Pacific Northwest · urban design · Vancouver

A Very Vancouver Building

The conceptual design for the Vancouver Art Gallery was unveiled yesterday. It’s a perfect Vancouver building. There’s no extraneous swirls or doodads ala Gehry, just a thoughtful response to the program and site. There are echoes of the architecture of coastal First Nations, the Pacific Rim (it’s almost pagoda like in some aspects) and the… Continue reading A Very Vancouver Building

History · Pacific Northwest · urban design · Vancouver · walking tours

Who was Maxine Anyway

I recently had the pleasure of leading a walk in the West End for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation as part of their Sunday coffee series at JJ Bean. Their newest location on Bidwell is behind the preserved facade of Maxine’s Beauty School. The most oft asked question about that location is the tunnel that supposedly… Continue reading Who was Maxine Anyway

History · Pacific Northwest · Transportation

The Alexandra Bridge Needs Your Help

From Chief James Hobart, Spuzzum First Nation Dear Friend in Heritage Tourism: The Spuzzum First Nation on behalf of the Alexandra Bridge Project Partners invites you to join their petition drive to restore the historic 1926 Alexandra Bridge. MLA Laurie Throness has promised to personally deliver this petition asking Transportation Minister Todd Stone to show leadership in… Continue reading The Alexandra Bridge Needs Your Help

History · Pacific Northwest · Transportation · urban design · Vancouver

A Tunnel in Gastown…

North Vancouver once ran a fleet of ferries across Burrard Inlet delivering passengers and cars to the city. On the Vancouver side the vessels jockeyed for space between a variety of vessels to off load their cargo. Foot passengers and cars had to cross the very busy CPR tracks that ran along the south shore, so… Continue reading A Tunnel in Gastown…

History · In The Background · Pacific Northwest · Vancouver

In The Background: William Doss

In 1908, Recreation Park at the corner of Smithe and Homer played host to the circus. The banners advertise such side show attractions as Mungo, a Maori Chief, The Randalls, champion sharpshooters and the intriguing sounding William Doss, the Human Telescope. Here’s a 1902 New York Times article describing Mr Doss’ abilities: “Wille Doss, the Human… Continue reading In The Background: William Doss

History · In The Background · Pacific Northwest · Uncategorized · Vancouver

In the Background: revised dates

Looking at an early photograph of the Byrnes Block on Maple Tree Square and I’m interested to see the date on the pediment, 1887. A shot from the early 2000’s shows an earlier date… somewhere along the line I guess the clocks were wound back… and then the recent restoration put the clocks forward a… Continue reading In the Background: revised dates

Chinatown · History · Pacific Northwest · Vancouver

When Museums Don’t Get History…

My colleague Larry Wong drew my attention to this article from the Chinese in the Northwest Research Committee web site. If you don’t know this site it’s a fascinating and detailed ongoing research project.   The Tacoma Art Museum Sells a Chinese Collection Donated in Memory of the 1885 Driving-Out In 1976, Colonel John and Mary Young, second-generation… Continue reading When Museums Don’t Get History…