Archive for the ‘W T Dalton’ Tag

Granville Street 600 block – west side

This side of Granville Street was demolished to make room for the extension of Pacific Centre Mall northwards. At the far end of the block in this 1953 image was the Colonial Theatre, a cinema converted in 1912 from an 1888 office building. We looked at its history in one of our early posts over 8 years ago. It was originally designed by New York architect Bruce Price for Sir William Van Horne. President of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Since then, the 1974 office tower that replaced the cinema has been reclad to a lighter colour, with double glazed widows.

Closer to us, just showing on the left of the picture was 679 Granville, a 1910 3-storey building designed by Dalton & Eveleigh for Henry Bell-Irving. In 1953 Purdy’s chocolate store was here, with the Devon Cafe. Next door, at 665 Granville, D’Allaird’s lady’s clothing store had obscured the facade of their building. It appears to have been built in 1904, with the St Louis rooms above retail, initially occupied by R J Buchanan’s crockery store, and Cicero Davidson’s jewelers. We think the site was owned and developed by Jonathan Rogers, who applied to build a $24,000 building on the three lots here in 1904 – described (somewhat inaccurately) as a ‘frame dwelling’. The whole building included both the D’Aillards lot and the building with mis-matched windows to the north. (It’s hard to see in the image, but one has a curved cornice, and the other a shallow pyramid). Mr. Rogers was a builder and identified himself as the architect too. D’Aillards Blouses Ltd carried out work to 651 Granville (just to the north) in 1925, so had been in this area for many years.

The next building appears to have two identical facades, but was developed as a single structure, also in 1904. It was designed by Parr and Fee for Mrs. Northgroves, and cost $15,000. We’re not really sure who Mrs. Northgraves was. She doesn’t appear in any street directory, or census, although she was listed as attending a function with many other women in 1913. There was a Miss Northgrave, who lived on ‘income’, with her sister (and he sister’s husband, William Walsh, who was listed as a ‘capitalist’ under occupation in the 1911 census). In 1905 and in 1908 Mrs. Walsh and Miss Northgrave left the city to spend the winter in Southern California. Mr. Walsh developed a number of properties in the city, including some designed by Parr and Fee.

The building with the four Roman arches beyond also dates from the early 1900s, and we’ve failed to identify the architect or developer. In the early 1920s it was owned by B. Holt Fur Company, who spent over $5,000 on repairs and alterations. In the 1910s P W Charleson carried out repairs to 641 and 657 Granville on several occasions, and ‘Charlson & Abbott’ to 665 Granville. (Percy Charleson also owned 800 Granville, two blocks to the south). Fraser Hardware also paid for alterations to 641 Granville in the mid 1910s, and were tenants here. Brown Bros appear to have owned the properties in the mid 1920s.

Down the street, the narrower four storey building was approved to be developed as an apartment building in 1912. Charles Williams of Acroyd & Gall claimed to be developer, architect and builder of the $29,000 project. This was one of very few building lots that had originally been developed before 1901 (when the only other building that had been developed was the 1888 office on the corner). Richards, Ackroyd and Gall were an Insurance, Finance and Real Estate agency and there was a civil engineer called Charles Williams who might have managed the development. It’s not clear if the project was for the company, or whether they were representing a client when they submitted the plans.

Next door, there’s a modest 2-storey building. It was developed in 1910 by W F Huntting, who hired Thomas Hooper to design the $13,000 investment. William Foster Huntting was the wealthy president of the Huntting-Merritt Lumber Company, and he had a Shaughnessy mansion built in 1912. He was born in Iowa in 1879, and was successful in business at a young age, founding his lumber company in 1902, the year he arrived in BC. He died in 1930.

There’s another small building to the north, designed by W T Dalton for Edward Bros, who spent $7,000, hiring E Cook to build it in 1902. Beyond that, (just before the cinema), is a building on two lots. It has a shallow bay window on the second floor, and was apparently called The Bower Block in 1907, when it was developed by G Bower, who hired Hooper and Watkins to design the $15,000 investment. George Bower built other Granville projects including a much larger investment on the next block to the north two years later, using the same architects.

Image source: Leonard Frank, Jewish Museum LF.00308

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Granville Street – 500 block, east side (2)

 

We saw the building in the middle of this 1899 picture in its original incarnation as a building almost certainly designed by W T Dalton for Hope and Fader Co., Granville Street, ‘next to the Imperial Bank’, in 1898. The intricate design was replaced, or covered, with a windowless box to house British departmental store Marks and Spencer, and more recently has been given an even more featureless façade with the store offering (until its recent closure) Loblaw’s clothing brand ‘Joe Fresh’. That’s the Marks and Spencer incarnation below, seen in 1981.

The Imperial Bank was the building to the north – still standing today, and designed in 1898 for W H Leckie, the Vancouver arm of John Leckie’s dealership in salmon nets, rubber boots and oilskin clothing. We looked at the history of that building in an earlier post. It was designed by G W Grant in a rather more restrained style than his later designs. The Imperial bank was replaced by the Quebec Bank, and by the early 1910s the building was known as the Mackechnie Building. In 1913 the upper floors held a variety of office tenants, among them real estate offices, a judge, two doctors, a dentist, a barrister and a broker. Persistent rumours suggest an office tower will be proposed above the restored heritage building.

To the south (in the top picture) is a fifty feet wide building. Today it has a 1909 façade, designed by Parr and Fee for owner Harry Abbott. The building dates back to 1889, when it was designed for Abbott (the Canadian Pacific Railway official in charge of the west coast) by the Fripp Brothers. In it’s earlier incarnation it had a brick facade with smaller sliding sash windows.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu N422 and CVA 779-E02.01

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Posted 21 September 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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De Beck Block – 366 West Hastings

 

This prominent corner of Hastings and Homer has a surprisingly modest building today, but earlier there were two more flamboyant buildings. On the right was the O’Brien Hall, where Professor William O’Brien taught dance (as we saw in the previous post). The one on the left was designed by W T Dalton for George Ward DeBeck. It was completed in 1898, when Mr. DeBeck was a partner in Mackinnon, Beck & Co, (real estate agents) and lived on Hornby Street.

He was born at Woodstock, New Brunswick in 1849, and after leaving school travelled to California, where he worked in sawmills. He later joined his family, who had moved to British Columbia. His father had moved to New Westminster in 1868, working as a logger, but died in a logging accident two years later. There were three other DeBeck brothers, and they collectively built the Brunette Saw Mills in Sapperton in 1874. In 1877 George was in New Westminster, working at the Brunette Sawmill Co where H L DeBeck was manager and Clarence DeBeck foreman. By 1881 the mill was cutting 50,000 feet of lumber a day, and employing 30 workers. Their lumber at the time came from a camp on Pitt Lake. George DeBeck had already tired of the lumber business – in 1880 he was running a hotel in Yale. In the census a year later his wife and two children also lived in Yale, but not at the hotel.

While a 1914 biography suggested Mr. DeBeck married in 1887, a later newspaper article clarified that it was in 1877, when his wife-to-be was only aged 16, and still attending a convent in New Westminster. Some references suggest she was the first white child born in New Westminster. Having hired a cab, and a tugboat, Mr. DeBeck spirited his wife-to-be away from her school Sunday morning walk, and hurried to Port Townsend in Washington where they married. To ensure there was no chase, it was reported that Mr. DeBeck arranged for the telegraph lines to be cut.

After the hotel in Yale the family moved south, with George working in the timber trade, initially in Washington. In 1883 the family were in The Dalles, Oregon, where Edward (“Ned”) Keary DeBeck was born. Two years later Leonora Alsea Debeck was born in Yaquinna, Oregon. The family moved on to Idaho, then in 1886 returned to Canada, and to Vancouver in 1891, where G W DeBeck was listed as a timber speculator. In 1895, a son, Ward was born. and two years later Viola, who would become one of the earliest women law students in British Columbia. At this point George had moved on again, and instead of lumber now held interests in mining. At this point he was listed as ‘broker’ – as he was involved in real estate as well as mining. He developed the West Hastings building which soon included tenants as varied as Vogel’s Commercial College, the French Consulate, and the local office of Imperial Oil.

George’s next adventure was a government appointment, as Indian Agent in Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, off Vancouver Island. He held the job for four years, then returned to Vancouver, and the timber cruising and logging business. At the end of 1939 George and Emma moved to Victoria, British Columbia to live with their son, Ned, but Emma died that year, on December 31. George returned to Vancouver, where he died in 1943. You can read far more about George, and his family, on WestEnd Vancouver.

When he died, his building (seen here in 1940 with the Pall Mall Café) had been demolished, replaced with the less ornate building seen today. There was a Bank of Montreal branch on the corner from 1928 and the replacement was built in two phases, with the bank occupying the eastern half (where the DeBeck Building had been) before moving into the western corner once the entire building was completed. We weren’t certain who designed the 1940 building, but the style is reminiscent of the buildings designed by Townley and Matheson for the Vancouver General Hospital around this time and in 1940 they designed a business block for Dr. Worthington at Homer and Hastings. Patrick Gunn from Heritage Vancouver dug out the 1940 permit, and it was indeed those architects for Doctor Worthington, who owned the Vancouver Drug Company. Today it’s part of the campus of the Vancouver Film School, suffering somewhat by the addition of an extremely brutal tubular canopy.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu N135

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Posted 13 June 2019 by ChangingCity in Gone, Victory Square

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West Hastings Street – 500 block, north side

Across Seymour Street in this 1907 image, the Empire Building was completed in 1889, designed by C O Wickenden and developed by Canadian Pacific Railway surgeon J M Lefevre, a member of the first City Council in 1886. It was replaced in the 1970s by a rather curious public space with a glazed dome. Our ‘after’ shot is already out of date, as a new office tower is now under construction. It will feature an open area underneath to continue to offer a covered open space (and a café).

On the east side of the junction is the Molson’s Bank, built in 1898 and designed by Montreal architects Taylor and Gordon.

Closest to us is a small office building, first occupied by realtors Mahon, McFarland and Mahon in 1899. An 1898 article in the Province newspaper identified them as developers, and the architect as W T Dalton. By 1903 the owner was Judge Irving. Paulus Aemilius Irving, who was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1857, was called to the bar in 1880 in Newmarket, Ontario and came west in 1882 to Victoria where he became a noted judge. He married in Victoria in 1883, the same year he was appointed Deputy Attorney General for British Columbia. His wife had six children in eleven years (three dying as infants). In 1889 he became a judge for the B C Supreme Court. He hired Dalton & Eveleigh in 1903 to make $500 of alterations to the property. He had had also designed Edward Mahon’s house which was on Seaton Street (West Hastings today) where the Marine Building was later built, and the Mahon Block on West Hastings for them in 1902.

David Spencer’s department store took over this block, although he never totally redeveloped the older buildings at this end. The Harbour Centre project replaced both the bank and Judge Irving’s building in 1976, with Simpson-Sears as the retail anchor. Their store occupied the lower floors of the new building adjacent to the Spencer’s department store that had been incorporated into the project. (Spencers became Eatons in 1948, but then moved out in 1972 to their new Pacific Centre Mall location).

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-566

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Posted 21 February 2019 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Granville Street south from West Pender

We’ve seen some of the buildings here, on the eastern side of the 500 block of Granville Street in a post from a few years ago, but looking northwards and in the 1930s. This ‘before’ picture is undated, but we’re pretty certain it was shot in the late 1960s or early 1970s before any street trees had been planted. That’s one of the 1954 Brill buses in BC Hydro livery – so between 1962 and 1973. When the new vertical white lights were added to Granville Street a few years ago, and the surface redesigned and replaced, this short section of street was the only one where the existing street trees were considered worthy of retention, and so a taller, more mature canopy exists here.

On the left is Somervell and Putnam’s 1916 design for the Merchant’s Bank, expanded in 1924 by the Bank of Montreal to Kenneth Guscotte Rea’s designs. More recently, in 2005, Paul Merrick designed its conversion to the Segal School of Business for Simon Fraser University.

Next door, across the lane, is an 1898 building, still standing today. Designed by GW Grant, it was built for W H Leckie and Co and occupied in part by the Imperial Bank, (although that use ended decades ago). William Henry Leckie was born in Toronto in 1874, and moved west in 1896. Although he managed the family business with his brother, Robert, only he was noted in the city’s early biography, although by the early 1900s, R J Leckie and Company also had a successful boot and shoe manufacturing business in Vancouver. Robert had arrived in 1894 to run the Vancouver branch of the business established by their father, John Leckie, who had immigrated to Canada from Scotland. He established a dry goods store in Toronto in 1857 which evolved into fishermen’s supply store, selling oilskin clothing, imported netting, sails, tents, and marine hardware. The firm began to manufacture its own goods, and the brothers continued that expansion by not only establishing this retail and warehouse building, but also owning a tannery on the Fraser River. Later they built a much bigger factory and warehouse on Water Street.

William Leckie didn’t constrain his activities to footware; by 1913 he was a Director of the Burrard Land and Improvement Co, the Capital Hill Land Co and of the Children’s Hospital.

Next door was a two storey building, completely obscured in the 1970s, and today refaced with a contemporary frontage. Originally it was developed by Hope, Fader and Co in 1898, and designed by W T Dalton.

To the south is a third fifty feet wide building. Today it has a 1909 façade, designed by Parr and Fee for owner Harry Abbott. The building dates back to 1889, when it was designed for Abbott (the Canadian Pacific Railway official in charge of the west coast) by the Fripp Brothers.

While the collection of buildings has retained the same scale for over a century, rumours suggest a development may see a new office tower that would retain two original heritage buildings facades.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 800-455

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West Pender and Howe Street – se corner

This modest two storey structure appeared in 1909. It was ‘designed’ by Charles Perry, a builder who wasn’t registered as an architect, but who advertised his ability to supply plans for construction projects. It cost $4,600, and may have incorporated an earlier 1901 warehouse built on the corner for the Thompson Brothers in 1901. That was designed by W T Dalton on the first 25 feet of West Pender. We think Mr. Perry might have added and incorporated the next fifty feet of frontage copying Dalton’s style.

The owner was E McGinnis. We’re not sure who he was; there wasn’t anybody called McGinnis in the city whose initial was ‘E’, and hadn’t been for several years. There was a ‘Mr. McGinnis’ who had developed property on Davie Street in 1903, and there were no obvious McGinnises who might have had the resources to do that living in the city, so if the initial is correct he’s most likely to have been an absentee investor. Emery McGinnis was a Whatcom businessman in the 1890s and 1900s, but there’s nothing to positively identify him with this building, or any other investment in the city.

The Thompson Brothers also designed and built the next building up Pender Street in 1901 – with the slightly higher cornice line in this 1945 Vancouver Public Library image. The next building to the east was also from 1901; C E Turner hired Blackmore and Son to design the $6,000 two-storey commercial building. The rest of the block was a more substantial investment by E Lewis in 1902, who spent $20,000 on another W T Dalton designed store that incorporated five lots. We’ve researched Edward Lewis and his shaky past in Montreal in an earlier post.

The tenant in the first storefront on Howe in 1910 was Haskins and Eliot, who sold cycles. We’ve seen their store in two other locations in earlier posts, but they stayed here over a decade. On the West Pender frontage Andrew Papandrew, a confectioner had his store. In 1920 it was still in the same use as the Academy Candy Store, run by George Assemas and George Polidas. In 1930 the Minute Lunch was located here, and the cycle shop remained on Howe, but now as Harry Routledge Co Ltd. The upper floor appears to have residential use by the 1930s.

Pender Place, the development that fills the entire site today, is a pair of office towers completed in 1973 designed by Underwood, McKinley, Wilson & Smith.

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Mackinnon Block – West Hastings and Granville

We looked at this building on the corner of Hastings and Granville in a very early post (in 2011) from a different angle. It was designed by W T Dalton for John Mackinnon (on the right), an early and successful resource baron in the city. (The press frequently called him McKinnon, but as the advertisement for his business shows, that was wrong). It was built by Henry Bell, who also built the Dunn-Miller block on Cordova Street, and many Canadian Pacific stations. It was completed in 1897, twelve years after John left Scotland, and only six years after he arrived in Vancouver. Born on the small Inner Hebrides island of Eigg, John travelled to Edinburgh to study then set off for a new life in Canada in 1885, but not as he had expected. As a 1913 biography noted “It is a matter of interesting history to know that Mr. Mackinnon purchased the first ticket the Canadian Pacific Railroad ever sold in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Victoria, British Columbia. The railroad, however, was unable to get him ‘through and so transferred him in New York and he came to this province by way of the Northern Pacific and over the line of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, the Canadian Pacific not having been completed until the following year.”

Once here he promptly headed south to the United States, running a sheep ranch in The Dalles, in Oregon before heading back to BC in 1891. He purchased Hardy Island off Powell River in the same year, retaining it as a game reserve. He became a land and investment broker, acquiring land, mining and lumber interests, as well as property. Initioally he was in a partnership as Mackinnon, Macfarlane & Co. The 1913 biography referenced this building: “In 1897 he erected the Mackinnon building in Vancouver which was the first office building of any importance to be built in that city and which, at that time, was considered the most modern building in the city.”

He sold it after a few years, to a Mr. Williams. The last reference to the Mackinnon Block was in July 1907, and in the same month the first to the Williams Block although Mr. Mackinnon continued to have his business offices in the building, next door to architects Grant and Henderson. The name change came a few months after a tragic accident occurred “William Lawson, a stonecutter, who lives at 1235 Homer street, was instantly killed this afternoon, by being struck on the head by a heavy stone, which was being hoisted into position at the McKinnon block, corner of Granville and Hastings streets. Lawson Is a married man and leaves a family. Repairs are being made to the front of the McKinnon building, and Lawson, together with the other workmen, were hoisting heavy stone and other building material to workmen above, when the tackle broke and fell, striking him on the head and killing him instantly.” The building however had been sold seven years earlier to an absentee overseas investor. Frederick De La Fontaine Williams, a London businessman, had visited Vancouver, seen the building, and struck up a deal to buy it for $100,000, as reported in ‘The Prospector’ in October 1900.

By 1916 it had been acquired by London & British North American Co, and in 1921 Townley & Matheson designed a $15,000 alteration for owners Sharples & Sharples: “Removal of nearly entire north wall of Hastings St. frontage to be replaced w/ plate glass front, other minor alterations” From later photographs there’s no suggestion that such a dramatic intervention was carried out – although there were slightly different fully glazed storefronts by 1940. As the job was for Service Tobacco Shop, it seems likely to have just been the main floor of the Hastings Street frontage (the north wall) that was being replaced.

Mr. Mackinnon’s mining interest included being president of the Bend’Or Mines in the early 1900s. He created the Canadian Pacific Pulp Company, Ltd., at Swanson Bay on the Inside Passage in 1906. (Today it’s a ghost town after the mill closed in 1918). He owned 20,000 acreas of timber land along the coast, and also a 1,200 acre ranch in Lillooet with 300 acres growing fruit and the remainder used as a cattle and horse ranch. In 1914 he was prospecting for coal and petroleum on Graham Island in Haida Gwai.

These days the corner of Granville and Hastings has the United Kingdom Building which has been here for over 60 years. Built in 1957 it was designed by Douglas Simpson just after the breakup of his practice with Hal Semmens. They only practiced together for about 10 years, but produced a significant set of quality modernist residential and commercial buildings, almost all in the West End and Downtown.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1399-390

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Posted 22 January 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Hotel Europe (3)

We looked at the fabulous flatiron Hotel Europe in one of our earliest posts, and another view soon after. Here’s the original Hotel Europe which became the hotel’s annex when the much larger new structure was built next door in 1908. Our 1975 image shows the fire escape that has now been removed, but otherwise it’s still looking as good as ever. Today it’s part of a housing co-op that includes the flatiron building as well.

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography has an entry for Angelo Calori, the hotel’s owner and developer. “A fire in June destroyed every structure in Vancouver with the exception of one wooden building, which Calori purchased and transformed into the European Hotel. Five years later, after the city’s population had increased from approximately 1,000 to over 13,000, the establishment became known as the Hotel Europe. A photograph of Calori taken in 1893 reveals a confident businessman with dark eyes and a neatly trimmed full moustache.”

Some of this is correct. There was a fire in 1886, and only one building, a hotel, survived it. However, that was the Regina Hotel on Water Street, a long way from Powell and Alexander where Mr Calori’s property was located, and it was run by Edmond Cosgrove after the fire. In fact there’s no sign of Angelo Calori in Vancouver until 1888, when he was initially listed as running a restaurant, with the Hotel Europe getting mentioned for the first time a year later (run by Andrew and Joseph Calorae). His early history in North America isn’t documented, but it’s thought that he may have been in San Francisco before heading to Victoria in 1882 and working in the lower mainland building the railway, and in 1887 he was almost certainly the Angelo Calari working in the Nanaimo mines.

There were actually two Calori brothers in Vancouver, Joseph (actually named Guillermo) and Angelo, who were running the hotel in 1890 – the year they were fined for selling liquor on Sunday at the hotel. We can only find Angelo in the 1891 census, a 28-year old hotel-keeper born in Italy. The picture is Angelo in around 1893. In 1897 there was a third Calori Brother, C Calori, living at the hotel. In 1899 Angelo had W T Dalton design ‘brick additions’ to the hotel – but exactly what they consisted of, and whether the building we see today is therefore a Dalton design is unclear.

That 1891 census was missing a few people – Joseph Calori (older than Angelo by three years) was involved in running the business, shown in the street directory and still shared an address with Angelo (at the hotel) in 1901. We initially thought that in 1891 Angelo was married to Theresa, another Italian, although there was no Theresa Calori in the city. A daughter, Josephine Lena Calori was registered as having been born in Vancouver in 1889, at the Hotel Europe, with Doctor Mills in attendance. However, her birth wasn’t registered until 1904, with Angelo Calori listed as the father and Theresa Martina the mother. The 1891 census suggests a slightly different story. Therese Martina was a lodger in the Europe Hotel, with her two-year old daughter Josie, born in BC, whose father and mother had both been born in Italy. The biography says Angelo adopted Theresa’s daughter and they had a second daughter, but we think there was only ever one child, Josephine Lena.

The 1901 census said Angelo and Theresa were married, and that both arrived in Canada in 1882, and Joseph Calori in 1883. Joseph and Rosi Martina, aged 17 and 14, described as Angelo’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law also lived with the family. There were six domestics at the Europe Hotel, three of them also from Italy, and then many long-term residents, one described by the census as a ‘roomer’ and the others as ‘boarders’.

In 1907 Angelo nearly lost possession of the hotel after a complex court case involving financier and developer Frederick T Andrews. Mr. Calori eventually prevailed, and Mr. Andrews was required by the Supreme Court of Canada to sell the building (previously optioned to him) after some dubious paperwork generated by a land agent, who pocketed a commission for the sale arrangement.

The 1911 Census didn’t find Angelo or his family, but Guillermo Calori was aged 50, and living at 56 Powell Street (which is across the street from this building). Around this period Angelo and Theresa Calori are absent from the street directories. After 1910 the hotel was managed by Albert Berger, and then F A McKeown. When the Calori’s returned to Vancouver in 1915, Angelo lived in a 25-room house on Burnaby Street and G Calori was shown still living at 56 Powell Street. That’s probably the same building that in 1906 was used as the Hotel Europe Annex, before the larger new flatiron building was completed.

We don’t know where the Calori’s went to for the early 1910s, although Angelo’s biography says it was a trip to Italy. US border records show that in 1912 Angelo immigrated to Vermont and a year later to Seattle. In 1914, in New York, aged 52 and single, he married Theresa Martina who was aged 53, and described as widowed. Both Angelo and Theresa were born in Varese Ligure in Italy. It would appear that Theresa (Teresa in some records) had originally married somebody else, but had lived with Angelo as husband and wife for many years. As catholics, divorce would have been impossible, so they presumably had to wait for Theresa’s husband to die. Whether (Josephine) Lena, whose birth was registered as Angelo’s daughter was actually his daughter is less clear.

Angelo’s family circumstances (if they were known) didn’t seem to have affected his progress in the city. He built one of the finest hotels, acquired a theatre, and was a founding member of the Sons of Italy, a mutual-benefit society founded in 1905. He died in May 1940, and was buried in Mountain View cemetery. He was predeceased by Lena, who died in 1930, and by Theresa, who died in 1934; all three share a prominent headstone. His son-in-law was the only remaining family member to remain able to deal with Angelo’s will. However, with the onset of the war, he and 40 other Italian men from Vancouver were interned at Kananaskis, Alberta, having become members of a Mussolini linked political club.

Image sources City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-506 and CVA 81-1.

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Posted 5 June 2017 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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BC Electric Railway car barns – Main Street at Prior

streetcar-barn-main-at-prior

These big industrial buildings were first constructed in 1899, and initially expanded in 1903. W T Dalton designed the first buildings, and Dalton and Eveleigh the expansion which was for an iron frame car barn costing $14,000. It was this building, so the building at the front is probably the 1899 structure, and the barn behind the addition. The BC Electric Railway Co ran the trams (streetcars) and suburbans that helped to shape the expansion of the City of Vancouver, and many of the suburban municipalities as well. There’s a bit of a debate about the date of this image – the City Archives think it’s from 1899, but other authors say it’s 1904 (which seems to make more sense). It had nine parallel tracks that could squeeze 45 streetcars inside the largest single-storey structure in the city at the time. There were four repair pits and an electric hoist. There was small store (behind the streetcar) run by George Aldrid where employees could buy fruit and tobacco.

streetcar-barns-main-prior-1969-walter-e-frost-cva-447-355The building was further expanded in 1912 when the BC Electric Railway Co planned a $40,000 addition built by Snider & Brethour. We’re unsure what that involved, as the 1912 insurance map shows a much larger building already completed along the entire street to Prior Street. We assume this happened sometime in the late 1900s when there’s a gap in available building permits. (In 1914 the rapidly expanding fleet saw the company build a new two-storey reinforced concrete barn at Main and 14th Avenue, replacing earlier structures at a cost of $300,000).

The expanded buildings that were built here can be seen in this 1969 W E Graham Archives image, long after streetcars had gone, and before the buildings were torn down to be replaced with the new Georgia Viaduct (at the eastern end it’s some distance from Georgia, between Union and Prior Street). The view will change again once the viaducts have been removed.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P212 and CVA 447-355

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Posted 1 December 2016 by ChangingCity in False Creek, Gone

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311 Water Street

300 block Water St 2

Here’s the McClary Manufacturing block on the corner, and next door at 311 Water is the Martin and Robertson warehouse built a year later and completed in 1898. It started life as a 4 storey building, and each floor had a different style. It started with a rustic stone base, a square second floor with paired sash windows on either side, Romanesque arches on the third floor  and six sash widows on Martin & Robertson 1900the top floor. W T Dalton was the architect, and as he featured in a brochure, we even know all the suppliers of materials – from Thomas Dunn for the glass to Geo H Hinton for the electrical fittings. As this 1900 photo from the brochure shows, the Canada Paint Co were in the building in 1900, but Martin and Robertson who developed the building were here too. Although described in some descriptions as ‘Klondike Outfitters’ they were importers and suppliers of dried foodstuffs – not just to would-be miners heading north. In 1903 W T Dalton (who had added the extra floor on McLary’s a year earlier) designed the $4,500 2-storey addition to the building for Mr Martin, built by ‘Horrobin’ – (contractor Theodore Horrobin).

Martin was Robert Martin, born in 1851 and Robertson was Arthur Robertson, who we think was seven years younger. Robert Martin was from Ontario, his wife Lydia was English, ten years, younger, and in 1901 they had four children aged seven, six and five as well as a 9-month-old baby. The household was completed by a ‘lady’s help’, Caroline Watson, and Jin, the domestic. Scotsman Arthur Robertson was looking after the company’s other warehouse, in Victoria. Both partners were interested in other investment opportunities; in 1903 the Times Colonist reported: “anticipating the boom that is likely to strike Port Simpson on the commencement of the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific enterprise, speculators are hastening to ‘get in on the ground floor’. Robert Martin of Vancouver and Arthur Robertson of Victoria are applying at Ottawa for a grant of foreshore rights at Port Simpson”. Whether they obtained the rights or not we’re don’t know – they might have been better off being turned down, as the railway terminated in Prince Rupert instead.

In 1908 a new 6-storey building was designed for the company by Parr and Fee (although we’re not sure where it was located), although Martin and Robertson were still in this original building in 1910. They were described then as ‘manufacturer’s agents’, and Duncan Gavin was the manager. They moved to new premises in 1911 to a warehouse they developed with John Burns at 329 Railway Street. That could be the Parr and Fee building – although the building permit, taken out in 1910, suggested that they had designed it themselves (which seems unlikely). This building was used by the Northern Electric and Manufacturing Co, who hired Thomas Hooper to design $1,500 of changes in 1911. Their name was truncated to Nortel many years later. The company started life in the 1890s as the manufacturing subsidiary of Bell Telephone of Canada.

Martin & Robertson advertised in ‘Canadian Grocer’ in 1918 in their Railway Street premises as Rice Millers, Importers and Manufacturers Agents. They distributed Japan, China and Siam Rices, as well as “BEANS, PEAS, SPLIT PEAS, TAPIOCA AND SAGO, SPICES, TEAS AND COFFEES, PINEAPPLES, DESICCATED COCOA-NUT, CURRANTS, DATES, FIGS, NUTS, SHELLED AND UNSHELLED, RAISINS, Etc., Etc. Representatives in all distributing centres throughout the Dominion”.

The 1907 Vancouver Public Library image above shows pretty much the same set of buildings that can still be seen today, as they can in our 1970s slide below. The biggest change is that the Martin & Robertson warehouse wasn’t red forty years ago, while the other buildings on the block were.

300 block Water St north 1
0455

Posted 15 June 2015 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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