Archive for the ‘W T Whiteway’ Tag

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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East Hastings Street – west from Columbia

We saw a 1905 image down the middle of this stretch of East Hastings in an earlier post. Until the mid 1900s there was very little built on the south side of the street. Here we are looking at a similar view a few years later, showing the south side. The Holden Building is the large office building – a tower in its day – completed in 1911. Next door is the significantly smaller Desrosiers Block, which was one of the few buildings in the earlier post as it was built before 1901. At the end is the Woods Hotel, today known as the Pennsylvania. It was built in 1906 and designed by W T Whiteway who also designed the Holden for William Holden. The Desrosiers Block was developed by Magloire Desrosiers, a tinsmith, who would have designed the elaborate decoration on the building (which recently received a much-needed restoration of its facade), but the architect is unknown.

Closer to us there’s a vacant site next to the Holden. That was developed at the end of 1911 by Con Jones as a billiard hall, with retail below, designed by H A Hodgson. The image therefore must date from the early part of 1911, when the Holden was complete, but before the vacant spot was developed. The lower floor of the building later became famous as The Only Seafoods restaurant.

The 2-storey building to the east was built after 1903, (when the insurance map shows the site as vacant) and before 1911, when it had been developed. There’s a 1904 building permit for the building. It was developed by Yip, Yen C and designed and built by Mr. O’Keefe. Michael O’Keefe was a Victoria based builder, who was more than capable of designing straightforward brick buildings, and Charlie Yip Yen was the nephew of Yip Sang, who ran the Wing Sang Company. The 1920 insurance map still shows a 2-storey building with ‘rooms over’ and a Chinese laundry on the lane.

Next door, the single storey building (with a hoarding on the roof for William Dick’s clothing store) was developed in a similar timeframe, and in 1920 was another billiards hall. It was built in 1910, designed by Sharp & Thompson for Brown Bros & Co, who also constructed the $7,000 investment. They were florists and nurserymen, and they developed this as their city store. Their greenhouses were at Main and 21st Avenue. There were four Browns involved in the business, William, Edward (who was company treasurer), Alfred (who was a florist, and lived near the greenhouses) and Joseph, who lived in Hammond. Today the site once occupied by Yip Yen’s building and the single storey billiard hall were replaced twenty years ago with a non-market housing building called The Oasis, with 30 units designed by Linda Baker for the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation (known today as BC Housing).

Across Carrall Street the original car barn for the Interurban has been demolished, but the new building, still standing today, which included the headquarters for BC Electric on the upper floors had yet to be built. Designed by W M Somervell it was completed in 1911. As the Holden Building was completed in the same year, this confirms the picture should be from early in 1911 when the Holden was complete, and the new BC Electric Headquarters was under construction, but not yet visible.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA M-11-52

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Posted 3 December 2020 by ChangingCity in Altered

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West Hastings Street – unit block, north side

Surprisingly, we’ve only examined the history of one of the buildings on this part of the block. That’s the Strathcona Hotel, now renovated and turned into condos as the Paris Block. Long-time home of shoemakers Pierre Paris & Sons, it was designed by Hooper & Watkins and developed around 1908 by John Deeks, who had made money mining for gold in Atlin. He converted it to a hotel around 1910, with R T Perry designing the necessary  alterations.

To the west, the single storey retail units. They were almost certainly developed by real estate broker W A Clark, who had his office in the Deeks office building when it first opened. William Clark was from Ontario, and like many other Vancouver real estate brokers also developed property on parcels that they had acquired. In Mr. Clark’s case, he also built retail buildings on Granville Street, and a 5-storey apartment building there that cost $60,000, and another (still standing today) that cost $50,000. In 1904 he had W P Matheson design a $4,000 house on Broughton Street. It must have been quite full, as in 1911 he lived there with his wife Mary and five daughters, aged 10 to 19, and their Japanese servant. Over the years He paid for a series of alterations and repairs to these buildings as tenants came and went. The two building were erected in 1905, one by Mr. Clark, and the one to the west by McWhinney & Lewerke, although in subsequent years into the 1920s he seems to have owned both buildings. We don’t know who designed the buildings, but in 1905 the ‘Hardware Merchant Magazine’ announced “McWhinney & Lewerke, Vancouver intend erecting a three-storey brick block on Hastings street, adjoining the Rubinowitz departmental stores recently purchased by them.” As far as we know the project never proceeded.

In 1936 when our image was taken Model boots and shoes occupied half of one unit, and Westinghouse sold Electrical goods, lights and radios in the other half. Next door was the Thrifty Dress Shop and the Union Shoe Co who offered ‘Better Values in Novelty Shoes’. Model Express must be one of the longest-lived businesses in the city; they were still located in the same unit until a year ago, and are still in business two doors away today. Today they ‘are proud to be Vancouver’s #1 stripper store’ and specialize in ‘exotic’ footwear (heels can be over 8″) and matching lingerie.

The building dated back to 1903 when W T Whiteway designed the $10,000 build for B C Permanent Co. In the first few years it was occupied by the Rubinowitz Department store. Major Matthews, the City Archivist wrote about Mr Rubinowitz, and collected his portrait, taken in 1939. “Mr. Louis Rubinowitz came to Vancouver in 1892, took some interest in Jewish affairs, but never took an interest in civic or public matters; it is difficult to find what he did take an interest in – in a public way. He had a small general store at Steveston, and also one in Vancouver, both queer places, an assortment of goods scattered aimlessly about after the manner of a secondhand store. He was a very elderly man when he decided to contest the office of Mayor. He wore his hair in a most noticeable manner. A long flowing grey beard, almost to his waist, and the long, almost white hair of his head hung over his shoulders as far as his shoulder blades. Sometimes, on Jewish ceremonial days, he wore a long black morning coat and a “stovepipe” tall silk hat, and had a rather venerable appearance, somewhat akin to a Jewish patriarch. He presented an odd and eccentric appearance as he walked down the street.” Liebermann Louis Rubinowitz ran in both the 1926 and 1918 election, receiving around 200 votes (1% of the total) – in the elections.

In the early 1920s Olympia Confectionery occupied the corner; a few years later it was a drug store, The Cut Rate Drug Co. The 1936 image shows The Grand Union Public Market, which remained operating through to at least the 1950s when it had 16 different stalls, among them a butcher, a baker and an umbrella maker; a fruit stand, a branch of Cunningham Drugs, a magazine exchange, two egg stores and the Healthy Cocktail Bar, selling juices. Stong’s grocery were here too. In the early 1990s it was a Fields department store (no doubt hoping to borrow some of Woodward’s customers from across Abbott Street). Before it was demolished over 10 years ago it was a greengrocers, the SunMart Market. It’s still a parking lot today, but plans have been approved for a 10 storey rental building over new retail units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4889 and CVA Port P372

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West Hastings Street – 100 block, north side (2)

We looked at this part of West Hastings, where the Woodward’s store once occupied most of the block, in an earlier post. That showed the street in 1904, when Woodward’s store was only 4 storeys high on the corner of Abbott. Here we can see the 1923 street, and there’s an addition to the west (built in 1913), as well as two more upper floors. That wasn’t the end of the company’s expansion here. By 1981 (below) there had been further additions to the west, and further floors added on top. W T Whiteway was the architect of the $60,000 1904 building on the right, a four storey ‘brick and stick’ construction (a heavy wooden frame with a brick facade). A few years later Smith and Goodfellow designed the $35,000 vertical addition (in 1910). Three years later the store got the further addition, a $100,000 westwards extension designed by George Wenyon with a steel and concrete frame.

There was still a Woolworths store next to Woodward’s in 1981. It had been developed by the company in 1926 at a cost of $33,000, built by Dixon and Murray, and Woolworth’s may have had their own architect to design it. Previously we think there was a building that had been owned by Crowe & Wilson, who employed Bedford Davidson to carry out repairs and alterations in the late 1910s and early 1920s. They were significant developers in the area and had developed another building, the Selkirk Block, a bit further to the west, and visible on the top picture.

The Woodward’s redevelopment (designed by Henriquez Partners for Westbank) retained the wood-frame building on the corner of Abbott, but all the other buildings were demolished in 2006, after sitting empty since Woodward’s went bankrupt in 1993. The 1903 building now had added concrete reinforcement on the western facade to give the old frame seismic stability, while the bricks were tied back and the original lettering faithfully restored after being covered in layers of paint for decades. New retail uses including a TD Bank now sit underneath office space. Further west the new part of the project here includes non-market housing and Simon Fraser University’s Arts campus over a London Drugs store.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Str N49.2 and CVA 779-E16.27

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Water Street – 100 block south side (2)

We’ve seen the buildings further to the west in an earlier post. We also looked at the history of the two very similar buildings on the left of the picture; 110 and 118 Water Street. On the left, Sharp and Thompson designed a rooming hotel for Dr. Alfred Thompson costing $65,000 to build, which opened in 1913. Next door the same architects were responsible for the 1911 block for Albert DesBrisay, built at a cost of $62,000. Dr. Thompson was the MP for the Yukon, although he moved to Vancouver (and practiced medicine) in the 1920s. Albert was from New Brunswick, and part of a sizeable family who were all in business in Vancouver. He was a commissioners agent, and had been in Winnipeg for some time. His investment rooming house initially called The Colonial Rooms (as seen in this 1914 picture).

The third building in this part of the block was another investment for a local developer, but one that came with substantially lower costs as there were no architect’s fees. W T Whiteway designed the $45,000 warehouse for himself in 1910. By 1916 he had already sold the building; Kirkland & Rose hired R W Watson to carry out $3,500 of repairs and alterations. In 1925 A E Henderson designed another $1,400 of repairs to the warehouse.

John Rose and Henry Sinclair Kirkland were manufacturer’s agents, specializing in confectionery supplies. Before they moved here they were futher west at 312 Water Street. They moved in here around 1918, with the Canadian Chewing Gum Co and Cowan Co who were chocolate manufacturers in Toronto and represented by Kirkland and Rose.

The building beyond the gap was another $60,000 investment, built in 1912 for McLean Bros, (three brothers from the Scottish Islands). It was designed by Thomas Hooper and like the Kirkland & Rose warehouse was a victim to Woodward’s expanding empire, in this case to add a parking garage.

Today the Colonial Hotel, and the adjacent Gastown Hotel are both managed by Atira Women’s Resource Society. The Colonial is still privately owned, while BC Housing bought the Gastown Hotel and has carried out a number of internal improvements to what had become a very run-down building. The rest of the block to the west was demolished to build Woodward’s Water Street parkade, which was re-built by the City of Vancouver a few years ago, and has been altered again this year with the addition of a childcare facility on the roof.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA LGN 987

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Firehall #2, Seymour Street

Fire was one of the biggest concerns in the new City of Vancouver. Having seen almost every building burnt to the ground weeks after incorporation in 1886, the new City Council quickly bought fire fighting equipment and required fire-proof construction, (although the need to rebuild quickly meant that initially new buildings were often still wooden). Firehall #1 was on Water Street, the centre of the original settlement which was known as the Town of Granville for nearly 20 years before the city was created. The second firehall was built on Seymour Street in 1888, in the middle of pretty much nothing, except cleared forest, and ambition. It was also wooden, surrounded by the new city quickly developing with wooden houses in new residential neighbourhoods here, including on either side of the firehall. It was soon replaced with something larger, and more solidly built; in 1902 W T Whiteway was hired to design this handsome replacement, and he got the permit in 1903 for the $29,000 development. It had a castle-like hose tower at the back, on the lane that was quite prominent on the skyline. Whiteway also designed an almost identical replacement for the Water Street hall, on a new site on East Cordova a couple of years after this one.

This 1907 Vancouver Public Library image shows that the firehall had three floors, with a hose tower on the lane. The tower looked like a church from a distance. This building remained in use until 1950, when a new Firehall #1 was opened on Hamilton Street, and the East Cordova firehall was renamed as Firehall #2.

This site was swallowed up into BC Telephone’s expanding footprint. In 1975 they added a huge new automated exchange on Seymour to the north in a building designed by McCarter, Nairne and Partners. This new BC Tel building was apparently built in two phases, as the 1961 image on the left shows a new building where an earlier BC Tel building was located, and the site of Firehall #2, (which was still standing in 1957). In the past couple of years the interior of the Telus building has partially been repurposed as office space, and additional equipment and earthquake proofing added. The entire structure had a glazed skin added, over the top of the original structure. A similar new skin was added in 2000 to the 1948 William Farrell Building , on the corner of Seymour and Robson, sold by Telus to Avigilon Security Systems a few years ago.

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Posted 10 September 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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362 Alexander Street

The Empress Rooms were developed by Grier Starratt in 1911. He spent $20,000 and hired W T Whiteway to design his investment property. He came to British Columbia from Nova Scotia in 1886, with his father J J Starratt, and mother Janet. John Starratt in the 1891 census was a house carpenter, and ‘Greer’ (who had been christened Swithin, but always used his middle name) was a mill hand.

In 1892 Grier returned to Nova Scotia to marry Annie Johnstone, and a year later started working in Vancouver for the New England Fish Co, organizing halibut fishing, with a fleet based in Vancouver, and then shipping the processed fish in refrigerated rail cars back to New York and Boston (the company’s home). Grier and Annie had two children, Arthur (as the 1901 census recorded him, although he was christened Artemas) and Muriel.

The shipping of ‘Canadian’ fish (actually caught in international waters, but landed in Canada) by an American company was always controversial. The company used Vancouver because the Canadian Pacific Railroad allowed fish cars to be coupled to passenger trains, but the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, based in Tacoma, would not. The fishing fleet had American captains, but a crew of Scandinavian and Canadian fishermen, mostly from the east coast. Over the years the fish became smaller and total catch weight decreased. In 1907 NEFCO started catching halibut in Alaska, and also had a salmon processing plant there.

In 1908 Grier became general manager of the newly created Canadian Fish & Cold Storage Co., (CANFISCO) based in Prince Rupert, a rival to NEFCO. Capitalized with one and half million dollars, the Canadian company claimed their expenses would be 20% lower by using Prince Rupert as a base, and fish would be delivered to the Great Lakes in the time it would take their rival’s steamer to make port in Vancouver or Seattle. CANFISCO were so successful that they were acquired by NEFCO, although by then Greir Starratt had retired. (The Canadian company returned to local control in 1984 when it was bought by Jimmy Pattison from the trustees of a bankrupt NEFCO). Grier died in 1944, and Annie two years later.

The Empress Rooms were in the heart of Japantown, and were initially managed by Kaminishi & Takahashi; the Empress was presumably the Empress of Japan. Once the Japanese were forced to leave the city in 1942, the name was dropped; there were two other Empress Rooms in the city anyway. E C Thomson managed them in 1945, and they were just ‘Rooms’. In the 1950s they got a new name, the Alexander Rooms. Like many of the shared bathroom rooming houses, the building went downhill, despite an optimistic (and somewhat inaccurate) new name; ‘Seaview’. Drug dealers controlled the building, and young tenants overdosed. The privately owned building brought in Atira Women’s Resource Society in 2013 to manage the building; they restored the interior of the building with funds from BC Housing, adding alarms and security. Renamed back to The Empress Rooms the facility now offers safe housing for 35 vulnerable Vancouver women.

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Posted 10 August 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Robert Clark – Carrall Street

This 1897 image shows Robert Clark’s Gents Clothing and Furnishings store. The furnishings were the sort men wore, not items around the home. The store was one listed as supplying Klondike clothing, an activity that generally ensured that the supplier became a lot more successful than most of the miners who bought their outfit. Mr. Clark was the subject of a profile in the Daily World on the last day of 1888:

“ROBERT CLARK is a Scotchman. He was born in the bright and prosperous County of Lanarkshire, and is proud of the fact, too. He left auld Scotia, for Canada, in 1871, and remained four years in Manitoba. Thence, in 1875, he came to this Province, which has since been his home. For some time he was engaged in business in Nanaimo and also for six years in Yale. The whole large block, at the corner of Carrall and Oppenheimer Streets, in which the clothing establishment of Gilmore & Clark is located, belongs to them jointly and is a fine property.

The firm is an old and reputed one. Just before the great fire, in 1886, which occurred in Vancouver and swept it for the time being into oblivion, the firm opened a branch business here, of which Mr. Clark had charge. They were “burnt out,” as everybody else was. Still they rose, Phoenix-like, from the flames mightier and stronger than ever. Robert Clark has represented Ward 3 during the years 1887 and 1888, and has now been re-elected for the year 1889, which fact is a sufficient guarantee that his worth is appreciated by the electors of that ward. He is also President of the St. Andrew’s and Caledonian Society; is an able speaker and keen debater; a good all-round business man, and owns property all over the city.”

We outlined Mr. Clark’s biography in an earlier post about this W T Whiteway designed building – built by Robert Clark with his Irish partner, Alexander Gilmore, immediately after their wooden store that was here burned down in the 1886 fire. They had lost a previous store in 1881 in Yale when that town burned down. Robert Clark was a grocer, and then shipwright in Glasgow, before heading to Toronto in 1870 aged 25. He walked to Winnipeg, where he built river steamers. He worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, then in Grand Forks before heading via San Francisco to Victoria in 1875. He built steamers there, and in Alaska, before going into partnership with Alexander Gilmore in 1880, initially in Nanaimo, then Yale, and in early 1886 to Vancouver. Mr. Clark ran the store after 1890 when the partnership was dissolved. He was elected alderman in five different years between 1887 and 1892, and was on the influential Board of Trade. His extensive property interests were valued at a quarter of a million dollars when he died in 1909.

The building was torn down around 1963 and stayed as a parking lot until the mid 1990s when Carrall Station, designed by Kasian Kennedy, a 81 unit condo project with five floors of lofts was completed in 1997.

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Posted 30 April 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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View from Harbour Centre Lookout south east

The before image here is from 1981, and the contemporary image was taken about 18 months ago, although very little has changed since. (That won’t be true in future, as the viaducts cutting across the image are due to be demolished at some point in the near future).

There are three landmarks, each over a century old. In the foreground is the top of the Dominion Building, developed by the Dominion Trust in the late 1900s and completed in 1910, designed by J S Helyer and Son, and replacing an earlier retail building called The Arcade. On the corner of Hastings and Cambie is the Province Building (once home to the newspaper of the same name) developed by the newspaper owner Francis Carter Cotton and completed in 1908. He also built the adjacent and linked building on West Pender Street that became home to wholesale fruit and vegetable dealer H A Edgett. A A Cox designed both buildings. Further up West Pender is the Sun Tower (the name coming from another newspaper) developed in 1910, designed by W T Whiteway and completed in 1912 for Daily World owner L D Taylor, who was mayor of Vancouver for several terms between 1910 and 1930.

Beyond those buildings, and the row of warehouses down Beatty Street, was a soon to abandoned industrial landscape. Once home to heavy industries, and heavily polluted with metals and chemicals, in 1981 there were a number of warehouse and shipping operations and at the ends of False Creek, a concrete batching plant. The viaducts were the second structure – the first so badly built that the plan to run trams over the bridge was abandoned as it couldn’t take the weight. The new viaduct was the only part of an ambitious plan to run a highway through and round Downtown from Highway 1. It would have cut through the early residential Strathcona neighbourhood, removed much of Chinatown and then replaced the warehouses of Gastown. Some versions of the plans added complex cloverleaf junctions and cut through the West End. Delays and changing governments (and priorities) ensured only the replacement for the structurally compromised existing viaduct was funded.

It crossed a landscape that changed significantly after this picture when Expo 86 was built on the land around the end of the Creek in the mid 1980s. Subsequently the land was sold to a few developers. Concord Pacific developed most of the site (and continue to do so today, over 30 years later), but two other developers were responsible for the residential transformation today. Between 1989 and 2007 Bosa Development built over 1,000 units at the end of False Creek, between Main and Quebec Streets. Five towers can be seen today, with a sixth the headquarters of the Vancity Credit Union which spans the tracks of the Skytrain. Closer to us is International Village, a complex of six towers and a supermarket, retail mall and cinema built over a similar period to Citygate by Henderson Developments, a Hong Kong based developer. The worst polluted soils were retained on site and capped, with Andy Livingstone Park built on top.

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Granville Street – 700 block east side (3)

We looked at some of the buildings here 7 years ago. A little more recently we took this ‘after’ photograph of a similar view, and we’re posting it now to look at a couple of buildings overlooked in the earlier post. The ‘after’ shot is a bit out of date, as that’s the bottom of the ‘Future Shop’ blade sign, which now reads ‘Best Buy’. Today’s building is a comparatively low density fairly recently completed retail building, with the electronics store on the second floor, and a Winners store on the top. If it was being redeveloped today it would almost certainly have office space above that in a much larger building, but it was developed at a point (in 2003) when office vacancy rates were higher and demand much less than it is today.

In 1910, when George Alfred Barrowlclough took the picture, Joseph McTaggart’s store was on the corner, and Le Patourel & McRae’s Drugstore was to the north. We looked at the building a few years ago – it was built in 1904 by J Rogers – confirmed to be Jonathan Rogers, the developer and builder of the Rogers Building down the street a few years later. He hired T E Julian to design the building which had the Sunset View apartments upstairs. He sold the building in August 1905 to John West of Calgary (who had previously lived in Vancouver, and owned other property Downtown). We think that Mr McTaggart may have owned the building because in 1912 he got a permit worth $400 for repairs designed by Thomas Hooper. That same year the Royal Bank of Canada also hired Thomas Hooper to convert it to a bank branch at a cost of $10,000. The Bank finally closed in 1961, still looking quite similar then to 50 years earlier. It was replaced by a more modern bank building, which in turn was torn down for the retail building.

The next buildings seem to be designed ‘as a piece’, but built separately as one is three storeys, and the other only two. We’re fairly certain that the 3 storey building was built for a developer who lived in the West End, but made his money as a successful mineral miner near Nelson. The Ymir Herald in 1904 reported “Philip White, one of the pioneer mining men of Ymir, was in town again this week. Mr. White is one of the fortunate ones who has reaped a harvest from his mining operation! in this rich section, and he is now located at Vancouver, where he is enjoying u well deserved rest. He has acquired several building lots in the coast metropolis, and is erecting large brick buildings. He has also a ranch of 1200 acres and 150 head of cattle in the Chilicotin district in northern British Columbia. During his stay here he visited the Wilcox mine, which owes its present day success to his indefatigable and untiring persistence, by which it was successfully steered through many troubled financial crises.

This was still a cleared site in 1903, but developed by 1911. That year we know Philip White extended 782 and 784 Granville (the second building to the north) at a cost of either $1,800 or $2,000 (or, less likely, both, as he had two different permits for the same lot, with different builders). He paid for more repair in 1922, and in 1916 he paid for $1,400 of repairs to the next building, 788 Granville. While we don’t have a permit, we do have a Contract Record note that Philip White had hired W T Whiteway to design a Granville Street block in 1905, so this seems the likely candidate. It was a 3-storey building, of pressed brick, so that would accurately describe the building.

The next door to the north was also designed by W T Whiteway a year earlier, for J C Woodrow. It was built by David Jane, and cost $14,000. C S Gustafson (‘of 1436 Thurlow’) had a permit in 1916 to add an extra floor, but it doesn’t appear that he followed through – instead in 1921 he added a light well and had permits for other alterations. Mr. Woodrow’s death notice in a Keremeos newspaper in 1909 mentions his property interests “Mr. Woodrow was a native of England, but entered the butcher business in Vancouver about twenty years ago, and prospered so that he was able to retire four or five years ago with a large estate, the administration of which has taken up much of his time since then. Being an intimate friend of W. H. Armstrong, he became associated with the latter in the organization of the Keremeos Land Co., in which he was a large stockholder and an active director.”

Carl Gustafson, who later owned, and altered, the building was a builder from Sweden who started by building houses in the West End as early as 1903, and developed the Clifton Hotel on Granville Street in 1910. In 1911 he was shown as aged 37 (having arrived in 1890), living with his wife Hannah and their three sons and their domestic servant, and a lodger. In 1928 he built a West End apartment building, The Biltmore.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 229-09

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