Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Heritage House Tour

The 2019 self-guided tour offers an exclusive look inside ten historic Vancouver houses across five neighbourhoods and six decades of design, from the 1890s to the 1950s.

The adaptability of older houses and buildings is also a theme on this year’s tour with both historic and recent examples: two heritage homes converted for school use, starting in the 1930s but with recent chapters.

See how a charity utilizes a special historic house that was saved from demolition by community efforts and now offers a welcoming environment. Nearby, a former duplex  converted into a bed & breakfast and venue for same-sex marriages.

Also modern interventions such as a basement suite addition, a concept that has added living space and housing options to Vancouver homes for decades. Another stop will show a sensitive second floor addition on a character bungalow, expanding family accommodation while retaining original features.

Not to be missed design highlights include the Mid-Century Modern masterpiece created by architect Barry Downs in 1959 for his own family and the 1910 Hirschfeld House in handsome Arts and Crafts style.

A pre-tour lecture. The Ever Changing House: A History of Adaptability with historian John Atkin will explore the many ways older homes have been adapted through the decades in Vancouver.

 

Sunday, June 2

10 am – 5 pm

$40 or $30 with valid student ID (not including taxes and postage)

Tickets here or call 604 264 9642

 

Pre-tour Lecture: The Ever Changing House: A History of Adaptability

Monday, May 27th, 7:30 pm – 9pm, $16 or $10 for students and 2019 Heritage House Tour ticket holders

 

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Sandy James’s post on Cornelia Oberlander – “the First Lady of Canadian Landscape Design” – is so apropos at this time of year, when her legacy, particularly Robson Square, literally blossoms.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the look of Vancouver is captured in her works.

She’s still active, still provocative.  In the film “City Dreamers” in which she’s featured, she says she’s not in favour of daylighting streams that have been previously culverted – as is proposed, for instance, for Brewery Creek through False Creek Flats.  Too many unexpected consequences, says the voice of experience.

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TransLink was recently asking Vancouverites for suggestions on the best seating design for new SkyTrain cars.  Hopefully they saw this video from Cheddar on a study done for New York’s transit system:

Are the cars the MTA uses currently the best for the way we ride the subway? In 2013, researchers from Operations Planning Group at NYCT submitted their improved design to the Transportation Research Board.

(Click headline of post to show video.)

Yeah, it’s fodder for ELMTOTs*, but it also an exploration of human behaviour in confined spaces and how design affects us.

 

* Urban Dictionary: “Stands for Expo Line Memes for TransLink Oriented Teens. It’s a Facebook group for over 1300 kids-with-no-life to share memes of Vancouver.”

And doesn’t that screen capture above look like Vancouver?  It’s probably Long Island City, as the East River shoreline transforms into False Creek.

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Shaping Vancouver 2019: What’s the Use of Heritage?

“What’s the Use of Heritage?” discusses how heritage fits in to planning Vancouver’s near future, what some of its uses are, and how it contributes to the city in more ways than aesthetics and historic commemoration.

 

Conversation #1: Reshaping Local Places

Under many different names, including “revitalization”and “regeneration”, heritage is and can be used to craft a positive place image, develop local economic sectors, create a neighbourhood centre for culture, and improve upon the animation of local areas.

This process is especially relevant and timely in the False Creek Flats, Chinatown, and Punjabi Market areas of Vancouver.

Four panelists share their insights about their local places:

  • Ajay Puri– Engagement consultant, City of Vancouver Report on Punjabi Market
  • Alisha Masongsong– Project Manager, Exchange Inner City
  • Belle Cheung– Social and Cultural Planner, City of Vancouver Chinatown Transformation Team
  • Elia Kirby– President of the Arts Factory Society at 281 Industrial Avenue

 

Wednesday, May 21

7 – 9 pm

SFU Woodwards,149 West Hastings Street, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre

Tickets here

 

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As part of its TILT Talk series, HCMA Architecture + Design is co-presenting a free community dialogue event on May 14. In partnership with Megaphone Magazine’s Speakers Bureau project, this is the final in a series called Building Compassion in the Face of the Overdose Crisis developed to build awareness and compassion in communities confronted by the overdose epidemic.

 

May 14

6:30 pm

312 Main Street

Info & Tickets here.

 

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Seattle’s Crosscut columnist Knute Berger thinks it might be – in this piece: Is Seattle freeing itself from the automobile age?

In South Lake Union, you see folks zipping along on monowheels, hoverboards and electric bikes and scooters. These electronic gadgets seem less intrusive and more versatile than, say, a Segway, and some can be carried by hand or in a backpack.

Other innovations are in the works. Boeing is testing a pilot-less “autonomous” air taxi — a kind of flying Uber. Is the era of the flying car, as envisioned on The Jetsons, finally at hand? In Snohomish County, Amazon is testing a small delivery bot, named Scout, that can bring Amazon Prime customers their order. It looks like a robotic cooler on six wheels. It could someday be more efficient than fleets of street-clogging delivery cars and trucks.

The quest for car-free city living is speeding up, not slowing down. Seattle was reshaped and improved by a technology that arrived as a circus toy. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the driverless novelties that might be flying overhead or rolling along the sidewalk to deliver goodies in your neighborhood.

Of course, ‘careful what you wish for.’

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In David Wallace-Well’s worthwhile and worrying book on climate change – “The Uninhabitable Earth” – he writes this:

The United States Geological Survey… recently “war-gamed” an extreme weather scenario they called “ARkStorm”: winter storms strike California, producing flooding in the Central Valley three hundred miles long and twenty miles wide, and more destructive flooding in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Bay Area up north, altogether forcing the evacuation of more than a million Californians …

Hard to get your head around the idea of evacuating a million people in sudden and stormy circumstances.  Unless you’re Indian, in the impoverished state of Odisha hit by a severe cyclone :

… the authorities, sobered by past tragedies, moved a million people to safety, really fast.  …

On Thursday morning, Odisha government officials released a five-page action plan. They seemed to have left nothing uncovered. The most important part was to get people to the shelters. Since Odisha has been hit by many killer storms, state emergency officers said they had drilled on their evacuation plans many times. …

Krishan Kumar, an officer in the Khordha district of the Odisha government, said the government’s success reflected an accumulated wisdom.

How likely is it that California could do the same? Maybe.  Maybe they have the plans, the training, the experience – and the generals.  Those in charge, those accountable, those with the mandate and resources to face the threat and mobilize people – as Odisha did.

People in the sustainability community tend not to be fans of the idea that we need generals – and should be including them now in our ‘Climate Emergency’ strategies.  But when it comes to evacuating a million people in response to climate emergencies, how could you do without them?

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At this breakfast you will hear highlights from a recent report on how cities in Holland are embracing the circular economy because of its potential to move toward zero waste and optimal use of resources and energy while catalyzing new business opportunities.

And closer to home, you will hear how circular economy is being incorporated into Vancouver’s economic development activities, and the benefits of a local circular economy business on the urban environment.

  • Freek van Eijk, Director, Holland Circular Hotspot; Author of ‘Circular Cities – Accelerating the transition towards Circular Cities’
  • Bryan Buggey, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Sector Development, Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Laura van der Veer, Director of Community & Impact, ChopValue

Register here.

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