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?

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Considering Chinatown: boundaries, impacts and going slow & messy

Chinatown’s boundary has been shaped by many factors beyond the community’s control. Industry on False Creek, rail yards, ship yards crowded the southern edge. In the 1960s the edge is defined by the freeway planning that creates the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts. To the east, urban renewal truncates the neighbourhood at Gore removing businesses, clan associations… Continue reading Considering Chinatown: boundaries, impacts and going slow & messy

Chinatown · Elsewhere · urban design

Let There Be Light…

There are so many examples of cities using light in interesting ways. Imagine if Chinatown in Vancouver hosted a lighting festival… This is from Frame Magazine. It may not be as drastic as in some parts of the world, but the Netherlands gets dark pretty darn early during winter. To break the blackness, Amsterdam Light Festivalilluminates… Continue reading Let There Be Light…

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Pender & Columbia, Chinatown, Vancouver

Looking north on Columbia Street in the early 1980s. Con’s now has an extra storey on top and the Ho Ho restaurant sign, long gone, is just visible on the right. The new sidewalks, part of the beautification scheme have been laid but the overhead wires are still in place, and the Ginkgo trees have… Continue reading Pender & Columbia, Chinatown, Vancouver

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Cheater floors in Chinatown

Numerous guidebooks, research papers and reports have been written about Chinatown over the years and many of them talk about the buildings that feature the “typical cheater floor” or the “illegal cheater storey” built to “cheat” either the taxman or building inspector. It is inferred that this is something unique to the Chinatowns in Vancouver… Continue reading Cheater floors in Chinatown