Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From Chinese Workers to the Board of Trade

The Mercantile Building, an 8-storey Edwardian commercial building built in 1909 and designed by Architect J.S. Helyer and Son.
The Thompson Stationery Company and its president James A. Thompson resided here for many years. This structure was originally considered a skyscraper, the first in Vancouver and called The Board of Trade Building but the Board of Trade never moved in to it.

The Vernon Building was built in 1930 and resides at what was once the edge of Brewery Creek. Brewery Creek ran from its source from the Tea Swamp near Main and 16th through the middle of Mount Pleasant and into False Creek.

The Vernon Building got its name from Mount Pleasant resident Frederick T. Vernon who not only employed the architects Townley & Matheson (the architects of City Hall)  to build this structure but was also managing director of Vancouver's GMC truck dealership.

The yellow-toned Clayburn brick with which this building is faced with can be seen on many histroic landmark buildings in this area.

You are looking at photos of the Morton House. When Vancouver was seven years old, in 1893, former Ontario residents Thomas and Etta Morton had this Victorian Pioneer style built on what was the edge of the city limits.
Morton was a railway mail clerk for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The house, as you can see, features decorative shingles in the gable and a small second storey porch. (That is a bit more difficult to make out) In the 1920s this small home was nearly tripled in size and expanded to fill the entire lot. A dozen rental rooms catering to Chinese workers were added.

On this photo you can get a better glimpse of the second storey porch.

The building was extensively redone with the interior being changed into four residential units in 2005.

The lower photo is of the Borland Houses built by builder James Borland. Borland lived at 656 East Georgia - the maroon colored house - which he built in 1892. Within a year he had completed 664 and 666. (664 is the green home)
Teamster Dan Leatherdale lived here until 1916.

Fretwork porch consoles and decorative shingles are featured in both of these Pioneer Framed homes.

Borland went on to become a successful contractor and was responsible for the Washington Hotel on East Hastings Street. He moved to Shaugnessy.

These buidings were built as housing for the workers around the beginning of the 1900s. I don't know much about them but they are still being used as residential units. There is another set that has been redone elsewhere in Strathcona.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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