Looking across False Creek from the West Coast Shipbuilder’s yard to downtown, this is what the shore of the creek looked like in the 1940s. The extraordinary mess on the shoreline, roughly where BC Place is today, is the debris from the Empire Box Company and various sawmill operations. (CVA photo M-7-1)
Inserting new structures into older urban environments can be tricky. The rhythm of the street and its storefronts, sidewalk width, building height etc. all play a role in the success of any new building. But then, despite the best of intentions from the planners it fails at a certain level. The Keefer Block at the corner… Continue reading Good Intent & Design Fail in Chinatown
The Holborn Group’s refusal to excise the Trump name from their Georgia Street project is an insult to all residents of Vancouver. Regardless of whether it is private property, that there are contracts or operating agreements in place, Holborn is morally and ethically wrong to continue to promote the name of someone who is openly… Continue reading It’s Quite Simple: Dump Trump
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
The Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the DVBIA unveiled the latest set of Places That Matter plaques on June 26, 2015. It was a great celebration. The five plaques focus on various aspects of the role West Hastings Street has played in the development of the city; finance, the port, parades, tourism and the early residents.… Continue reading Old Landmarks Going….
Here’s a screen grab from the fabulous 1956 CBC film Summer Afternoon which follows two boys around Chinatown. There are many great images of a long gone landscape. In a brief segment the two are seen climbing over the gates to Canton Alley and then wander down Shanghai Alley. There are very few good images… Continue reading Shanghai Alley on a Summer Afternoon
Maybe Martians should land more often in this city. I like this proposed tower. Positioned on the edge of Gastown where Cordova Street bends as the original townsite grid meets the downtown grid, the tower sits between two very strong heritage buildings which can certainly hold their own against the new comer. In this situation,… Continue reading More Martians Needed
Somethings never change… In 1906 rising property values in Chinatown were forcing smaller businesses out and the community began to think about purchasing property elsewhere in the city to move the Chinese business district to. Here’s the 1906 article.
The former Bank of Nova Scotia at 424 West Hastings is an attractive little building. Built in 1904 and designed by the firm of Dalton & Eveleigh this was the bank’s head office until their new office tower was constructed at the corner of Seymour and Hastings in 1910. At some point the… Continue reading Lost and Found
In this shot from the 1970s looking south from the corner of 5th Avenue and Burrard there is a billboard for the product that altered the look of thousands of older homes across the city.