Price Tags is celebrating all things related to the Burrard Bridge and its 21st century transformation. And here is a blast from the past. This gem posted by Vanologue is on YouTube showing the amateur film made by Vancouverite Sid Groberman in 1934 of the drive across the Burrard Bridge and a trip to English Bay. You will notice that people are walking across the bridge on both sides, and that there appears to be two lanes of traffic in each direction. And you can park on the bridge to take photos.
Both the downtown and Kitsilano sides of the bridge sport three storey houses, and there is a billboard on the Kitsilano side. The Burrard Bridge was opened on July 1 1932 by then Mayor Louis Taylor. The three million dollar bridge was designed by Sharp and Thompson both graduates of the Architectural Association in London. These two architects also designed the winning master plan for the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey Campus.
There is a lot of folk-lore about the “raised gallery” or apartments above the central piers of the bridge. They was never lived in, but according to documentation from The Vancouver Archives served to hide the steel infrastructure, and provide a formal gesture to the downtown. G.L. Thornton Sharp of Sharp and Thompson stated. “Both central piers were designed and connected with an overhead gallery across the road. This helped to mask the network of steel in the truss from the two approaches, and has been treated as an entrance gateway to the city.”
Those two busts and the city crest that are on the piers were carved by sculptor Charles Marega, who also sculpted the two lions on the Lions Gate Bridge. The figures are of Captain George Vancouver and Captain Harry Burrard. By the way, Burrard never got close to his namesake bridge~he was on the sailing ship Europa with Vancouver in the West Indies.