This photo shows a ‘park’ in Vancouver’s West End that seems to have been all but forgotten. It was located on Pendrell Street (D.L. 185, Block 70, Lot 31); an empty lot at the time the image was made. It was two lots west of the extant Gilford Court Apartments. The building in the background at right with the distinctive turret/tower feature was the home of architect Thomas Fee at the corner of Gilford and Comox. (To help you get your bearings, a piece of Goade’s 1912 fire insurance map of Vancouver appears below).
Many if not all of the folks posing in the photo were members of First Baptist Church. The names that were scrawled on the photo’s verso appear to be (in a very rough, left-to-right order): S. Miner, F. McDonald, Baker, Mabel McKeen, C. Ivy, Marie Selman, G. Rafern?, H. Brown, Geo. Hanks, Dr. Sparrow, Mrs. Hanna, L. Selman, K. Stern, J. Allan, Dr. Hanna, Ella McBraid, Harvie S., Morgan L. Hearns, John, Mr. Morgan, S. Harcus?,?, May Selman.
I strongly suspect that the Grounds were not a formal City of Vancouver park, but merely an empty lot that was kitted out with a tennis net. I haven’t ruled out a First Baptist connection to the owner of the property, but it seems unlikely.*
The lot on which the Pender Street Grounds were remained empty of any residence, it appears, for well over a decade after the 1915 photo was taken. There is no evidence of habitation at 1937 Pendrell until 1927; B. Lotzkar was the owner at that time, according to Vancouver’s directory.
Another view from elevation appears below. This shows Pendrell Street Grounds clearly three lots left of Gilford Court Apartments. Today, La Carina apartment block is where the Grounds once were.
*The owner of the adjacent lot (to the west) for the final two years of his life (1911-12) was FBC member and Vancouver pioneer, John Morton (1947 Pendrell – the home to the left of PSG in CVA 371-723. This doesn’t appear to be anything more than coincidence. Charles Abraham Schooley, City of Vancouver paymaster for many years and an honorary deacon at FBC lived at the end of the block (2057 Pendrell); again, there is no evidence of a connection with PSG.
I am indebted to two gents whose help was invaluable in unravelling the mystery of the location of the Pendrell Street Grounds: RKM, who blogs at westendvancouver, and Patrick Gunn, a board member with Heritage Vancouver and contact person with the Historical Vancouver Building Permits Database that is managed by Heritage Vancouver.