Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cotton Homes

This simple, box-like shape with a front-gabled roof, and attached porch is an example of a Gabled Vernacular style home. The 1-1/2 storey house is first listed in the 1908 directory as a vacant new building though it was built the year before - no building permit has been found for it.

1329 Cotton Drive saw its first resident in 1909, a hardware merchant named William C. Haycock. In 1910, James McLennan, a carpenter, resided here.

Across the street, at 1330 Cotton Drive, is a house and apartment building listed from 1913 though, once again, no building permits have been found. I am going to talk about the house.

It is another Gable Vernacular Style house - a simple rectangular building with a front-gabled roof and an attached porch. The glassed in area was probably added years ago to create a more usable space. August Yarco, a labourer, had a shack here from 1907 to 1913 and when part of the area was rebuilt into an apartment building, Yarco was hired as a janitor. (I will have to go back to the area and get some photos of the apartment building!)

These two houses, plus others I am featuring, are in the Grandview district. The story goes that the area got that name due to a resident putting up a sign at the interurban stop near his home at Commercial and 1st. The sign read 'Grand View'. Perhaps the resident was a realtor trying to unload property and wanted to make the area sound special.

The view would have been great; it still is at certain spots. The view was a result of the extensive logging of the forests to feed Hastings Saw Mill. The sights residents of the area would have seen then included the small city of Vancouver to the northwest and False Creek, which at the time covered a lot of the area.  

What a sight that must have been! Of course, the view today is mainly of buildings. With the addition of the interurban line in 1892, the village of Vancouver began to grow a little more. Then large homes began being built in the 'Grandview' area. Originally, it was intended to be an upscale district but when the CPR invested $2 million into the Shaugnessy area, making it the place to be, Grandview settled into a comfortable, middle-class area. 

Thanks goes to the Grandview Heritage blog for the information on the homes and to the book Namely Vancouver by Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke for the information on Grandview. There is more to tell about this district and I will get to it another time.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

From Salsbury to Napier

This home at 1528 Salsbury Drive is one of the early homes in the Grandview area. It is an example of the Gabled Vernacular Style - a simple rectangular form with a front-gabled roof and an attached porch, in this case with an upper balcony that once would have afforded excellent views over the city, before other buildings got in the way - and was the first on its block. It was built a year before Edward Faraday Odlum erected his BC Mills Prefab home at 1860 Grant. See this entry for more information on those homes.

The water permit, #8365, was issued to the Grandview Land and Trust Co. on November 11, 1905. The city directories show a carpenter by the name of Peter Sausen living at '1540'. Was he responsible for building this home?

This next house is at 1733 Napier Street. There is a listing on VanMap for 1905 but this block of Napier wasn't opened until 1907 so perhaps the application is referring to an earlier shack in the stumps.

This is a Colonial Revival Style: boxy house form with a projecting porch and a hipped roof; more elaborate versions often have a dormer in the middle of the front part of the roof, and bay windows on the second storey.

The Grandview Heritage Group - where I am getting my information - haven't found a building permit for this address but the 1907 City Directory lists this home as new and vacant. It was still vacant in 1908 but from 1909 to 1912, it was occupied by a realtor, George E. Neilson.

The next house I am going to show you is at 1750 Napier Street. It is in the Early Cottage Style - a single storey version of the Colonial Revival Style homes seen around the city. The insert front porch was likely filled to create more living space.

Another home with a lost building permit, the house was built in early 1909. The first occupant was Walter Watkins, a secretary. A widow, Agnes Close, lived here in 1910 and early 1911 when it was taken over by a CPR clerk, Duncan Cameron. He was issued a building permit on November 5, 1911 for an $85 repair.

As I mentioned earlier,  I am getting my information from the Grandview Heritage Group and I would like to thank them.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Making of a Legend

I promised to tell you more about Gary Taylor and today we area going to look at some of the highlights of this man's career.

From 1964 to 1968, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) had a television show called Lets Go Show which played a part in developing Canadian bands and artists. Gary's band, the Classics, were the house band. The Classics were the lead off band of 2 part television special called Canadian Rock and Roll, also on CBC.

Gary Taylor is legendary in the nightclub business. He was co-owner of his first club, King of Clubs, and played in house band with other musicians, Tom Baird, Caire Lawrence, Glenn Miller and Brian Russell. These artists were the core of the Classics and went to become the core of the seminal band The Collectors with Bill Henderson. Ross Tierney took over on drums.

Gary had a good run with the King of Clubs before teaming up with rock and roll legend Buddy Knox (Party Doll / Hula Love and many other North American hit songs). The club also changed to the Purple Steer and became Greater Vancouver's premier country music club.

There was also the club Gary Taylor's Rock Room. That is where Taylor created "Live at Eleven", which spawned the 99.33 the Fox Vancouver Seeds Contest, Canada's Premier Independent Music Competition. The competition is over thirty years old and was originally broadcast live from the Rock Room.

The Rock Room was the place to be and during the punk scene, Gary brought in artists such as Johnny Thunders and The New York Dolls; Wayne / Jayne County (right at the time Wayne was turning into Jayne); Romeo Void; Lenny Kaye; Ray Loney and the Flamin' Groovies; Joe Jackson and many more.

We can't forget Gary Taylor's contributions to the exotic entertainment industry. He is known for placing art form in exotic dance performance. Some of his legendary productions include "Dracula and The Virgin" and "the Amorous Adventures of Wellington Wang" which were sold out for one year straight.

The majority of his clubs included live jazz, strip tease and stage plays. 

Gary has managed people from speed metal artists Jeff Walter and Annihilator to legendary blues artist Long John Baldry and currently manages country artists Carey Ott and Kate Lamont. He has his hands involved in many different ventures such as being talent coordinator for one of Vancouver's top live venues, Falconetti's on Commercial Drive to being Executive International Consultant of Canadian Music Week.

That is only a sampling of the credits this man has. Gary Taylor is truly a credit to the music industry not only in Vancouver but also worldwide

Thanks to Gary Taylor for supplying the bio where I got this information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.