Hycroft Towers Service Station

VPL 82310C Hycroft Towers with Gas Pumps at Entrance! 1950, Artray photo.

VPL 82310C Hycroft Towers with gas pumps at entry to the parking garage. 1950, Artray photo.

This is an early 1950s image of Hycroft Towers at the SE corner of Granville and Marpole Ave. Hycroft Towers was originally the “kitchen garden” of Hycroft Manor (which today is across Marpole Ave from HT). It isn’t clear to me how long these gasoline pumps remained at the entry to the parking garage of HT. (It strikes me as a potentially dangerous place to locate pumps.) Neither is it clear to me how payment for gasoline was arranged as I don’t see any sign of an attendant or booth in the image. Robert Moffatt, in a Dec. 1999 article titled “Vancouver Modern“, for the Vancouver Heritage newsletter, pointed out that HT was the first venture into apartment design of Harold Semmens and Douglas Simpson (architects). Moffatt points out that among the features interior to HT were “…space-efficient storage walls and removable party walls which allowed reconfiguration of the units into 1, 2, and 3-bedroom combinations.” Semmens and Simpson were responsible for designing a number of attractive and enduring buildings in Vancouver, including the Burrard Street Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (1957) – now occupied, in large part, by the local flagship of an American-owned women’s underwear store; VPL Central moved in 1995 to a new building at Georgia and Homer, Moshe Safdie, architect – St. Anselm’s (Anglican) Church on the UBC Endowment Lands (1952), and the United Kingdom Building (1960) on Granville at Hastings.

VPL 88323, VPL Central Branch (750 Burrard Street) Business Division librarians at desks, Unknown photographer, 1970s. (This is an interior shot of another building designed by Semmens & Simpson).

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