Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wandering down Hastings

I have let you know a bit about Hastings Street yet I haven't even scratched the surface. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Hastings Street stretches a long way! And there is a fair amount of history connected to this thoroughfare.

This W rested atop the Woodwards retail building. It was installed in 1944 as a replacement for the pre-war searchlight beacon that had been there before.  Built in 1903 this was the premiere shopping destination for Vancouverites. Woodwards was famous for the W, its windows at Christmas time and the food floor in the basement. For ninety years residents were able to visit, shop and have memories made.
The building became vacant in 1993. Many ideas on what to do with the large space were proposed but nothing became definite. In 2006 the building was imploded - all but the original 1903 structure seen here - and the transformation began. Now this 1903-1908 heavy timber building is united with modern sky scraping units. It holds expensive condos mixed with social housing units.

Aren't those piggies cute?This is Save-On-Meats. The store opened in 1957 and closed in 2009. It was run that entire time by the same man. And although the butcher side of the business is closed Chan's Food Market and the Coffee Shop are apparently still open.

I like the way the metal shutters have been painted - and that they are not covered graffiti - so the place doesn't look shuttered and closed. According to a May article in scoutmagazine.ca someone has leased the building where Save-On Meats resides and was supposed to open in July. 

I took a little detour and walked a couple of blocks south on Granville. This is the Rogers Building built in 1911. Look at the detail on it.
The Rogers Building was named for Jonathon Roger who was a young immigrant from Wales. He also happened to be the first person to step off the first train to arrive in the newly formed Vancouver in 1887. His beginnings were rather simple - he was a painter. But he went on to become a contractor, builder, alderman, chairman of the city park board, president of the board of trade. Rumor has it that Rogers is responsible for over 1000 feet of buildings on Granville Street. When he stepped off that train and the Vancouver City Band began to play See The Conquering Hero Comes, Rogers thought it was for him. Maybe not that time but in years to come he probably had numerous tributes.

Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant on Hastings. When I was in my young teen years we went up and had lunch at this restaurant. If you want a view of Vancouver like none other then go here. If you aren't hungry you can go to the observation deck and just see the city. I can see that building from most places when I walk.

Sinclair Shopping Centre. This is an upscale shopping mall that is actually comprised for four different buildings that were restored. One of the buildings used to be the main post office for Vancouver from 1910 until 1958.

If you walk along the walkway beside the centre you will come to an office building at 200 Granville Street. It houses the Province and the Vancouver Sun newspapers. But I was more interested in the open area that looks out over the water.

Here you see a Seabus coming over from North Vancouver - it is a very short trip for those who want to avoid traffic.

There is the City of North Vancouver. Moodyville, now Moodyville Park, is the oldest settlement on Burrard Inlet. It even predates Vancouver. Logging the Douglas Fir of the area brought a water powered sawmill, built by Sewell Moody, and other amenities popped up soon after.

The ever present cranes for the Port of Vancouver. I saw a special on the Port on television and was astounded at what they do in a day. It is mind boggling to realize how much work it takes to keep that part of the city's prosperity running smoothly.

Just as a teaser, because there is so much to write on this, I am showing you a couple of pictures of the Station. There is a lot of pictures to take of this place - inside and out - and more history to relate. So I will save that for another day.

But before I say goodbye for the day I passed this woman standing on a stoop of a building on East Hastings. She was kind enough to let me take her photo so I want to thank her again. It is good to see people who are doing what they love.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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