The Carrall Street Gas Plant, an illustrated booklet showing the operations of the new Carrall Street gas plant illustrated by KEN and published by BC Electric in 1932. I believe the plant went into service in 1933, and the plant obtained gas from coal until some time in the 1960s? I’m not sure; not much has been written about this former Vancouver landmark. If anyone knows, feel free to comment. The current Georgia Street viaducts were built over top of the site in 1972. This has left something of a toxic legacy, as stated on page 11 of this PDF report on the Georgia Street viaducts.
The activities and wastes associated with this former gas plant have significantly influenced the environmental conditions in the area, and will be an important factor in future remediation planning.
This comment by Alex Mackinnon noted on the Skyscraperpage bulletin board sums up the problem:
I was talking to Andy with Bing Thom at the Viaducts or Viadon’ts event, and according to him, the land underneath the viaduct in 1986 was estimated to cost $180M to rehabilitate due to contamination issues from the coal gas plant that used to occupy the site. CPI adjusted this is $372M in 2012 dollars.
While the industrial waste has left it’s toxic mark in the soil, it also affected the city skyline for many years with this ginormous gasometer jutting out of False Creek. I’ve decided to include a photograph from the Vancouver Archives just to give you an impression of the scale of this structure. You can also see the silo in the top left of the Goranson/Fisher/Hughes mural here. And Tom Carter seems to recall someone - probably Arthur Irving - said the whole city smelled like coal gas while it was being demolished.
KEN illustrated a number of other BC Electric pamphlets and brochures, but I have yet to determine who he actually was. He’s a pretty good draftsman, so I’d like to know more about him! Thanks again to Neil Whaley for contributing this brochure image!
$1.49 Day / 1993 by Ken Pattern, drawn during the final year of the Woodward’s department store. Born in New Westminster, Ken Pattern began his fine art career in Vancouver with a show at the VPL in 1978. His curiosity of the world has taken him around the globe, and he currently lives and works in Indonesia, returning to Vancouver each year to print at the Malaspina Printmakers on Granville Island. I met Ken on the Island this summer, and he graciously gave me a viewing of some of his iconic lithographic prints. He also provided me with a superb artistic artifact from the 1980s - a VanCity calendar from 1985 which I am very much looking forward to featuring in future posts.
His latest show, ON MARINA BAY, opened at Galeri Hadiprana in Jakarta on November 23rd, 2013 and runs to January 4th, 2014.
Aaron Chapman recently came across a piece of vintage Vancouver in his family papers. The print was created by his mother Evadna Chapman, a Vancouver artist in the 1970s and 1980s. About the work, he writes:
[Above is] an old photograph that my late mother took of downtown Vancouver from across the water at Stanley Park, and an illustration she later did. She silk screened the art on a number of hand made greeting cards…
Coal Harbour had been home to an eclectic assortment of squatter shacks and boathouses for many years, until around 1955, when these homes were removed and replaced with the Vancouver Yacht Club Marina. Michael Kluckner talks about this time in his gentrification talk at about 9 minutes 30 seconds here.
A Souvenir Folder of Vancouver, a postcard printed by the Photogelatine Engraving Co. Limited, Ottawa, via ebay. This page mentions the firm operated from 1910-1953.
It happens but once a year, the Emily Carr University of Art + Design student sale! Moments before noon on Friday, a crowd grows restless at the entrance to the Concourse Gallery, and when the ribbon is cut, there is a wild rush of footsteps as art patrons flock to all corners of the gallery in search of an inspiring discovery!
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the student sale, and the selection of paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, sculpture, (and more) on display are sure to impress! This is no ordinary art show - the work starts to fly off the walls the moment the sale begins! The show is free to attend so arrive early and return often with friends. It really is a great place to see emerging work at the mid-point of the school year, and it could lead you to that perfect holiday gift.
I couldn’t help but be bowled over by the dramatic silkscreen prints shown above by Jonathan Hodges; no matter what size the room, these are destined to command your attention! I also enjoyed taking a close look at paintings by Michael Siu, Gabrielle Strong, Danielle Roberts, and Brett Barmby. I wish you good fortune as you browse this hallowed hall of art; may you find just what you are looking for!
Concourse Gallery, North Building
1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Friday, November 22, 2013 12 - 8pm
Saturday, November 23, 2013 12 - 5pm
Sunday, November 24, 2013 12 - 5pm
Cross-posted to VancouverIsAwesome.com
View of Sleeping Beauty from the Windows of the Canadian Pacific Railway Hotel, Vancouver, a watercolour by Agnes Gardner King (1857-1929), circa May to June, 1912. This image now appears online in the Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1990-312-21.
Vancouver, a triptych from 2012 submitted by Julia Casol. She writes:
Cities are unique worlds of their own within larger urban areas. They are thriving, dense, rhizomatic centers, and everyone and everything is connected into one giant network. This triptych is a surreal representation of the city: resembling an organic form of a neuron, I emphasize the network and density present in Vancouver with the urban nucleus and the nexus of roadways, cables, and electrical wires.
Towards Stanley Park, a title I’ve given this watercolour painting by Gordon Kit Thorne, CPE, CSPE, FCA. It was Tom Carter who pointed out to me the building in the foreground is Vancouver’s former Customs and Immigration building, previously located where the Convention Centre is now. The painting appears to say “From the Marine Building” in Gordon’s handwriting in the bottom left, along with the date July 13, 1957, and, ehr, 1956 too (it’s got to be one of those two dates!). If you compare the view from the VPL photo 6193 also shown here, you can actually see the shadow of the Marine Building!
A linocut of the Woodwards W printed in letterpress by DistrictDogsDesigns, via Instagram. Oh, btw, the W was recently returned to its place AGAIN last month. Not sure what maintenance was required, but I captured the return on both film and photo.
Vancouver, Gateway to the Orient, a bicycle registration decal. On April 22, 1963, Bryan registered his bicycle, but for some reason or other, the bike vanished and the decal was never applied. Now, 50 years later, I present to you bicycle registration number 14414.
At the time, bicycle registration was 50¢, subject to renewal each year. If you sold or gave away your bicycle, you were to mail the certificate to the bike registration depot on 2512 Yukon Street. If your bike was lost or stolen, you would immediately report your bike to the police with this certificate. Given that these registration decals were more like temporary tattoos, I can’t imagine they were very effective.
Today, the VPD recommends you engrave your bike with your DL or provincial ID number with their Log it or Lose it campaign. Alternatively, I believe it was the Kryptonite lock company who created Bikeshepherd.org and sister site Bikerevolution.ca which offer an updated version of bike registration. You can register online for free in their global bike database. You can also purchase 3 tamper-resistant decals for $14.95 which contain QR codes. These codes can rapidly assist anyone linking a found bike to an online directory of missing bikes.
What does the future hold? Well, there’s a whole host of new smart bike tools emerging as we speak; I just found these three on Kickstarter for instance. Oh, and another one! We haven’t quite gotten to the stage where lost bikes will automatically return themselves to their owners, but we’re getting closer.