Vancouver Imagined: the Way We Weren’t, a guest curated exhibit (by myself, Jason Vanderhill) officially opens in the studio gallery at the Museum of Vancouver today, Friday, February 7, 2014. The display will feature a collection of reproduction architectural illustrations, as well as a 3-dimensional architectural model from the museum’s permanent collection.
I encourage all to attend; those who are interested in the architectural profession, veterans of the history of the city, and visitors alike should appreciate seeing this alternate history of the city. I’ll have more to say about the show in future posts, and it looks like there will be a curator tour later this spring. Stay tuned!
Also take note, the excellent show Play House: The architecture of Daniel Evan White at the MoV has been held over until March 23, 2014! This is now your perfect opportunity to catch two great architecture shows at once!
Very special thanks to all of the illustrators and contributors, to Viviane Gosselin with the Museum of Vancouver, to Matt Heximer of 10four Design Group who designed the show, and everyone else who assisted with its production. I hope you enjoy the exhibit; it was a lot of fun to put together!
This is a piece I’m working on, that’s about half finished. I’ve got most of the line and colour structure in place, and now I can start giving it a lot of life and volume with shadows and highlights.
The image itself is of the Port Metro Vancouver shipping cranes at the foot of Main Street in Downtown Vancouver. It’s a pretty neat and recognizable image, and I’m particularly drawn to all the colour varieties of the cargo containers.
As per Jon’s Facebook page, "Assemblage" is now finished. Watch for it at the Kimoto Gallery in Vancouver.
Gastown by M. McSweeney, an original painting seen via ebay. You’ll notice Gassy Jack is located on the opposite side of Maple Tree Square where he stands today, but you may be surprised to learn Gassy Jack has been moving around a fair bit since the 1970s. Description via the Gastown Grand Prix Facebook page:
Here’s the statue of Capt. John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton in 1973, in front of #1 Alexander, site of today’s Chill Winston. Jack had already been moved four times in four years. Commissioned by a group of Gastown developers in 1970, the six-foot copper statue (created by sculptor Vern Simpson) was offered to the city on Valentine’s Day, 1970. Not wanting to pay for its damage insurance or maintenance, the City refused it, so it was placed in front of #1 Alexander.
It then moved to #12 Water in Gaolers Mews, where it was promptly decapitated. A $50 reward was offered and several weeks later, the head was returned anonymously and reinstalled on Jack’s shoulders. In 1971, prior to the renovation of Gastown, Jack was moved to the Europe Hotel for two years and then back to #1 Alexander in 1973. The statue remained on that spot until 1985, when, fittingly, it came home to its current spot at 207 Carrall Street, where Jack built his Globe Saloon, one of the very first buildings in Vancouver, back in 1867.
A new plaque was installed on the base of the barrel during Vancouver’s centennial year; the plaque reads:
"Gassy Jack" 1830-1875, the Founding Father of Gastown. John Deighton was born in Hull, England. He was an Adventurer, River Boat Pilot and Captain, but best known for his "Gassy" monologues as a saloonkeeper. His Deighton House Hotel erected here on the first subdivided lot burned in the Great Fire of June 13, 1886.
On December 25, 1986, this statue was dedicated to the City of Vancouver by the owner of this historic site, Howard Meakin, a third generation Vancouver Realtor.
Birds’ Eye View of A Proposed Scheme for the University of British Columbia by architect Thomas Hooper, dating back to 1912. Looking like a scaled down version of the Vatican, Hooper’s entry was ultimately rejected in favour of a proposal submitted by Sharp and Thompson. I posted some of those drawings here previously. For more on this drawing and early UBC history, click here and here.
Hooper can take credit for a number of iconic Vancouver buildings which survive to this day; the West Wing of the Provincial Courthouse (now the Art Gallery), the BC Permanent Loan Building, the Winch Building (now part of the Sinclair Centre), and East End Public School (now Strathcona Elementary School). He’s also responsible for St. Ann’s Academy in Victoria, among numerous other notable buildings in the capital and elsewhere. From UVic:
He worked all over BC in Victoria, Vancouver, Revelstoke, Vernon, and Chilliwack focusing on large, public commissions. However, the local economy and Hooper’s business took a sharp decline in 1913. Hooper moved his practice to New York in 1915, but he lost his market again when the United States entered the war…
Along the theme of architectural proposals, renderings, and the unbuilt city, stay tuned for an exciting announcement! More info coming later this week!
Hastings Track (2013) 70”x40” acrylic on canvas by Taralee Guild, available at Art Junction. I first saw this on the 2013 Culture Crawl, and I must say, everything about this canvas is impressive! I took an action shot on Instagram in order to keep the memory of this painting alive, but I recommend you see it in person!
Hotel Grosvenor by Edward Goodall. I had featured almost this exact view of the hotel way back in the beginning of this blog with this 1936 advertisement. As I also mentioned previously, he began “Goodall’s Pencil Postcard Series” in 1942, and although the vintage of the vehicles in the front of this hotel look decidedly older, Citroën, MG, and AC all produced cars which resemble these well into the 1950s. Thanks for the postcard Tom!
Very cute 1936 Golden Jubilee teacup. Currently for sale on ebay (which ironically, does not ship to Canada!):
One Aynsley Bone China Tea Cup made in England. It shows a beautiful panorama of Vancouver in 1886 (trees and a few homes made of logs) to a panorama of Vancouver in 1936 (a vast metropolis). It is very light. Delicate almost in its transparency. I have had this cup in my collection for years. Signed “Photo Arts Ltd.”
Looking for one of these locally? Try the traveling flea market circuit here!
Letterhead from The Vancouver Breweries Ltd; comprised of the Red Cross Brewery at left, and the Doering and Marstrand Brewery at right, from a letter dated 1906. Thanks, Robert!
This line of Vancouver Breweries can be traced back to some of the earliest names in brewing in our city. The City Brewery appeared in Vancouver around 1887, according to Beer Barons of BC by Bill Wilson and Brewed in Canada by Allan Winn Sneath. House of Suds mentions the year 1882, but I believe that to be an error. Actually, the City Brewery’s origins could be traced back as early as 1879, if there is any connection between the City Brewery on Cunningham Street in New Westminster (I’m not certain if there is).
A somewhat mysterious J.A. Rekab or Rekabe is the first man noted operating Vancouver’s City Brewery on Seaton Street near the CPR wharf. He’s mysterious in that he’s only listed for that first year (John Williams takes over the following year) and I have no idea where he’s from. Personally I wonder if his name is an abbreviation or Anglicized version of the surname Al-Rekabe.
I doubt we can call him the first brewer in town though (on second thought, maybe we can); by 1888 he’s listed in the same phone book alongside at least two other brewers, Robert Reisterer and Charles Doering. Reisterer’s first brewery was called Mainland Brewery, located near Brewery Creek, and Doering’s first choice of names was the Vancouver Brewery (which changed to Doering & Marstrand’s Brewing in 1892).
City Brewery would become Red Cross Brewery around 1890, and after changing hands a few times, and Williams, Doering, and Marstrand would ultimately merge to form the first company named Vancouver Breweries Limited in the year 1900. Most of this info comes from Beer Barons of BC by Bill Wilson, for those who want further plot twists and turns.
Someone wrote to me today asking:
I have two beer bottles from Vancouver Breweries each with a paper label for ‘Queen Beer’. The bottles themselves still have the original corks pushed down inside. one is a very pale green, almost clear, the other is ‘beer bottle brown’. Their shape is similar to a modern wine bottle. The paper labels are identical. Can you offer any insight into their age? Are there folks who collect these?
Ah yes, Queen Beer, a most colonial name choice for a beer! Given the brand comes from Vancouver Breweries Ltd. (plural), we can date this to be some time around 1900 or thereafter, and I would guess within the first 10 years. I can ask the local bottle club for more details - they are a combined wealth of knowledge! And indeed, early bottles can be very collectible, especially with their labels!
Feel free to send me photos or more information
about such things; I’m always interested to learn more, and I believe things like this ought to be more carefully cataloged. Thanks also to the recent follower who contacted me with a UDL bottle; I always appreciate such gifts! I should also note I’m working on a chapter for an upcoming book featuring some of Vancouver’s lost prohibition era beer history; there are a number of super discoveries, and I’m very excited about the project! Stay tuned for more in the months to follow!
The End of the Seventies by Michael Kluckner, a full page editorial cartoon from the December 29, 1979 issue of the Vancouver Sun. Michael reminisces about his early cartooning career here on his site. About the cartoon, Michael writes:
The managing editor bought the original (I wonder if it still exists?) which was a large, about 20 x 30 inch, pen and ink drawing on illustration board. So many faces and events: (from the top including) Vietnamese boat people, Jane Fonda, Kent State, starving Indians, Bill Vanderzalm, Pat McGeer, Dave Barrett, Bill Bennett, the Bee Gees, John Travolta, Rod Stewart, Henry Kissinger, Nixon and Watergate, Gerald Ford, Tom Campbell, Rene Levesque, Pierre Trudeau, the FLQ, Peter Lougheed on the big car (“Let the Bastards Freeze in the Dark”), the oil crisis, Joe Clark, Jimmy Carter, the Jonestown mass suicide, Edward Kennedy, Jerry Brown, Jackie Onassis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Margaret Trudeau (& Mick Jagger – should’ve drawn Ronny Wood), John Diefenbaker as Brutus, Robert Stanfield, David Lewis, Jean Drapeau and Robert Bourassa and the Montreal Olympics, Jean Chrétien, Ian Smith of Rhodesia, Willy Brandt and Brezhnev the Russian premier …. and “Jaws.” The Air Otto reference was for Liberal cabinet minister Otto Lang, one of the pigs at the trough of that era. The only glitch was the blank banner at the bottom, which was supposed to read “How Soon Could We Forget?” in red ink, but it got stripped out of the black plate and not put into the red one by the Sun production crew. Oh well….
Though Michael ultimately never pursued the path of the newspaper cartoonist, we’re grateful for the many contributions he has made to the community since these early days. Heritage advocacy, a lifetime of fine art, and writing and illustrating some 15 books - all of these amount to no small feat! Thanks, Michael!
Renderings of Development Application for 601 West Hastings Street by B+H Architects. From the design rationale:
Of primary importance to the success of this building is the function and appeal of the public plaza. The integration of a large public space into the base of a tower requires careful consideration of openness, animation, and interest. It becomes a focal point around which the tower evolves and responds.
To create a visually appealing and unique space the concept for the park is a carving away of the base of the tower. An undulating form is revealed in the soffit that stands in contrast to the sleek glass above and distinguishes the plaza as a public space. The corner is lifted high to allow as much light as possible to enter the plaza, and the edges of the site mediate the changes in grade to allow multiple points of access and transparency for increased safety.
The tower acknowledges and responds to its neighbours and surrounding context. The curved corner and gentle roof peak address the street corner and the primary views of the building while maintaining some of the design language of the plaza. The proximity of the neighbouring buildings is addressed with two gently curved setbacks that serve to bring additional focus to the plaza and also maintain some separation and views between the buildings.
I came across this application thanks to Heritage Vancouver, after researching the building that was on the site previously, the Empire Building. I did a then and now mockup here which I have also included above. A glass dome sits on the site currently, creating a rather curious semi-public space in the city, which may not be with us for much longer if this application is built.
I should announce that I will be featuring architectural renderings in a big way in the near future; watch for more info in following posts!
Whistler and Grouse Mountain posters, created in 1974 and submitted by the artist Lisa Salazar. I’ve featured some period artwork of Grouse Mountain before; one by Bob Masse, and another unsigned. I like how these two these two colourful contributions really capture the landscape and the excitement of the era as well.
Whistler was originally conceived as part of a bid to win the 1968 Winter Olympics, but a series of events led to the bids being withdrawn or losing to other cities. Construction of the resort started in spite of this, and the resort first opened for business in January 1966. The resort expanded extensively in the 1980s and 90s, becoming the centrepiece of a renewed bid on the part of nearby Vancouver. Vancouver/Whistler was selected as the winning bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics in July 2003. Whistler Blackcomb hosted the alpine skiing events, including the men’s and women’s Olympic and Paralympic alpine skiing disciplines of downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, super combined and slalom. The Dave Murray downhill course towards Whistler Creekside finally hosted an Olympic downhill event, 50 years after it was originally surveyed for this purpose.
Thanks for the submission, Lisa!
The Polar Bear Club by Ken Pattern, the January image in the 1985 Vancity Calendar. Given the annual tradition, this print is a fitting image for the first day of the year. The swim has been taking place since 1920; it begins at noon-2:30pm. A few tips from the City of Vancouver website:
- If you have a heart problem - just watch!
- Children must swim and stay with an adult
- Please leave your dog at home
- Do not drink - alcohol does not warm you up - it accelerates hypothermia.
- Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
- Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
- Entrants in the 100 yard race - meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
- First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat - give your names to the lifeguard.
- After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
- Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.
Roy Peterson’s “The End is Nigh!”, his last submitted cartoon when he was laid off at the Vancouver Sun in 2009 at age 73. It was rejected, giving him a coveted “Golden Spike Award”, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists’ award for the best rejected editorial cartoon. Roy Peterson passed away on September 29, 2013. via Remembering Roy Peterson by Shannon Clarke in The Ryerson Review of Journalism.
Paintings by Leef Evans. His work has been exhibited at Gallery Gachet this past year, most notably at the exhibit One Hundred Self-Portraits in One Hundred Days this fall. From his website:
I have no political agenda. I have no historical perspective. I have no social ramifications I’m seeking to address. What I do have is lots of paint and a fat brush. The fat brush and brash gobs of paint don’t permit me to fret or obsess. The fat brush doesn’t allow me to wallow in incidental detail. The fat gobs don’t permit me to remain in one place and burrow into concerns. I move on. I allow for accidents. I revel in movement. I paint accidental psalms. This is what the art does. It moves me into little fugue vortexes. The art, the paint, the brush is the only process…
Spanish Afternoon by Ken Blaschuk, 2012, mixed media (archival pigmented print - metallic leaf), somerset, 1 of 1 UP, 34x25cm, $300 posted by malaspinaprintmakers on Flickr.