The New Vancouver, Sunday 12 March 1922
This is a plan for a new civic centre and city hall in the area around what would become Victory Square, and proof that politicians and civic boosters love convention centres. Vancouver’s city hall at the time was the market building on Main at Pender that had become too small for the business of the city. The front page of the same paper has an article about merchants protesting plans to erect a cenotaph in the middle of Georgia and Granville Streets. In the end, the cenotaph ended up at this site and the City rented the Holden Building on Hastings east of Carrall for a temporary City Hall, where it would remain until the current one was built in 1936.
There have been countless plans and proposals like this in Vancouver’s history that never ended up seeing the light of day. For more of them, check out Jason Vanderhill’s Vancouver Imagined: The Way We Weren’t exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver.
Source: Vancouver Sun
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.
So Many Things cruise ship mural, located at 325 Columbia Street in the DTES, artist unknown. As you can see from Jeremy’s photo a few years ago, this mural has gotten a bit smaller with the removal of those cheering the cruise ships from the shore.
Dominon Building Vancouver
EastVanLove Volume 8: Journey to Now. Just shy of one month away now, I am excited to announce that I will be one of the speakers at this tweetup slated for April 11, 2013 at SFU Woodwards. The complete lineup is available here; tickets are priced at $5 for the month of March with proceeds going to charity, so be sure to reserve your seat soon (price goes to $10 in April). It’s a huge honour to be included among such great company; I hope to see you there!
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.
Snow Blizzard On Water Street, 2012 a sketch by Won Kang, via his blog.
Sculpted souvenir plate of Vancouver, undated, signed “S:C” just above the BC. Initially carved in wood, this item is made from faux wood known as “Syroco”, a term applied to a molded material resembling carved wood. This process was invented and first implemented by the Syracuse Ornamental Company. Via Syracuse University:
Founded in Syracuse, New York in 1890 by immigrant Adolph Holstein, the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) specialized in decorative wood carving, especially for the local residential market. Products included fireplace mantelpieces and other types of interior decoration popular in late Victorian homes. To meet increasing market demand and sales opportunities Holstein developed a material looked and felt like wood but that which could be shaped, allowing multiple pieces to be produced through a molding process. The new product, which combined wood pulp brought from the Adirondacks with flour as a binder and other materials to give it strength, was extruded and then cut to fit compression molds, which had were made from original carvings in real wood…
In 1965 the company was bought by Rexall Drug and Chemical Company (which soon changed its name to Dart Industries). Dart owned Tupperware, from which Syroco gained more knowledge of injection molding. Syroco was purchased by the Syratech Corporation of Boston in 1986 which expanded its patio furniture production. In 1995 Syratech sold Syroco to Marley PLC of Sevenoaks, England, and in 2004 Syroco was purchased by Vassallo Industries of Puerto Rico which closed the plant in 2007…
In addition to showing the Bloedel Conservatory, the Gastown Clock, a Kwakiutl Totem Pole, Lions Gate Bridge, and a BC Ferry, it also features the Royal Hudson steam locomotive. From wikipedia:
The locomotive was restored by Robert E. Swanson’s Railway Appliance Research Ltd. team and the staff of the CPR Drake Street roundhouse shops beginning on 25 November 1973 and then operated by the British Columbia Department of Travel Industry with the cooperation of the British Columbia Railway. The BCR commenced a Royal Hudson excursion service between North Vancouver and Squamish on 20 June 1974. By the end of the 1974 tourist season, 47,295 passengers had been carried and the excursion was deemed successful. It was the only regularly scheduled steam excursion over mainline trackage in North America. The excursion operated between May and October, from Wednesday through Saturday. It also traveled North America in the late 1970s as a promotion for BC tourism. It quickly became one of British Columbia’s main tourist attractions and an icon of Canadian steam power.
The buildings in the city skyline probably give us the best clues when this souvenir plate was created. The three tallest buildings appear to be depicting the Royal Bank Tower (1973), the TD Tower (1972), and the Scotia Tower (1977). By lining up the Hotel Vancouver with the towers and zooming out in Google Earth, it would appear this view was taken from one of the higher floors in the Frank Stanzl Building (1974) on Broadway, a brutalist building designed by Vladimir Plavsic. As an aside, Lindsay Brown’s post on the Stanzl Building is highly recommended.
After all this, I still can’t be certain when this thing was made, but it was probably some time post-1977; possibly even post-1986 if the S:C stands for Syratech Corporation. Who knew you could learn all this from an old souvenir!
Water Street, by J. Grant Crawford, 1982. An extra large canvas, seen inside the Deluxe film post-production facility in Vancouver. This Deluxe facility was previously Rainmaker, and prior to this Rainmaker was Gastown Post & Transfer. (I know this because I used to work at Rainmaker!)
Bird’s Eye View of Gastown, the village of Granville, around 1875. Drawing by Beverly Justice commissioned by the Vancouver Arts Council © 1970.
From a walking tour guide of Gastown, prompted by the “Gastown Revisited” walking tours of September, 1968. I’ve transcribed the index below:
1. The famous Maple Tree.
2. Gassy Jack’s Hotel and Saloon, the Deighton House.
3. The Sunnyside Hotel, the best in town, rebuilt after the fire.
4. Old Road to the Sawmill 1/2 mile; George Black’s Hotel at Hastings Townsite, 3 miles.
5. New Road to New Westminster - became Kingsway.
6. George Black’s Butcher Shop and Slaughter House.
7. Provincial Jail, Customs and Court House.
8. Granville Hotel, favourite of loggers.
9. Terminal Saloon.
10. Webster’s Store.
11. Home of respected mulatto widow Mrs. Sullivan and her two boys.
12. Mrs. Sullivan’s restaurant.
13. Joseph Simmons’ Saloon.
14. Gregorio Fernandez’ Store.
15. Indian trail to False Creek.
16. Cabins of Chinese and occupants ”of ill-repute.”
17. Blair Hall, also known as Sullivan’s Hall or Gold’s Hall, scene of early dances, entertainments and church services.
18. House of Gillespie. the logging boss.
19. House of Irish-born Joseph Manion from Victoria. Gastown’s first business man.
20. Cottage of Constable Jonathan Miller, Provincial Agent, Burrard Inlet.
21. To Andy Linton’s Boathouse.
Angelo Colari and the Hotel Europe, 1908, by Frank Lewis, 1976. As mentioned in his bio, Frank painted the mural on the side of the Maritime Museum in 1986, and he painted the hoardings at the old Vancouver Court house at some point as well. More about the drawing from Gastown.org:
Angelo Colari built the Europe on this triangular-shaped lot near the steamship docks that used to be located at the foot of Columbia and Carrall Streets. Colari was born in Italy in 1861 and immigrated to British Columbia in 1882 when he was 21 years old. He spent four years in Victoria before coming to Vancouver in 1886.
This drawing was the front cover of yesterday’s historical map, a pre-Expo96 Downtown Historical Association Historical Trek.
Restoration Report: A Case for Renewed Life in the Old City, a brochure originally published circa 1969 by the City of Vancouver Department of Planning & Civic Development and Birmingham & Wood, Architects. Illustrations inside this urban plan for a revitalized Gastown would not look out of place in today’s landscape.
You can see this brochure in the Vancouver Heritage Foundation Reading Room, established thanks to a generous donation by Yosef Wosk.
An interior mural painted by Vince Dumoulin last week in Gastown. The Building is the former Vancouver Police Stables, now utilized as the offices of a software firm. Thanks for the submission, Vince!
Gastown Stories by Mary Drew, illustrated by Norman Drew. The book was published in 1980 by NC Press of Toronto. The character Chika was a favourite of the artist, and she was featured on their Saturday morning TV series as well. According to Drew’s own webpage, he would also like to release an e-book version of these stories and a DVD set of the original TV show, perhaps some time in the near future. From the title page of the book:
Mary Drew is a native of Sudbury, Ontario. Her children’s stories first appeared on the television series “Gastown Gang” in 1978. She has contributed articles to “Fun Times” magazine published in Canada by McDonald’s Restaurants.
Norman Drew was born in Kenora, Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Alberta in Fine and Applied Arts. As a motion picture animation producer, director, designer and animator he created cartoon episodes for Sesame Street, The Irish Rovers, The Beatles (Yellow Submarine), The Jackson Five, The Osmond Brothers (ABC-TV). His “Chika’s Magic Sketch Book” TV series is also produced for newspaper comic features. In 1978/79 he hosted a series of half-hour children’s shows on BCTV network called “Gastown Gang” based on his Gastown cartoon studio.
Actually, according to IMDB, Norman is one of a number of uncredited animators on the Beatles Yellow Submarine. I found this post by Norm Drew, where he reminisces about the making of the animated classic, which he posted on CartoonBrew.com back in 2010.
As one of the original animators on Yellow Submarine who worked at the studio in London in 1968, here are some of my thoughts about a YS remake.
At the time, we were aware it was a revolutionary graphic work. Some of us could see it would ‘break the animation mould’, though most of us didn’t foresee it would become a cult classic almost half a century later. John Lasseter is quoted as saying, ‘Yellow Submarine is my favorite animated feature’.
The production itself was more a creative ‘happening’ than an organized film production. We artists had great freedom and visceral involvement, far more than any highly organized production today…