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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  1. Where did the head in the first photo go. I do not see it in google maps. Have they removed it?

    1. Good question. I have no idea and haven't been down there in a while.

    2. Re: the head in the first photo. -- This is extremely interesting. The sculpture is not on permanent display. It was placed directly on the pavement, as its base indicates. Please tell, where did the photograph come from. Similar bronze cast is in Krakow, Poland. The design must be ancient.

    3. I took that picture on one of my walks through downtown Vancouver.

  2. Thank you for responding. Your photograph of Eros Bendato by Igor Mitoraj was taken during the 3rd Vancouver Biennale of public art which began in Vancouver in Spring 2014. Notably the 14 bronze statues of laughing men on display at the English Bay in Vancouver have been purchased from the Biennale with a $1.5 million donation to serve as lasting proof of its stunning success.

    1. Thank you for the information. However, this blog entry is from 2011 ergo I could not have taken the photo in 2014.