Thursday, October 7, 2010


Located on Georgia Street is this imposing neo classical building. It was designed by Francis Rattenbury who was also responsible for the design of the Empress Hotel and the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria.

It was during a dramatic period of growth for Vancouver that this structure was built. Construction took place during 1907 and 1911.
As you can see, this design contains such features as ornate stonework and iconic columns. The marble used was imported from Alaska, Vermont and Tennessee. 

The building replaced the courthouse at Victory Square and contained 18 courtrooms. It was here that Joe Gordon stood trial for the murder of the 1955 murder of police Constable Gordon Sinclair. Gordon was found guilty and sentenced to hang at Oakalla Prison. The last trial was held here in 1979 and the art gallery moved in in 1983. 

An annex built on the Western side of the building was designed by Thomas Hooper and added in 1912. It is not converted to the art gallery and retains the original judges' bench and walls just like when it was a courthouse. That I would like to see.

On the Georgia side of the street is the Centennial Fountain. This fountain was installed in 1966 to commemorate the centennial of the union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

On sunny days you can see people sitting around the fountain, enjoying a break from the day's stresses. They also sprawl on the stairs leading to the gallery and soak in the rays.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is located between Robson and Georgia Streetsand between Hornby and Howe Streets. Walk along Hornby and there is a memorial to King George VII.

This monument was erected in 1912.

The art gallery has 41,400 square feet (3,850 m2) of exhibition space and about 10,000 works in its collection. Among those are an Emily Carr collection and a significant amount of photographs. And although this sounds like a lot of room the art gallery will be moving. Probably in 2013. I hope that another great use will be found for this building.

While walking around the gallery I noticed a customer trying to get in to see the exhibit.

The fine reputation of the gallery has spread to all. The Vancouver Art Gallery is in a building that is an iconic  landmark and  is enjoyed by Vancourites and visitors alike.

When I wrote on the Hotel Vancouver I missed one of the entrances.

Isn't it regal looking?

Across the street, on Georgia, is the Hotel Georgia.

This hotel was built in 1927 and designed by Robert T. Garrow and John Graham, Sr.

Some of the famous guests that have stayed here include Elvis Presley, the Prince of Wales (not Charles but Prince Edward who abdicated his throne to marry an American divorcee.), Errol Flynn who died while registered at the hotel but not in it, the Beatles, Louis Armstrong and others.
The hotel is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to unveil in 2011. It will be interesting to see how the architects combine the heritage designated interior and exterior with the new additions they are adding.
I hope you find the beauty around you.

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