT’ and warning patrons of Trute’s Dry Cleaners not to forget to collect their laundry.

The 1969 structure that replaced the stores is now a little closer to becoming another lost parkade – a proposed replacement office tower has now been redesigned to the approval of the city’s Urban Design Panel and can now proceed to rezoning.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-2252 and CVA 447-325

Posted June 11, 2013 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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West Cordova east from Granville

Here’s another corner that has changed significantly, and not necessarily for the better. We’re pretty certain the 1940s picture here shows the 1911 stores designed for the Allan Brothers (who also built them) by W P White. White only practiced architecture in Vancouver for two years – he was basically a Seattle architect – but he designed a lot of buildings in that short period, including the Sylvia Apartments (now the Sylvia Hotel). The magazine stand anchored the corner, and way off down the street you can see Woodwards store with the tower and the replica Eiffel Tower – but no ‘W’ so it must be before 1944. Today there’s a parkade designed by Reid Jones Christopherson back in 1969. Parkades are starting to disappear across the Downtown – three are already being redeveloped (on Richards Street and on Thurlow). This one may join the list of ‘gone and best forgotten’ soon as a proposal has been submitted to replace it with an office tower.

Image source, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1184-3272

Posted January 8, 2012 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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