David Banks contributes another view of the Hastings Street corridor looking towards the Marine Building – before there was a Marine Building:
1927: The viewcone along Hastings from one end of the CPR townsite to the other has barely changed in 85 years.
[Notice, as well, that there are no crosswalks, and pedestrians are crossing where they wish. The pre-Motordom city.]
David Banks is back, with a couple of archival items in the spirit of the report below.
Notably, the first car in Vancouver, still called a ‘horseless carriage’:
First archivist Major Matthews dates it from 1899.
And the first taxi, a ‘white steamer’ in front of the Hollow Tree, from ca. 1904:
And most likely not the first complaint about bad driving:
Further to the post below on the Granville Mansions at Robson and Granville, David Banks adds this:
The Granville Mansions c. 1907. To the north, the 1891 Opera House is clad in its second facade.
In 1913, 761 Granville became the third Vancouver Orpheum with yet another facade. Demolished in 1969, it was one of five movie palaces we lost between 1968 and ’74 – and it would have been the sixth if not for the “Save The Orpheum” campaign.
More here on the Opera Houses at ChangingVancouver.
Moving a little west on Robson Street from The Orillia, David Banks submits some images of the northwest corner at Granville:
The northwest corner of Granville/Robson April 13 1969. The closing out sign on the East/West Gift Centre suggests the end is near for the 1906 Granville Mansions.
Granville Mansions was also the home of Vancouver’s longest serving mayor at the end of his life: Louis (L.D.) Taylor.
Another shot, with the Orpheum Theatre (not the current one) next door:
An earlier shot with the whole of the west-side of the 700 block can be found at here at Changing Vancouver. You’ll notice in the above image from May 4, 1969 that all the shops are vacant, awaiting demolition – to be replaced by this:
Unfondly know as The Urinal, this blank white box designed by Cesar Pelli was originally home to Eaton’s. It and the underground mall at Pacific Centre contributed to the failure of Granville Mall in the 1970s – while the department store itself would eventually become a victim of changing retail patterns.
Good news: the blank walls are comin’ down, to be replaced by this, as part of the refit for a Nordstroms:
The original box did serve a useful function, even as a helpful bad example of what not to do. From then on, the City’s designers were adamant that there be no blank walls on major commercial streets and that awnings and canopies for rain-protection be required above storefronts.
Another item from archives scrounger David Banks:
It seems adult men would not think about going to see Harry Houdini without a hat.
“A larger audience showed up in 1923 to fill the streets and watch as Harry Houdini was strapped into a straight jacket and hung from a pole out of the third storey window of The Vancouver Sun building on Pender Street.” – John Atkin
From David Banks:
Most of Vancouver’s bridges (and Massey Tunnel) were under 10 years old when they had the tolls removed and probably had not been “payed for.” The Second Narrows was tolled for less than four years.
I looked it up: toll removal passed 48-0 (in the B.C. Legislature) – tri-partisan unanimity.
Second Narrows Bridge (now Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge) and Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy.1) in Vancouver, BC. Northward view from toll plaza.
Postcard: Second Narrows Bridge, 1961
NEW SECOND NARROWS BRIDGE was opened to traffic on August 25th, 1960. Length of bridge and approaches—5 miles, main span 1100 ft.,—width 80 ft.,—6 lanes,—2 sidewalks,—ship clearance 145 feet. Relieves Lions Gate Bridge of North Shore traffic over Burrard Inlet.
Rolly-Ford Photo.” Pub. by Natural Color Productions, Ltd., Vancouver, B.C.
David Banks clearly enjoys ravaging through photo archives (in this case the Vancouver Archives) – and sends along the results. To encourage him, here’s a new feature, the Banks Account:
A home movie of a 1946 parade, in colour! The movie is a bit shaky – seems to be Burrard near Melville.
(Here’s a shot of the same place, but from 1943.) Those two buildings – Mackenzie White and Dunsmuir, and the Bowell McDonald (Bow Mac) building, just north of Melville – is what we know as the entrance to Burrard Station.
Note the wartime bike helmets!
Same parade, with the Marine Building in view. Every other building is gone, even buildings that have yet to be built (Customs House):