History · urban design · Vancouver

Plan Books and Vancouver

The vast majority of homes built in Vancouver and the surrounding municipalities were not the work of local architects but from designs found in plan books. Published in the US and Canada, these books illustrated a variety of designs that were available in plan form from the publisher. Companies such as Radford, Keith, Wilson and others… Continue reading Plan Books and Vancouver

History · In The Background · Vancouver

In the Background: Ladies up High

It’s fun to poke around in the background of photographs. This section from a 1913 photo from City of Vancouver Archives shows the view east over downtown towards the False Creek flats. In the enlarged view – checking to see details of a building in the background  – I noticed these three ladies with wonderful hats up… Continue reading In the Background: Ladies up High

History · In The Background · urban design · Vancouver

Oh, What a Lovely View

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)  

Chinatown · History · In The Background · Vancouver

In the Background, Under the Arch

In 1912, Vancouver welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Connaught with a series of ceremonial arches across streets on the processional route the couple would take on their tour of the city. Chinatown welcomed the visitors with this arch over Pender Street at Carrall. What’s of interest is not the arch itself but what can… Continue reading In the Background, Under the Arch

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Good Intent & Design Fail in Chinatown

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