History · stanley park · Transportation · Vancouver

There be Dragons…

In the stuff that lies around on my desk, I have a photo of the figurehead of the Empress of Japan taken in 1928 just after it was installed in Stanley Park. As the ship was being broken up near the Second Narrows bridge on the North Shore, Vancouver Province publisher Frank J. Burd had… Continue reading There be Dragons…

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′

Awards · History · urban design

Volumetric Preservation maybe ’cause it sure isn’t heritage or conservation

A 120 year old house is stripped of its 1960s era stucco. Underneath, original siding with an uncommon profile is revealed and looked to be in great shape. The next day the siding is ripped of the house and tossed. The house is gutted and all of the interior fittings hit the disposal bin. The porch… Continue reading Volumetric Preservation maybe ’cause it sure isn’t heritage or conservation

History · urban design

What the History Can Teach Us About Adaptive Reuse

What the History of Diocletian’s Palace Can Teach Us About Adaptive Reuse. How will the city of tomorrow adapt and reuse the city of today? I don’t think we ask that question broadly enough, and our day-to-day, property-specific incrementalism can easily overshoot the greatest lessons from history. A hometown case in point transported me from… Continue reading What the History Can Teach Us About Adaptive Reuse