Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not Trying to Save Your Soul

Honestly I am not insinuating that anyone reading this needs to strengthen their belief in God or attend church more often or anything like that. It is just that many of historical, impressive buildings are churches. So that is what I am writing on.

Today I not only went inside the First Bapist Church on Burrard but I also was allowed to take photos. A very nice woman greeted me, answered questions and even chatted with me. Thanks for your time and information Sharon.

The land the church presently stands on was purchased in 1904 by the church. The initial cornerstone was laid in 1910 and the church was blessed in 1911.

The interior of the church was severely gutted due to a major fire in 1931. But, as you will see, the interior is now beautiful.

The attention to detail is astounding. In many ways this house of worship may seem quite plain to some - after all there are no shrines or statues - but it didn't the place didn't seem so simple to me. The elegance is in the details.

Just look at these stained glass windows.

And the light fixture in the front lobby adds to the atmosphere.
Next door the First Baptist Church is the Gothic Revival structure of St Andrews-Wesley Church, The United Church of Canada.
This church was built in 1933 and was constructed out of materials all from British Columbia. It is truly a BC masterpiece.

This church is a tribute to its two founding congregations - Wesley Methodist formerly located and the southewest corner of Georgia and Burrard as well as St. Andrews Presbyterian at Georgia and Richards. These two churches along with the Congregational Church united across the country in 1925 to become The United Church of Canada.

Sharon told me that there are windows inside that are etched instead of stained. I couldn't get in today but I will try another time.

Just to get away from religion for a moment and back to fun things.

Ini 1927 a vaudeville house designed by Scottish architect Marcus Priteca opened on Granville Street. The Orpheum was born.

When it opened it was the largest theatre in Canada with three thousand seats. It has gone through many names - Vancouver Theatre, Lyric, International Cinema and then the Lyric again. And we almost lost it. In 1969 it was closed for demolition to make way for the Pacific Centre. Famous Players had plans in 1973 to gut the inside and make it a cineplex. But concerned citizens of Vancouver fought to save their little theatre and Jack Benny even flew to Vancouver to show his support for the Orpheum. The city of Vancouver bought the theatre and closed it for renovations. Jim Pattison donated the neon sign and now it is home to the Vancouver Symphony.

Just up the street is the Vogue Theatre. Designed by architects Kaplan & Sprachman this theatre was completed in 1941 and represents the Art Deco/Art Moderne style of architecture.

I would really love to get inside this building and take photos. According to the research I am doing it has 1,144 seats, a black painted maple stage, curved balconies and ceilings. It sounds like it is absolutely breathtaking behind those walls. Maybe someday I can sneak in and take some visual records to show you.

Now we have seen some places of entertainment in addition to those of worship. Did you have fun?

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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