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…

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

The Neighbourhood That Saved Vancouver

Today, Vancouver is praised for its record of good planning and livability, but it wasn’t always so. In the 1950s planners and politicians saw the east side neighbourhoods as a threat to the well being of the city and they set out to wipe out the blight. From the 1957 redevelopment report: “…delay is expensive.… Continue reading The Neighbourhood That Saved Vancouver