Monday, October 4, 2010

Sweet Georgia Part One

I walked along Georgia Street today - both east and west sides - and took photos of the many heritage and interesting things I saw. I have so many photos and stories that it will take more than one entry to get them all in. But let's get started with today's.

This is the Barker House located in the 800 block of East Georgia. It was built by C.D. Rand's Vancouver Improvement Company in 1893 -this company was responsible for a number of homes built in this area. This Victorian structure features decorative shingles on the gable and fretwork on the porch consoles.

The first owners of this house were Thomas and Davidena Barker. Thomas was a flour and feed merchant. However later William Barker resided in this home and William was  a bookbinder for G.A. Roedde, Vancouver's first printer and book binder.

The Randall Building on Georgia was built in 1929 for the brokerage firm S.W. Randall Company. This building is a prime example of the architecture of the city's downtown development during the Great Depression.Architect Richard T. Perry used brick cladding enriched by terra cotta paneling on the lower levels.
Sam Randall was also a thoroughbred race promoter who operated racetracks at Hastings Park and Lansdowne Park in Richmond.

In 1991 the building was rehabilitated and the owner, jeweller Toni Cavelti, had a penthouse added. The architects then were Blewett Dodd Ching Lee. The most interesting feature I found was the side of the building which I happened to spot while walking west on Georgia.

In 1887 the Hotel Vancouver opened at Georgia and Granville Streets. In 1916 it was replaced by a more lavish building. The one I am going to show you now is neither of those. This is the third Hotel Vancouver now located about a block or so west of the original location.

Construction on this Hotel Vancouver, the third one, began in 1928 and took eleven years to complete. On May 25, 1939 the hotel opened in time to welcome King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on their first Canadian tour.

The hotel is gorgeous and so regal. It has a lot of class, not only because of the appearance but also due to the friendliness of the staff. Thanks to Judy, the PR person, I was allowed to take a few photos of the interior.

These steps lead to the lounge area.

These are two chairs in the lounge area.
And this is an example of the detail if you look up. That and the incredible chandeliers in the front entrance.

An amusing fact I just learned is that the second Hotel Vancouver was torn down in 1948 to fulfill a promise the city had made to the developers of the present Hotel Vancouver. Apparently the second hotel was constructed in the grand Italianate revival style and considered one of the great hotels of the British Empire. The developers perceived that the former Hotel Vancouver would be too much of a rival since the new building wasn`t designed to be as lavish or impressive.

If the second Hotel Vancouver - which did serve as troop barracks in WWII - was more lavish and impressive than the present hotel I would love to have seen what it looked like!

There is so much more to say, more history on the Hotel Vancouver, more sites to talk about on Georgia Street but I know that I am running out of room. So next time.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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  1. Richard T Perry was my great great grand uncle. I was trying to figure out which buildings he designed. This is a start. Thank you. :)