Friday, November 12, 2010

The Bay and from the Bus

There are a few things that symbolize Canada to Canadians as much as the Canadian flag. CBC - the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, hockey and The Hudson's Bay Company.
The Hudson's Bay Company or HBC or the Bay has been around since it was first incorporated as The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay by British Royal Charter in 1670.

This building on Granville and Georgia street was designed by Burke, Horwood and White and built during the years 1913 to 1950.

This building appears as one unit, as the original design dictated, but it was actually built in four parts.

The architecture of this building inspired many others such as those Bay stores in Victioria, Calgary and Winnipeg.

The Hudson's Bay Company is important to our heritage because of the fact that for centuries they controlled the fur trade through much of British owned North America. The traders and trappers formed connections with the First Nations/Native American people during their early explorations.

These two shots are not actually the interior of the Bay downtown but rather just inside the main doors . Another set of doors leads into the store itself.

The Skytrain station is also inside these doors and down the stairs. Then you have to go down an incredibly steep escalator.

This building may look like a big block and I guess it is that but if you look closer you will notice the fine details on the building. The attention to excellence.

On the front doors is the company's Coat of Arms.

The latin inscribed translates to a skin for a skin. Fitting for a company that got its start in the fur trading business.
Make no mistake though. The Hudson's Bay Company has grown and adapted with the times. The department stores are places to find almost everything you need from perfumes and cosmetics to furniture to electronics. If an old time trapper were to be transported from the 1700s to now, he wouldn't recognize the place.

I was excited to get these two photos while I was riding the bus today. This is the Pantages Theatre at 152 Hastings Street. The reason I was so excited is because this once grand building is in the middle of skid row Vancouver and I have been warned about taking pictures in that area.

This theatre was commissioned by Alexander Pantages in 1907 or 1908. It was designed by B. Marcus Priteca and built by architects Edward Evans Blackmore. (Pantages was born Pericles Pantages in 1876 on the Greek Island of Andros but changed his name to Alexander when he heard the story of Alexander the Great.)

This is the oldest theatre in Vancouver, the oldest remaining Pantages theatre in North America and one of the oldest purpose built vaudeville theatre interiors in Canada.

There was talk about redoing the building - making it into a live theatre once again but its location sort of deters that idea. So many citizens will not go into that area of town during the day and if someone were to try to rebuild the theatre there is always the danger that the residents of that district will destroy the hard work. As well how would a venue that relies on evening customers fare in an area where people with the money won't go? It is frustrating who want to save this treasure and I am sure that the city officials feel the same about this theatre.

This is another photo I got from the bus. This is the Holden Building. It was built in 1911 by William T. Whiteway. It is also known as Tellier Tower.

This fine building was home to Vancouver's City Hall from 1929-1936 when everyone moved into the current location.

Last but certainly not least is the Pennsylvania Hotel located at 412 Carrall Street. This historic building has been redone and outfitted with 44 studio apartments for low income residents.

This structure was built in 1906 as the Woods Hotel for J.S. and Eliza Woods. It was one of the first major hotels to be built on Hastings Street and one of the city's better establishments. It was home to wealthy travellers and commercial businessemen. This five story plus basement masonry commercial buidling features polygonal corner bay and tiers of metal-clad cantilevered bay windows above the ground floor. The people who resurrected it did an excellent job.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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