Category: Heritage buildings

Skwachays Lodge, Cultural Tourism and Vancouver’s “Gentrifying DTES”

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I’m not a huge fan of facadism—the practice of keeping the front of the building and tearing everything else down behind it—but in the case of Skwachays Lodge, it made sense.

In 1913, W.T. Whiteway, the same architect who designed the Sun Tower, created a three-storey brick residential building at 31 West Pender Street that was known as the Palmer Rooms.

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From Newspapers to Exotic Escorts: Repurposing old buildings

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It’s hard to imagine today, but from the 1930s until the mid 1950s there were three daily newspapers—the Vancouver Sun, the Province and the Vancouver News-Herald operating in Vancouver—all independents fighting for market share in a population of less than 350,000.

The Vancouver News-Herald called itself “Western Canada’s Largest Morning Herald.” When it was founded in 1933 the Herald had a circulation of 10,000.

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The Green Island Lighthouse now has Heritage Status

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Green Island is one of 21 lighthouses in B.C. recently granted heritage status. This story is from a chapter on lighthouses that never made it way into Sensational Victoria.

“The winter wind whistles down the Portland Canal from Alaska and seas lash away at the tower and the dwellings, shellacking them with ice so thick that the whole station resembles ice sculptures at a bizarre winter carnival, and the keepers need a hammer to open a door.

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What the Alhambra Theatre and the Vancouver Stock Exchange have in common

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I was spending a typical Friday afternoon yesterday poking around the digital files at Vancouver Archives when I found this photo of the Alhambra Theatre. The photo was taken in 1899, the year the theatre first appears in the city directories and it stood at the corner of West Pender and Howe Street.

While I often run posts lamenting the loss of our old building stock, I do realize that change is inevitable, and all of it isn’t bad.

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Joy Kogawa’s House

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Because May is Asian Heritage Month it seems fitting to run a story about Joy Kogawa. The following is an excerpt from the Legendary Women chapter in Sensational Vancouver.

Joy Kogawa’s childhood house is a modest wood-framed bungalow in South Vancouver. There’s really nothing architecturally significant about it except that it’s one of the few original houses that remain in the neighbourhood.

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Five Eccentric B.C. Houses

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Switzer House, a futuristic  house that was painted shocking pink and looked like a space ship. The West Van house only survived 11 years and was sacrificed for the Upper Levels Highway in 1971.

Here are five of my favourite eccentric houses that still stand (or did at the time of research).

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