Horse Show Building

Horse Show Building - BC Photo Card Company

Horse Show Building – BC Photo Card Company

Vancouver Horse Show logo; detail from Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

Vancouver Horse Show logo; detail from Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

The Horse Show Building was at 1900 Georgia Street, at the southwest corner of Gilford Street and Georgia. It was built in 1908 and 1909. The building later became an armoury for the Irish Fusiliers, and was called the Stanley Park Armoury (or Armouries). A fire destroyed the building on March 18, 1960.

Legal Description: District Lot 185, Block 65, Lots 8, 9 10, and 11.

1900 Block Georgia Street - Detail from Goad’s Atlas of the city of Vancouver – 1912 – Vol 1 – Plate 7 – Coal Harbour to Barclay Street and Cardero Street to Stanley Park

1900 Block Georgia Street – Detail from Goad’s Atlas of the city of Vancouver – 1912 – Vol 1 – Plate 7 – Coal Harbour to Barclay Street and Cardero Street to Stanley Park

Vancouver’s first major organized horse show was in 1908. It ran on March 19, 20 and 21, at the drill hall (also called the Beatty Street Armoury).

Beatty Armoury - Drill Hall, postcard, about 1911

Beatty Armoury – Drill Hall, postcard, about 1911

The seating capacity of the hall was about 1400, with standing room for up to 300 more. The event ran for three nights, and hundreds of people were turned away because of the limited amount of room.

Vancouver Horse Show, Official Program, 1908, https://archive.org/stream/cihm_98397#page/n4/mode/1up

Vancouver Horse Show, Official Program, 1908, https://archive.org/stream/cihm_98397#page/n4/mode/1up

 

Display of trophies, Vancouver Horse Show - 1908 - Vancouver Public Library - VPL Accession Number - 6822

Display of trophies, Vancouver Horse Show – 1908 – Vancouver Public Library – VPL Accession Number – 6822

[Note: although the Vancouver Public Library caption for this photograph says: “Prizes presented at the 1908 Vancouver Horse Show which would have likely taken place at the Horse Show Building at Georgia and Gilford,” the event in 1908 was at the drill hall, not at the Horse Show Building.]

The first horse show was a financial success, and some members of the Vancouver Hunt Club decided to form a Horse Show Association, with Samuel Lyness Howe (1864-1939) as its president.

The association bought four lots at the southwest corner of Gilford Street and Georgia Street, with a total size of 264 feet by 131 feet. Eleven architects submitted plans for the new building. The association ended up choosing the design by Warren H. Milner (about 1865-1949) of Seattle. (Warren Milner also designed Joseph Ambrose Russell‘s house at 1973 Robson Street.) Asa E. White of Seattle was one of the builders.

Horse Show Building – General view of the proposed Horse Show Building - Vancouver Province - December 18 1908 - page 13

Horse Show Building – General view of the proposed Horse Show Building – Vancouver Province – December 18 1908 – page 13

 

Horse Show Building – Cross section showing floors and interior arrangements - Vancouver Province - December 18 1908 - page 13

Horse Show Building – Cross section showing floors and interior arrangements – Vancouver Province – December 18 1908 – page 13

 

Horse Show Building – Seating accommodation around the central arena - Vancouver Province - December 18 1908 - page 13

Horse Show Building – Seating accommodation around the central arena – Vancouver Province – December 18 1908 – page 13

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

Horse Show Building – under construction - Vancouver Province - April 3 1909 - page 4 - Advertisement for Vancouver Lumber Company

Horse Show Building – under construction – Vancouver Province – April 3 1909 – page 4 – Advertisement for Vancouver Lumber Company

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband. [people on ground in photograph tentatively identified as Bettie White, unknown person, Asa White.]

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband. [people on ground in photograph tentatively identified as Bettie White, unknown person, Asa White.]

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband. [people tentatively identified as Bettie White and Asa White.]

Vancouver Horse Show Building under construction; about 1909; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband. [people tentatively identified as Bettie White and Asa White.]

The new building had a capacity of about 3500 people, plus extra standing room. For concerts, with chairs on the main floor, the capacity was between 6000 and 7000 people. The exterior was to be painted lemon chrome, with white trim and a black roof. Pennants were to fly from the twenty-two flag poles, and the royal emblem was to preside over the band balcony.

Premier McBride was to be present at the opening of the second horse show. The band of the Sixth Regiment, under the leadership of Charles Frankin Ward (1870-1951), provided the musical entertainment for each of the four days of the show.

Second Annual Horse Show, Official Programme, 1909, https://archive.org/stream/cihm_98308#page/n7/mode/1up

Second Annual Horse Show, Official Programme, 1909, https://archive.org/stream/cihm_98308#page/n7/mode/1up

Vancouver Horse Show Building, about 1910; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

Vancouver Horse Show Building, about 1910; source: family album of Helen G. White (Wilband), courtesy of D. Wilband.

The Horse Show was one of the important events in Vancouver’s social calendar.

Ladies in hats in the tiers of the Horse Show Building – detail -Vancouver City Archives, 1910, Bu P555 - http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/ladies-in-hats-in-tiers-of-horse-show-building

Ladies in hats in the tiers of the Horse Show Building – detail -Vancouver City Archives, 1910, Bu P555 – http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/ladies-in-hats-in-tiers-of-horse-show-building

 

Horse Show Building – 1910 – Later Stanley Park Armouries – http://www.flickr.com/photos/45379817@N08/5249572555/in/photostream/

Horse Show Building – 1910 – Later Stanley Park Armouries – http://www.flickr.com/photos/45379817@N08/5249572555/in/photostream/

 

Horse Show Building detail from CVA 789-123 - [Coal Harbour view from Denman Street]; June 30, 1914, http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/coal-harbour-view-from-denman-street

Horse Show Building detail from CVA 789-123 – [Coal Harbour view from Denman Street]; June 30, 1914, http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/coal-harbour-view-from-denman-street

After the First World War, the building was used for military purposes.

Stanley Park Armouries - City of Vancouver Archives - June 1928 - CVA 99-1682 - 5th Med Battery; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/5th-med-battery-outside-arena-building-on-georgia-street-2

Stanley Park Armouries – City of Vancouver Archives – June 1928 – CVA 99-1682 – 5th Med Battery; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/5th-med-battery-outside-arena-building-on-georgia-street-2

Stanley Park Armouries - City of Vancouver Archives - June 1928 - CVA 99-1681 - 5th Med Battery; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/5th-med-battery-outside-arena-building-on-georgia-street

Stanley Park Armouries – City of Vancouver Archives – June 1928 – CVA 99-1681 – 5th Med Battery; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/5th-med-battery-outside-arena-building-on-georgia-street

 

Horse Show Building (Stanley Park Armouries), Detail from Vancouver City Archives – Van Sc P15 – Vancouver B C – looking east from Lost Lagoon; about 1931; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/vancouver-b-c-from-air-looking-east-from-lost-lagoon;rad

Horse Show Building (Stanley Park Armouries), Detail from Vancouver City Archives – Van Sc P15 – Vancouver B C – looking east from Lost Lagoon; about 1931; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/vancouver-b-c-from-air-looking-east-from-lost-lagoon;rad

In 1935, the federal government leased the building.

 

Horse Show Building - Alberni Street side - BCER Streetcar at Stanley Park Armouries, 1948 - 1900 Block Alberni Street - Ernie L Plant - photographer; http://www.flickr.com/photos/45379817@N08/7087706939/in/photostream/

Horse Show Building – Alberni Street side – BCER Streetcar at Stanley Park Armouries, 1948 – 1900 Block Alberni Street – Ernie L Plant – photographer; http://www.flickr.com/photos/45379817@N08/7087706939/in/photostream/

The building was still in use during the Second World War and throughout the 1950s. In later years, Morris Wagner owned the building, and leased most of the building to the Irish Fusiliers. Morris and his wife, Tina, were killed in an automobile accident in Mexico City, Mexico, on February 5, 1958. The Toronto General Trust Corporation administered the Wagner estate.

Thursday, March 17, 1960, was St. Patrick’s Day. The officers and men of the Irish Fusiliers held their weekly parade in the building, and stayed later than usual because of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Early in the morning of March 18, a fire broke out and destroyed the building within an hour. The firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings. The regimental museum’s display, which included regimental badges, swords and headdresses, was all gone, as were band instruments and a silver shield that the regiment had won in a shooting competition with New Zealand in 1959.

Ruins of Stanley Park Armouries (Horse Show Building) - 1900 West Georgia Street, after a fire - March 1960 - City of Vancouver Archives - Bu N544-1; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/ruins-of-stanley-park-armouries-horse-show-building-1900-west-georgia-street-after-fire

Ruins of Stanley Park Armouries (Horse Show Building) – 1900 West Georgia Street, after a fire – March 1960 – City of Vancouver Archives – Bu N544-1; http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/ruins-of-stanley-park-armouries-horse-show-building-1900-west-georgia-street-after-fire

After the fire, the site was vacant for over 40 years, with the remains of the concrete foundation visible along Gilford Street and Alberni Street.

Vacant lot west of Gilford Street, between Alberni Street and Robson Street, about 2001, http://vancouverisawesome.com/2011/10/09/illustrated-vancouver-vol-12-lost-mural-of-stanley-park/ [citing Photographer unknown, from the website of RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside)]

Vacant lot west of Gilford Street, between Alberni Street and Robson Street, about 2001, http://vancouverisawesome.com/2011/10/09/illustrated-vancouver-vol-12-lost-mural-of-stanley-park/ [citing Photographer unknown, from the website of RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside)]

By 2007, the Laguna Parkside apartment building was on the site. Its street address was 1925 Alberni Street.

 

There are several references to this property in Heritage Vancouver Society’s database of historic building permits: http://permits.heritagevancouver.org/index.php?cID=1 [searched October 3, 2014]:

District: Vancouver
Permit:
Owner: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Architect: Milner, W. H.
Builder: White, A. E. & Franklin, F. C.
Legal Address: DL: 185 Block: 65 Sub: Resub: Lot: 8-9-10-11
Date (Y-M-D): 1909-01-02
Street Number:
Street Name: Georgia Street W
Value: $45,000.00
Remarks: Frame horse show building
Reference ID: VN-3021-3021-15

 

District: Vancouver
Permit:
Owner: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Architect: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Builder: Cox & Thompson
Legal Address: DL: 185 Block: 65 Sub: Resub: Lot: 8, 9, 10, & 11
Date (Y-M-D): 1910-03-04
Street Number:
Street Name: Georgia Street W
Value: $450.00
Remarks: Alterations [added legal desc.]
Reference ID: VN-3100-3101-1482

 

District: Vancouver
Permit:
Owner: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Architect: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Builder: Cox & Thompson
Legal Address: DL: Block: Sub: Resub: Lot:
Date (Y-M-D): 1910-04-06
Street Number:
Street Name: Denman Street
Value: $750.00
Remarks: Alterations
Reference ID: VN-3100-3101-229

 

District: Vancouver
Permit:
Owner: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Architect: Vancouver Horse Show Assn. Ltd.
Builder: Houghton, E. W.
Legal Address: DL: 185 Block: 65 Sub: Resub: Lot: 8, 9, 10, & 11
Date (Y-M-D): 1911-02-15
Street Number:
Street Name: Georgia Street W
Value: $800.00
Remarks: Alterations [added legal desc.]
Reference ID: VN-3200-3201-763

 

 

Sources

Horse Show Building, Stanley Park Armouries, Vancouver Building Register, Vancouver Public Library, http://ipac2.vpl.ca:81/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=1O122XS879682.4&profile=comres&menu=search&submenu=subtab26&ts=1412292953956#focus: “Converted to armouries in 1914 for Irish Fusiliers; Burned March 18, 1960.”

Michael Kluckner, Vanishing Vancouver, page 81.

Donald Luxton, editor, Building the West, 2003, pages 359 (John R. Wilson) and 512 (Warren H. Milner).

First Vancouver Horse Show, 1908, Official Program, https://archive.org/stream/cihm_98397#page/n4/mode/1up

Henry Barton Watson, http://www.dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/322, “The Horse Show Building, West Georgia Street at Gilford Street, 1908. Watson was one of eleven architects who submitted designs for this large exhibit hall in December 1908. His elaborate Edwardian proposal was the runner-up, and Warren H. Milner of Seattle, Wash was declared the winner. Watson published a lengthy and methodical defense of his design in a Letter to the Editor, carefully setting out why his design had more merit than the Milner design (Vancouver Daily World, 14 Dec. 1908, 11, Letter to the Editor, illus. & descrip.). This letter was accompanied by an impressive birds-eye perspective of Watson’s proposal, which he was to later duplicate in his design for the Industrial Building, also at Hastings Park, and constructed during the following year (1909-10).”

“Revised Plans of the New Horse Show Building Ensure Splendid Structure on Georgia Street,” Vancouver Province, December 19, 1908, page 13.

“Horse Show Building,” Advertisement by Vancouver Lumber Co. Ltd., Vancouver Province, April 3, 1909, page 4. Includes photograph of Horse Show Building under construction.

Horse Show Building, Vancouver, post card, B.C. Photo Card Co., Nancy Bell-Irving, Crofton House School, 1988, page 40.

Horse Show Building, Richard E. Allan, A Pictorial History of Vancouver, Book 3, Yesterday and Today, 1986, page 115. “Horse Show Building. Erected 1909 – destroyed by fire 1960. With exception of Madison Square Garden, New York, it was the largest building for its purpose in North America.”

“Preparing for the Horse Show,” Society, B.C. Saturday Sunset, April 10, 1909, page 8. Describes numbers and qualities of entrants into the horse show, along with the names of prominent citizens who had obtained boxes to attend the show.

“Second Horse Show to be Held Next Week,” B.C. Saturday Sunset, April 17, 1909, page 5. Describes background of the show, the creation of the new building, and the social importance of attending the show.

Second Annual Horse Show, Official Programme, 1909, https://archive.org/stream/cihm_98308#page/n7/mode/1up

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FL5Z-WKK : accessed 03 Oct 2014), Charles Franklin Ward, 09 Oct 1951; citing Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; British Columbia Archives film number B13209, Division of Vital Statistics, Victoria; FHL microfilm 2032701. [leader of band at second Vancouver Horse Show.]

Canadian Jewish Review, March 7, 1958, page 13, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NFMfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UNIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4104%2C4367240; “Mr. and Mrs. Morris Wagner, of Vancouver, British Columbia, died suddenly in a motor accident, in Mexico City, Mexico, on February 5. Mrs. Wagner is survived by two brothers: Abraham Shachter, 20 Highbourne Road; and Harry Shachter, 243, Vaughan Road; and was the sister of the late Benjamin Shachter. Mr. Wagner is survived by two brothers in Israel; and a sister in Romania. Funeral services were held in Vancouver. Shiva was at 243 Vaughan Road.”

“Vancouver’s early social centre lost in fire,” Vancouver Province, March 19, 1960, page 1 [Includes photograph of ruins of building.]

“Fire stirs ‘Horseshow’ memories,” Vancouver Province, March 19, 1960, page 32. [Includes list of prominent participants at the horse show.]

“Fire Destroys Park Armory: Flames Menace Entire District,” Vancouver Sun, March 18, 1960, pages 1-2. [Includes photograph of ruins of building.]

“Premium site yields millions,” Vancouver Sun, September 6, 2002, page F5: “The property – held for decades by a branch of Sir Run Run Shaw’s family – was marketed as the ‘last premier development site west of Denman.’ The vendor, Runvee Georgia Properties Inc., bought the vacant lot in the early 1970s. The site previously housed what was known as the Stanley Park Armories until a spectacular fire burned it to the ground in 1960. It was never redeveloped.”

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Horse Show Building

  1. Pingback: Horse Show Building | westendvancouver

  2. Pingback: Robert Miller (18—after 1915) | westendvancouver

  3. Pingback: Job Johnson | WestEndVancouver

  4. Pingback: William Hawkes | WestEndVancouver

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s