Concept sketch for Stanley Park Totem Pole Visitor Centre by Matthew Cencich, via flickr.
This was a presentation board (building) I did for a visitor centre at the totem poles in Stanley Park in Vancouver.
The program called for washrooms for both sexes, a retail space, and a sheltered exhibit space. Too many people were peeing in the trees behind the totem poles and something had to be done. The open exhibit space was aligned to be exposed to water in both directions with a view towards the north shore mountains at the north end and coal harbour marina at the south end. I’d detail the cladding and upper glazing differently, and simplify the retail space layout now but I still like the double butterfly roof. This was presented to the parks board along with 2 other schemes…
The final scheme given the go-ahead was by Lubor Trubka Associates Architects, viewable here: http://www.lubortrubka.com/stanley_park.htm
Parks & Playgrounds, Vancouver BC brochure, dated 1925, seen at MacLeod’s Books recently. This cover depicts a proposed monument (I can’t recall if it was a column or an obelisk, sorry) at the end of the causeway entrance to Stanley Park, seen here overlooking Lost Lagoon. When the causeway was completed, they didn’t end up with a stone monument but erected a flagpole instead.
A reminder; TODAY there is a Walk in the Forest event at VanDusen Gardens. Come down from 12-2pm for a little art mob excursion! The 1976 modernist pavilion originally known as MacMillan-Bloedel Place is facing demolition, and Michael Kluckner, with support from Heritage Vancouver, would like to see it preserved.
The building known as the Education Centre (also the Forest Education Centre) is a modernist masterpiece lost in the forest of an untended section of VanDusen Garden. Built in 1976, it was originally known as MacMillan-Bloedel Place, named for its donor, the largest forestry company in what was then the largest industry in British Columbia. Its unique educational displays, including a 50-seat theatre, were called “A Walk in the Forest.”
Architect Paul Merrick, working then as chief designer for Thompson, Berwick & Pratt, set the pavilion into a small hill on the edge of a lake in the northwest part of the gardens. Its green roof was one of the first in the city, and its unique internal columns used some of the finest wood in British Columbia. It won the Canadian Architect Yearbook Award of Excellence Award in 1974, and was constructed by Halse-Martin of Vancouver. It was once an object of pride for the city, VanDusen Garden and the Park Board…
Note this campaign is not endorsed by the Park Board or VanDusen Garden staff.
Waldorf Hotel facelift, proposed by Claude Neon Limited, which I speculate is circa 1971, though I’m not certain. This image has been slightly retouched, original from kk’s photostream on flickr. As mentioned previously, the hotel was designed in 1947 by architects Mercer & Mercer, built in 1949, and opened in 1952, it was transformed as a “tiki”-themed bar and hotel in 1955. The hotel then sold in 1970 to the cook, Frank Puharich [source 1 & source 2]. The illustration reads:
Rough proposal for the facelift of the Waldorf Hotel
Fascia bond to be embossed bamboo to simulate a South Seas hut effect. The signage & wall graphics below the fascia bond to be the same effect as the current “Polynesian” signage. Under canopy illumination to be employed on the fascia bond.
The facelift of the front of the building to carry the theme created by the Polynesian dining room entrance.
Top portion of the building to be repainted.
From Heritage Vancouver Society’s top 10 list in 2010:
Claude George’s French company, Claude Neon, brought neon to North America in 1923. In 1924, George Sweeney and other local investors set up a company called Neon Products in Vancouver, to produce neon signs for Western Canada, which is still in business as part of the Jimmy Pattison empire. It would eventually become one of the largest sign companies in the world. Neon signs were eagerly sought after by Vancouver businesses and in 1953, Neon Products cited 19,000 neon signs in the city of Vancouver, one for every 18 residents. Today there are only a few dozen of the 19,000 vintage neon signs left…
There is a Love-In for the Waldorf happening TODAY at 2pm! More details from Facebook:
Press conference at 3 pm, mini food cart festival from 2-5, various musical acts and art performances by Vancouver luminaries, music by internationally renowned Vancouver artist & DJ Rodney Graham, Free Cereal Day for kids. Family friendly. All welcome!
Concept sketches by Michael Green Architecture, from his unsolicited proposal for a decentralized VAG with 4 satellite galleries. I’m not sold on the concept of fragmenting the gallery necessarily, but I do like the idea of a really great sculpture garden. This would be difficult to attain with just a single site, as there would likely only be a small rooftop or courtyard space available. Thus, I find the Phase 4 Stanley Park VAG / Blowdown gallery very compelling. We have the benefit of the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale temporarily programming sculpture throughout the entire city, but having something with a bit more permanence would be nice.
Concept illustration for False Creek flats, part of the Re:CONNECT competition from the City of Vancouver (page 8 of this PDF), via SpacingVancouver.ca. I presume this rendering was completed by someone at Perkins+Will, but I’m not certain; perhaps one of you know? In total, the competition generated:
75% GENERATED LOCALLY
1,500 ONLINE COMMENTS
15,000 ONLINE VOTES
I do believe that reflects just how much you all really care about this city.
Proposed English Bay Pavilion, from the Sea Shore, for the City of Vancouver, by Parr and Fee, Architects. Seen posted in a collage of historical articles at the VPL, unknown source, perhaps City Council minutes. The plans for the Pavilion are dated 1905 with an addition dated 1906, according to dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org.
As stated by the buildingvancouver blog, “…in terms of the number of buildings erected at the turn of the 20th Century they were the architects in town.”
Frank Gowen’s Vancouver: 1914-1931 describes the English Bay Pavilion;
In 1906 a frame bathing pavilion had been built at a cost of $6,000, but by 1909, additional facilities were needed, and an attractive bathhouse was opened. The earlier building was torn down in 1931, and the present bathhouse occupies the site. From 1939 until 1955 when it was torn down, the 1909 concrete building housed Ivar Haglund’s popular aquarium.
A unique attraction at English Bay was its pier and landing stage. Designed by Parr and Fee, one of the city’s leading architectural firms, it was completed at a cost of $21,000 in the fall of 1907. Unfortunately it was poorly maintained over the years and had to be torn down in 1939. Given the pier’s popularity, one wonders why it was never replaced…
I’m not quite certain of the dates in the quote above, and I don’t always trust the dates I see in the photo descriptions either; for example, Vancouver Archives photo SGN 302 says 1901? which is a bit premature. In spite of this error, the photo does an excellent job showing what the actual wooden frame pavilion looked like, and photo CVA 1376-80.32 gives a closeup view of some bathing beauties reclining in front of the building, circa 1910.
An artist’s conception of the Museum of Vancouver, seen in a special Economic Progress edition of the Province, Tuesday, May 31, 1966. It was drawn by Jasper Veerman, who also has a painting inside the Museum of Vancouver. The museum didn’t quite turn out as illustrated here, as evidenced by this flickr photo by Guilhem Vellut. The building was designed by architect Gerard Hamilton, and it opened in 1968, then called the Centennial Museum. The text from the ad titled Point of Departure stated:
One hundred years may not be long in the life of a country, but it does provide a significant milestone. Think of it as a point of departure. What will happen during the next one hundred years? How will Vancouver look one century hence? How will the people of that era be thinking and acting?
The magnificent Museum complex, Vancouver’s centennial project, becomes our point of departure celebrating the fantastic course of man’s history up to the present and speculating bravely on the future.
That is the spirit with which Vancouver enters the next one hundred years—with respect for the past but with boundless enthusiasm and ambition for the future.
English Bay Hotel by architect Macey & Osborn Assoc. Architects, Edward Thomas Osborn, illustrator, circa 1910-1930. The building style is Tudor Revival, and as you can guess, it was never built. I speculate this was to be located at the foot of Denman and Davie, right in front of the steps to the beach. From the University of Washington library website:
Born and educated in England, Edward Osborn arrived in Seattle about 1910 and worked as a delineator for several well-known architectural firms. From 1920-1930, he occasionally worked as an independent designer. Osborn was known especially for his watercolor renderings. While design specifications exist for commercial projects that Osborn was either commissioned to design or those that he put out for speculative bids, the name English Bay Hotel does not appear among them. This hotel was
possibly [definitely] not built.
My friend & colleague Neil Whaley writes:
You’ll recall that when the Sylvia Hotel was built in 1912, the operators wanted it to be a hotel but the city forbade it—it started as the Sylvia Court Apartments available by the month/week and became a hotel in 1936. So the E.B. Hotel proposal could have been doomed just because it would have been a hotel.
I’ve already shown his concept for the Natatorium he planned for Vancouver. The entire Edward Thomas Osborn Collection is filled with amazing work, much of it appears to be unrealized.
Update: I thought I should add this quote about the Sylvia Hotel from page 42 of The Unknown City by John Mackie & Sarah Reeder (of which I have an autographed copy!):
Abraham Goldstein named the building after his daughter, who died in 2002 at the age of 102. Construction of the Sylvia started in 1912. Her father’s original idea was to build a hotel, but the city would only give him a permit for an apartment block, so it opened as the Sylvia Court Apartments on May 3, 1913.
Main Street SkyTrain development illustrations, courtesy of this fantastic series of posts at SFU Urban Studies written by . The two colour illustrations are courtesy of Merrick Architecture – Borowski Sakumoto Fligg Ltd.
A rendering of Vancouver—yesterday, today, and tomorrow—dated March 10, 1938, by artist and cartoonist Fraser Wilson, from the Charles Hou cartoon collection. Fraser Wilson wound up pursuing a career in cartooning as a result of a work-related injury in a shipyard. His career began when he sold his first cartoon to a national magazine at age 12 (circa 1917), but it ended when he spoke out against the Province newspaper during a strike in 1947.
He would focus on fine art and commercial advertising instead, including work for the Dayton Boot Company. More details from their website:
Shortly after the company was launched, in 1947 the highly regarded cartoonist of the Vancouver Sun, Fraser Wilson, then president of the newspaper guild (union) spoke out against the Province during a bitter marathon strike. He was fired and told to leave his office and job within the hour.
Sadly, Fraser Wilson never worked another day in the newspaper industry. With his primary source of income lost, Mr. Wilson turned to advertising and art as his primary means of support. Charlie Wohlford and Wayne Wohlford recognized his talent and engaged Fraser Wilson to create catalogues, advertising and cartoons to promote the Dayton Brand.
As far as his imagined Vancouver goes, the density of high rise towers was a pretty accurate prediction. In other news, I still need to visit the Maritime Labour Centre mural, which also happens to be painted by Fraser Wilson in 1947. I’m guessing he promptly started this mural either during the strike, or after he was fired from the paper. If anyone knows more details, please feel free to add a comment!
A Zoning Plan for the Downtown Area, Vancouver, B.C., published May 26, 1961; images from the planning department brochure shown courtesy of Tom Carter. This plan signals an important change for Vancouver, as it includes one of the city’s first modernist towers, the Burrard Building. The Burrard Building was built 1955-57, and the United Kingdom Building was built in 1958. Technically, it should also be noted that The Electra, the masterpiece of modernism, was completed first in 1957. The Burrard building may no longer jump out of the crowd today, but once upon a time, it rose with distinction. Originally it had metallic lemon/lime coloured spandrels, the detailing between the windows, but more recently it has been re-skinned with low key reflective glass windows. The building’s design was heavily influenced by Lever House in New York City.
I find it interesting to note that when the Burrard Building was completed, the first tenants to take up occupancy at the corner of Alberni and Burrard according to this photo from 1958 were none other than United Airlines, Canadian Pacific, and Pacific Western Airlines (thanks for the detective work, @VanArchives!). This was the height of the jet set era, and decades before purchasing a plane ticket would become primarily an online activity. Since November 2006, this retail corner has been occupied by Tiffany & Co., with Hermes situated across the street, and Louis Vuitton located on the other side of Burrard in the Hotel Vancouver.
These primitive and unrefined drawings offer a very early sketch of the future of the city. Before the building was even completed, you can see the influence that modernism was having via this fashion shoot taking place on Burrard Street, seen previously at PastTenseVancouver.
Proposal for the VanDusen Botanical Garden, by artist unknown, seen in BC Motorist Magazine, September/October 1966.
This artist’s conception shows the botanical garden which has been proposed for the 67-acre site on Old Shaughnessy Golf Course between 33rd and 37th Avenues and Oak and Granville Streets in Vancouver. Almost the same size as the famous Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, the site is naturally endowed for the growing of large collections of plants indigenous to temperate zones. Dr. Harold R. Fletcher, Regius Keeper of the Edinburgh Garden and a world authority on botanical gardens, has expressed great enthusiasm for the British Columbia project. On his visit to survey the site, he spoke to the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Board of Parks and Public Recreation, members of City Council, Vancouver Garden Club, Vancouver Rotary Club and Save Our Parkland Association. Dr. Fletcher said that Vancouver’s environment and climate were ideal for the growth of plant life and that the botanical garden could become the focal point of horticultural beauty and development for all of mainland British Columbia. The groups of plants, grown for scientific study, would be outstanding as colorful showpieces and would attract countless citizens and tourists, he said. To promote the project a new organization has been formed, the Botanical Gardens Association with offices at 201, 1111 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, which is asking the federal, provincial and civic governments each to assume one quarter the price of the land and the balance to be raised from the public.
When the CPR owned property was vacated by the Shaughnessy Golf Club in 1960, the railway proposed a subdivision development which was strongly opposed by local citizens. More from vandusengarden.org:
In 1966, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association was formed to assist the Vancouver Park Board with saving the site. This effort was successful and the land was purchased with shared funding from the City of Vancouver, the Government of British Columbia and the Vancouver Foundation with a donation by W. J. VanDusen, after whom the Garden was named.
Development started in 1971 and VanDusen Botanical Garden officially opened to the public on August 30, 1975.
Landscape development was under the direction of W. C. Livingstone from 1971 to 1976. Curator Roy Forster managed the Garden and was responsible for much of the planting design from 1977 to 1996.
Project 200, via John Atkin’s blog, who describes it as the Really Nasty Version. He writes:
Digging through the files I found this image of the proposed Project 200 for the waterfront of Vancouver looking east from Stanley Park.
Someone was channeling Hugh Ferriss.
I’ve featured Project 200 before, but it’s true this rendering is particularly dystopian.
Note the hovercraft in the foreground, a futuristic indicator of the shape of the future! A bit like featuring Zeppelins on the Marine Building. Actually, Vancouver did have some early hovercrafts in operation, as I explored briefly here. The first two Coast Guard crafts CCGH 039 and CCGH 045 have been replaced by CCGH Siyay and CCGH Penac.