Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gold Rushes and Clubs

Are you reading this and wondering if I've gone bonkers? What do Gold Rushes have to do with this esteemed looking building/ Well I'll tell you.

Built in 1898 by Thomas Flack, one of the first to strike it rich in the Klondike Gold Rush, this building was the original home to the Bank of Vancouver. At one time it was in the heart of Vancouver's commercial district and across the street from the first courthouse. (Something I didn't know and I will have to investigate further) It was apparently the area to be in.

But as the years went by and the area declined, the building was left to fall into disrepair. Fortunately The Salient Group had the vision to save this treasure. It took 2 years and $20 million but Vancouverites are once again able to gaze upon this jewel. The limestone archway that you see here was lovingly recreated by local artists using vintage photographs. The building's main structure is made of local sandstone and has been modernized to be functional in this century.

This next building was designed by architects Samuel Maclure and  John Edmeston Parr. One write up I found described it as a rotting hulk.

It doesn't look that rotten to me so I suppose work has been done on it.

 The Terminal City Club was founded in 1892 and is a highly distinguished private club with a reputation of excellence. There is a 60 room boutique hotel, 1892 fine dining room, grill, wine bar and pub as well as a fitness centre. Truly a home for those with class.

Not far from there is the Vancouver Club.

And guess what I learned about this building? It was built 1912 to 1914 by architects Sharp & Thompson. That's all I know.

On November 1, 1892 Firehall No.3 opened at Broadway west of Main. The hall had a hand drawn hose wheel. No horses to draw a wagon but they did have a telephone.

Recently I was walking past Firehall No. 2, which I have written on before, and they had the trucks out to wash.

Personally I think these vehicles are so impressive. They are imposing, especially when they are speeding down the road to a fire. They are functional - able to carry all the necessary people as well as equipment. They also bring to mind childhood dreams of sliding down poles to get into the trucks and go fight fires and maybe save someone's life.

We tend to forget that those in careers such as the fire and police department do so much for all of us. We may disregard them, agree with funding cutbacks while the monies are spent on more frivolous items and comment that anyone in a public service position cannot expect great wages. That is until we need them and maybe due to cutbacks we lose possessions or, God forbid, lives. Before tragedy strikes and we need the help of people such as the fire or police let's support them now.

I think I have commented before on the 2010 Greater Vancouver Firefighters Hall of Flame Calender. I was in London Drugs today and noticed that the 2011 calender is out. I will put that on my shopping list for the end of next month.

And remember how I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, The Salient Group? This group was founded in 2000 and its aim is to restore the historical buildings in the downtown core and restore the buildings that represent our history. Personally, I think that is a worthwhile endeavour. As much as possible we have to keep our history alive. Whereever we are.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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