History · Uncategorized · urban design · Vancouver

Moving House With Breakfast

Doing a bit of research recently I came across a picture of lovely looking Craftsman style house in the December 6, 1947 edition of the Vancouver Sun but instead of a house surrounded by a garden this house was was sitting on a flatbed trailer. This was the home of Mr C. L. Bennett and… Continue reading Moving House With Breakfast

History · urban design · Vancouver

What’s a Hector’s?

I’ve been researching the area around Fifth Avenue and Fir Street recently and in searching through the City of Vancouver Archives photograph collection found this photo taken in 1966. I was intrigued, it looked like a electrical sub station, but BC Hydro doesn’t do cute names, and there’s lots of lumber outside so it looks… Continue reading What’s a Hector’s?

History · Pacific Northwest · urban design

Painting with Light…

Ghost signs are ephemeral objects that have only survived because nobody painted over them. They are a fascinating and important link to the past, but how do you preserve the layers and changes often found within one advert? Well, the Friends of Vancouver City Archives hope to answer that with their upcoming talk: Shining a… Continue reading Painting with Light…

History · urban design · Vancouver

Odd Little Bits of Ground…

The recent listing for sale of a nine foot wide piece of property in the Grandview neighbourhood drew lots of interest and I was interested in finding out why this odd bit of property existed. Pulling out the maps you can see District Lot 264A, which the Grandview neighbourhood sits in, being carved up into… Continue reading Odd Little Bits of Ground…

History · urban design · Vancouver

Lightning in the Neighbourhood…

In recent research on a house on Tyne Street in Vancouver, I came across this this fascinating and terrifying account of a thunderstorm in August 1919 in the Daily World. The thunderstorm on Thursday night resulted in three houses being struck by lightning. The home of Mrs. Dunlop, Tyne street and Fifty-third avenue, was one.… Continue reading Lightning in the Neighbourhood…

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

H-frame Power Poles: A cultural asset for Chinatown?

Yes of course, maybe… H-frame power poles have graced most downtown Vancouver lanes for over 80 years but with modernization of the electrical system BC Hydro has been busy putting the power lines underground and the H-frames have largely disappeared from the downtown core. A few lanes in the Downtown Eastside, Gastown and Chinatown still retain… Continue reading H-frame Power Poles: A cultural asset for Chinatown?

BC Mills · History · urban design

BC Mills “Ready Made” Houses and Fernie

Top left: MMM, Top Right: OOO, Bottom Left: MM, Bottom Right: Concrete hybrid Fernie, BC has had its share of bad luck in the past. The town was destroyed in 1908 in a devastating fire that levelled the town except for 37 houses and three other buildings. Rebuilding got underway quickly. The brickworks ramped up production… Continue reading BC Mills “Ready Made” Houses and Fernie

Chinatown · History · Transportation · urban design · Vancouver · walking tours

The Roads to Nowhere

The Friends of the Vancouver City Archives have a walking tour coming up in October. The Georgia Viaducts, the only visible reminder of the grander city-wide freeway plan of the 1950s, will soon be a memory with their impending demolition. On this walk we’ll explore their history and development, the freeway fight and explore a… Continue reading The Roads to Nowhere

Chinatown · History · urban design

Re-thinking 105 Keefer… by 50′

The 105 Keefer project proposed by the Beedie Group doesn’t work for the location or for Chinatown as a whole. The basic problem is that the developer and the architects still have not taken the time to engage in, and with, the community they want to build in. The starting point should have been, and… Continue reading Re-thinking 105 Keefer… by 50′

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Gone But The Significance Remains…

  The debate over 105 Keefer is an important one, not just because it’s a significant chunk of development on a critical site in Chinatown, but with the reimagined parkland and residential communities that will emerge from the North East False Creek planning program, this site will be a major gateway to the historic quarter.… Continue reading Gone But The Significance Remains…