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Vancouver Now & Then: A former brothel on Alexander Street

Alexander Street was renowned for its brothels in the early 1900s.
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The building at 500 Alexander St in Vancouver's Japantown neighbourhood has a long and storied past

Alexander Street was renowned for its brothels in the early 1900s, including this building at number 500 which was originally built as a rooming house in 1912.

In 1918 it was listed as the Sailors Home (rooms around two bucks a week) until it closed in 1954.

It later housed a business belonging to Al Hubbard, an eccentric entrepreneur who was known as the “Johnny Appleseed of LSD.” 

Ultimately, the dilapidated structure was acquired and renovated by the Atira Development Society.

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The building at 500 Alexander St in Vancouver's Japantown neighbourhood has a long and storied past. Vancouver Archives and John Bentley/Vancouver Now & Then

John Bentley is an architectural photographer who has photographed the inside and outside of thousands of buildings around Vancouver. Using images from the Vancouver Archives he offers a glimpse of the past and present on his site Vancouver Now & Then

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