Friday, September 24, 2010

Banks, Trains and Fish

As I was walking home today I crossed the Grandview Viaduct, which was built in 1937 and is still seems to be safe, when I happened to look north to a breathtaking sight.

I don't think that an artist could paint a better silhouette of these mountains. It really made me stop and look and realize how beautiful this area really is.

Today I ventured down to Gastown again. This time my goal was to focus on The Station but on the way there I happened across this little treasure.

I was distracted by the flames burning brightly outside 131 Water Social House. Like a moth I was drawn to it and just wanted to watch the dancing light. One of the restaurant's partners had come outside and we had a great conversation. The menu looks scrumptous with items like poutine, steak salad, grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches. The prices are reasonable and I hope to go there soon.

Finally The Station came into view.

The site where The Station is on has been an important landmark since the completion of the railway in 1886.  The building that is there now is actually the third one on that property  and was built in 1912 to 1914. The Neo-Classical structure was designed by architects Barott, Blackader and Webster.

Behind those columns is a lobby that is astonishing. Unfortunately most of my photos didn't turn out but here is what I have.

These few shots I did get though can give you an idea of the opulence inside.

Hawthorn, Mansfield, Towers Architects redesigned the interior in 1978 renovating the space into offices, shops and a Seabus terminal.

Now back outside.

Doesn't this monument make you stop and look? It does me. It was erected in honor of the men of the Canadian Pacific Railway who served in both World Wars, who left everything in their lives to fight for our freedom and died as a result. It bring tears to my eyes just to write this.

From the parking lot I snapped these photos. The sails you see are not on a sea going vessel but rather Canada Place - another site to cover one day. An interesting fact I just learned from the Canada Place website - something that has nothing at all to do with this post but I wanted to tell you - the reason that Canadian beer tastes different from American beer is that Canadians use more malt barley while Americans use more corn. Now aren't you glad I told you that?

More photos from the parking lot. If you look you can see the top of the Seabus coming in. A very convenient and speedy way to get from North Vancouver to Vancouver.

I walked from Gastown through Strathcona and strolled along Main Street. There I found this jewel.

At the corner of Main and Prior is a Bank of Montreal building that was built in the Roaring Twenties, are towards the end in 1929. Architects Honeyman and Curtis, designed many prominent public buildings. This one was designed in a Classical Revival style with a main entry framed by Corinthian pilasters.

There was a sale of sample clothing going on inside so I didn't venture in to take photos. Even though it features a coffered beamed ceiling, detailed plaster work as well as terrazo and black granite flooring. The exterior is faced with fine grained sandstone from Haddington Island, an island which is off the north east coast of Vancouver Island.

In 2005 the building was rehabilitated and developed into a residential and commercial property.

One thing I forgot to show from Gastown.

This fountain is at the corner of Water and Abbott Streets in Gastown. It was created by sculptor Sam Carter in 1987 after being commissioned by the Leshgold Family. The fish fountain is a memorial to the late Samuel Leshgold who loved salmon fishing.

Made of bronze and Quadra Island granite this fountain is a popular water spot for humans and horses alike.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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