Monday, December 13, 2010

Pandora and Power

Over the weekend I found a federal site that has a listing of heritage sites in Vancouver (and North Vancouver and on Vancouver Island). I've covered some of them but there is still a lot to write on. If I repeat any I will apologize now but hopefully I will have new information.

And just in case you are wondering - to my knowledge this red dog does not have any historical significance. But he's cute.

Located at 721 Main Street this is BC Hydro's Murrin Substation. It was built between 1945 and 1946 by the BC Electric Company, a private firm that operated Vancouver's electrical and transportation systems until 1961.

There are a few reasons why this building has heritage value. One is the site's long assocation with power generation and management purposes that dates back to 1906. Another is that the building is associated with the architectural firm McCartner and Nairne and the construction firm Northern Construction Ltd. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, McCartner and Nairne were responsible for the Marine Building downtown as well as numerous other significant buildings in our city.

Another important fact about this building is that it reminds us that even though it was built for a industrial purpose it doesn't have to look functional and drab. The art deco trims turn this large brick box into something worth noticing.

Now we go over to Pandora Street to look at a couple of places. This is the Kendrick House and I didn't see a heritage plaque but was made aware of its value through that website I mentioned earlier.
This two story house, built in 1928, is representative of the Craftsman design homes and this one was built at the end of the era for those homes and has minimal ornate features.

Back in 1891, when this land was still being farmed, Olaff Miller owned this site and the parcels on both sides. In fact, up until 1911, Miller is listed as being one of the few residents that resided on Pandora between Kamloops and Clinton (now Penticton) Streets. Thirteen years later a formal ownership between the Miller and Kendrick families appears in the land titles.

Interesting note. Josiah and Doris Kendrick took ownership of this home in 1928. In 1967 Josiah passed on and the title went into Doris' name. Doris held the home until 1992. That was a long time.

Further along Pandora, between Slocan and Kaslo Streets, is the Campbell House.

This fine home, another example of late era Craftsman style, was built by Maracel Tardiff in 1927 and 1928.

The significance of this house is that it was home to Harry and Margaret Campbell. Harry was a deliveryman for the Pacific Ice Company. In the days before refrigerators food and such were kept cold with blocks of ice. The layout of this home's kitchen had no space designated for a fridge even after the modernization of the 1950s. 

It's funny. While writing this blog there have been many times where I have had to reroute my thinking. Realize things like the fridge, which I take for granted, hasn't been around all that long. Or when I think of distance and travelling how difficult it was for the early settlers, like Gassy Jack, to go somewhere that it only takes us minutes to get to.

Another find on that website was information on a building I took pictures of this summer.

The Tweedale Block was named for Cyril Tweedale, a noted local financier. It was built from a design by architects Thornton and Jones by Baynes and Horie in 1915. Originally it was a rooming house and operated under the name of the Olympia Rooms later the Olympia Hotel until 1987. Then it became the Sunlight Hotel. Presently it is being used for residential purposes.

The building's name is set in an ovoid block just under the cornice and the initials of Cyril Tweedale are set in a cartouche amid vegetative deocrations on the spandrels.

Didn't I sound  smart on that last paragraph? Thanks to and the search function on the Internet I have an inkling of what I just wrote. Though with the spandrels I just looked for the intitials to figure out what they were.

In 1912 architect and owner W. A. Urquhart designed this three storey glazed brick Edwardian commercial building on Hastings street which was built by D. McCullam. It is an apartment block with a grocery store at street level.

From 1913 to 1920 this building housed the Napier Rooms and Thomas W. Wood was the original grocer tenant. In 1937 it became the Shamrock Hotel and, as you can see, it retains that name today. 
I just learned that I missed something. Apparently there are glass prisms in the storefront sidewalk indicating former basement level access. Hmm. I'll have to check the next time I am by there. Try to get a few photos.

This is a modest structure and was not intended to be a architectural showpiece. It is functional and much less ornate than the Victorian designs of earlier times.

Remember when I wrote on the Rickshaw Theatre and said I hadn't been able to find out any information on it? I did discover that it used to be called the Shaw Theatre. Nothing else yet but I am still looking. All the answers I seek will come to me eventually. Like are there tunnels under the city and if so where do they lead and why were they built?

Before I go I heard something interesting over the weekend.

I posted this sign earlier one an entry I did of East Vancouver. Saturday I was informed that this used to be the symbol of a gang in the 1950s called the East Side Saints. All the members went to Catholic schools and that is where the name came from. Once people find out what I am doing I am always being given little tidbits of information. Makes my life a little more interesting I must say.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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