Friday, April 29, 2011

A True Look at History

Today I have a special treat. I received an email containing photos of Vancouver in the past and I am going to show them to you. (Thanks Auntie Gia!)

 This is the Hotel Vancouver in 1925.
This is the entrance to Stanley Park. The Lion's Gate Bridge hadn't been built yet so there is no causeway needed. If you look can see the Burrard Yacht Club building in the corner. As you may remember from a previous entry that building is still there.
Another view of what the area looked like before the Lion's Gate Bridge was built. This is Prospect Point.

This is where the Cleveland Dam is today.

Looking at English Bay and Beach Avenue on a pier that is no longer there. Building is though so I will have to do some walking and research.

I hope you enjoyed this small glimpse into Vancouver in the past. Instead of having to imagine what it looked like, you can see it.

After all that black and white, I need some colour. Last week I wandered around and got some great nature photos.

It may still be a bit cool in Vancouver but once I see the daffodils and tulips I know it is spring.

This house is at 1504 Gravely Street, not far from Commercial Drive so right in my neighbourhood.

This two storey, over basement, wood framed house was built in the Craftsman architectural style in 1912. The form and detailing are simple, elegant and the rectangular floor plan has an emphasis on the functional use of space.

It was fashionable when this home was built for family members to sleep outside for the natural light and fresh air that was thought to be so important to a person's health. Glass doors lead the way to this sleeping porch.

The original floor plan of this home featured front and back parlours, a kitchen, dining room and scullery. A large brick fireplace rests in the heart of the home, the living room.

Other notable features of this structure are the steeply pitched roof, the saddle-bag dormers, deep overhangs, scroll cut knee brackets, cedar shingle exterior cladding and the front porch supported by capped pillars. Other aspects to take note of are the various forms of fenestration, including square bay windows with stained glass and stained glass window on the staircase landing.

And I wasn't going to let you go without showing some waterfalls. I have my usual computer back and whatever the techs did to it, they didn't disturb my photos at all.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Four Storey and ...

 I was out walking and looking for photos to take when I happened upon this. This building at 901-911 Homer Street was built around 1910 and the four storey brick building is typical of commercial buildings constructed around this time.

Distinguishable features include a principal metal cornice and decorative frieze, a secondary cornice above its entrance and windows with arched lintels and coursed stoned sills.
The truly unique feature of this building is the chamfered corner which orients the entrance toward the intersection of Smithe and Homer.

In 1997 the Pinnacle International Group renovated this building as part of a new 34-storey residential tower with a four storey base to the south of the building. Howard Bingham Hill Architects designed the project.

I have to say that I like the idea of renovating existing buildings and incorporating them into needed, newer structures. That way we can retain our history, make use of existing structures and still progress as a city.

For the next building we are jumping ahead almost forty years. The Vancouver Community College or Vancouver Vocational Institute was built from 1948 to 1950.

This four-storey, squarely massed building has brick-faced end walls and ribbon like fenestration. It occupies a full city block on Pender Street across from Victory Square and was designed by lead architects of the time, Sharp Thompson Berwick and Pratt. 

This was one of the first publicly funded post WWII building projects in the city and it shows how the attitude of the people was changing. Instead of relying on private apprenticeship programs to train employees now priority was being given to public funding of such training.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

1929 Yet Again

I have only gotten half way through 1929 in two posts. The months before the stock market crash were busy in Vancouver. Today I going to show you photos of some of the artwork I see around town while giving you facts.

Four years earlier a Vancouver Day had been arranged on June 13. This was to mark the anniversary of the Great Fire of 1886 that ravaged the newly formed city. It appears that 1929 was the last time it was truly celebrated the day. Except for in 1998 when a city archives worker revived the occasion for one special day.

June 13 was also the day that Jones Tent and Awning of Vancouver began to manufacture venetian blinds. The first time any company in Canada had done that.

June 13 was the day that  Vancouver's Chief Constable W. J. Bingham was given a three year contract and an increase in pay to $6,000 a year.

June 28 - bids were called for a bridge over the Capilano River in West Vancouver.

On July 27 Charles Lindberg - who was on a tour following his solo flight across the Atlantic - refused an invitation from then Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor to fly into Vancouver because Lindberg stated that our airport wasn't fit to land on. This embarrassed Taylor and Vancouverites and started the push to build a quality airport that opened in 1931.

In July the provincial exhibition buildings in New Westminster burned down. The fair was due to open in September and it still did. Tents instead of buildings were used.

On August 7 the first annual BC High Schools Olympiad opened at Hastings Park.

A day later, Samuel Maclure, a well known architect, passed away at the age of 69. Maclure designed around 150 homes and many Shaugnessy Heights houses prior to WWI. He was the brother of Canada's first female newspaper editor, Sara Anne McLagan, also a Vancouver resident.

Boeing of Canada opened a plant on Coal Harbour after purchasing the Hoffar-Beeching Shipyard at 1927 West Georgia.A year later they began to build planes.

It has been reported by some that on August 27, 1929 the Graf Zeppelin, the most famous airship of the 1920s, visited Vancouver - namely Coal Harbour. Alas that isn't true. Due to difficulties such as dense fog and ptomaine poisoning, the Zeppelin was forced to miss its scheduled visits to both Vancouver and Seattle.

September 2. Winston Churchill visited! First he opened the fair in New Westminster where approximately 40,000 came to see him. The next day he went to Haney  where his host was the Hon. Nels Lougheed, provincial MLA and an executive of the Abernethy Lougheed Logging company. Lougheed gave Churchill a demonstration of B.C.'s logging methods. While here Churchill gave a speech at the Vancouver Theatre on Granville and dined at the chalet on Grouse Mountain.

On October 24 there was panic on Wall Street. And the next day the New York Stock Exchange collapsed and we all know the havoc and economic difficulty that caused through the thirties.

Also on October 25 there was a report in the Province that Town Planning Commission was once again advocating a limit on the height of buildings in Vancouver. There were to be no skyscrapers, no building was to stretch above 10 storeys or 120 feet. I wonder what they would think if they could see the city skyline now.

December 3 saw the opening of the Commodore Cabaret on Granville Street. Owners Nick Kogas and John Dillias started a tradition of showcasing local bands and international touring artists. The Commodore Ballroom, as it is known today, is still a place to go to be exposed to great music.

December 17 was the day that unemployed men raided the city relief office in Vancouver. The Great Depression was making its presence felt.

1929 was the year that the Vancouver Unemployed Worker's Association was formed.

The Randall Building, at 535-565 West Georgia, was built. So was the Dick Building at 1482-1490 West Broadway (the ornate structure at the southeast corner of Granville), and the Bank of Commerce at 817-819 Granville.

Construction began on the third Hotel Vancouver, the present one. It wouldn't open until 1939, ten years later.

The Tyee Ski Club was formed - currently one of the oldest ski clubs in Canada - and the mountain had its first rope tow in mid-1930s . Since then Grouse Mountain has flourished with organized skiing and ski race events.

(Okay I'm throwing in a few nature photos as well.)

The Holden Building on East Hastings became Vancouver's city hall and would remain so until 1936 until the current hall opened.  From 1897 to 1929 a building immediately adjacent to the Carnegie Library served as city hall. That building was demolished years ago.

Frances Street was named in 1929. It was named after Sister Frances who was a pioneer nurse at St. Luke's Home and St. James Church on Cordova Street. (I have written on Sister Frances as well as St. Lukes and St. James. I also used to live on Frances Street.)

Construction began on the East Lawn Building at Essondale Hospital, now Riverview Hospital.

As I previously stated the Randall Building was constructed on West Georgia. It is now known as the Cavelti building after jeweller Tony Cavelti. The name was changed when the building, at 555 West Georgia, was rehabilitated in 1991.

The provincial Public Library Commission was awarded a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to test an idea that to provide library services to a rural population and that test was successful. It is still operating today as the Fraser Valley Public Library.

The Pacific National Exhibition opened its first permanent amusement park with rides and games. It was called Happyland and would last until the end of the 1957 season. In 1958 it was replaced by the bigger Playland.

That ends my tales of 1929 in Vancouver. At least for now.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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