Sunday, October 3, 2010

Unwanted Vacation

I haven't posted for three days and I apologize. I was out taking photos Thursday when I suddenly felt ill so I caught a bus home and spent that evening and the next two days feeling pretty rotten. Hopefully that will be it for awhile.

While I was out Thursday I managed to get some good photos.

This is the Permanent Building on West Pender. It is a small scale example of the Beaux-Arts classicism. Designed by Thomas Hooper and Elwood Watkins it was built in 1907. Thomas Talton Langois of BC Permanent Loan Company commissioned it and until 1935 the building housed the loan company.

This may be a small building but I find that the little things like the ornate columns give an impression of the place being so much bigger.

In 1935 the Permanent Building became home to the Bank of Canada. The interior has a large, Tiffany style, stained glass dome, mosiac tile floors and a series of windows that Yukon, Great Britain and coats of arms.

In 1979 it was acquired by different owners, the interior was changed and it became known as Page House.

Not far, in fact next door to the Permanent Building, is a building that is an important part of Victory Square. No name just the address, 326 West Pender.
This building dates back to 1929. Originally designed by J.S.D. Taylor, in 1948 W.H.Birmingham gave the facade a neo-classical feel with such touches as a decorative cornice installed below the original parapet. The facade received heritage designation, therefore protection, in 1997.

Since we mentioned that this building is a part of Victory Square I guess it is only fair that I tell you about the square. I was going to hold off on that until Remembrance Day in November but I will find something to cover then.

Do you remember when I wrote on the Flack Block and it said it had originally been across the street from the courthouse and I was going to do more research and find out exactly where that was? From 1911 to 1913 the city's provincial courthouse was in a large square between West Pender, Hamilton, West Hastings and Cambie Streets.

This location is significant because it is at what used to be the intersection of the Old Granville Townsite (aka Gastown) and the old CPR townsite. That land was obtained by the CPR as part of the deal to locate the terminus and was the founding of the city of Vancouver. If you remember I wrote about the plaque near Hamilton Street that commerates the first survery stake being driven into the ground by L.A. Hamilton.

Another key historical fact to this area is that on June 13, 1886 clearing groups of the CPR ran down this hill to flee the great fire roaring behind them. I'll write more on that one another day.

A cenotaph stands at the corner of Hastings and Cambie. The pillar is made of Nelson Island granite and is piled with wreaths. Especially on November 11 when the city uses it as it's focus for Remembrance Day celebrations.

Okay it was a slow day for there are only two wreaths but this stands as a reminder to all us of the sacrifices that our citizens have made so that we can live our lives.

The site of the cenotaph is also significant because it stands because it was at the tables at the steps of the old courthouse where men enlisted for World War I.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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