Showing posts with label vancouver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vancouver. Show all posts

Nov 5, 2013

Yes - Another West Vancouver Home Demolition - and Chestnut Tree History

There's a cute 1930s home at the end of our block. I always wondered how long it would be before it fell victim to a McMansion. Well, it's yellow-fenced now, so it won't be long. As I was taking photos of the outside, the demolition contractor came by, and we chatted. I asked why the home wasn't being offered up as a demolition sale before it was torn down (I could see furniture, doors and fixtures through the smashed-out windows - much reminisce to this home that I contacted the then West Vancouver Mayor about, but she wouldn't reply. I brought up the issue of sustainable demolition practices with her when we were at the same cocktail event two summers ago - tongue-tied and red-faced, she excused herself. However, it could've been the wine talking). I digress.

The contractor was nice enough. He said the owner felt it wasn't worth it (money-wise) to have a demolition sale. I said it shouldn't be about the money. I also asked him why it was okay for the neighbourhood to be disrespected by having garbage thrown all over the property and not in bins - he said the asbestos removers did it (I don't think they were actually there because the home was just fenced up last Wednesday and you need a work permit and none were posted). Why don't we offer rebates or something to contractors who adhere to sustainable demolition practices? I have no idea. The Corporation of the District of West Vancouver is into making money - albeit at the loss of heritage/culture. I remember the old mayor bragging about issuing a couple hundred demolition permits in one summer alone. After all, there's no financial gain in heritage preservation, correct? I hear the same thing repeatedly - 'It's not worth it [architectural/heritage preservation].'

That big chestnut tree is one of many planted up either side of the entire street. I was told by a neighbour that the trees actually have some protection (although this one isn't cordoned off as it should be). Even BC Hydro couldn't cut them down. Each chestnut tree is groomed straight down the middle of its canopy - the hydro wires pass between the canopy - you can see them in the photo above.

Here's a little history on the infamous trees I pulled from a website here:

The Horse Chestnut trees, lining 17th Street, were planted by the Boy Scouts on May 24, 1935 to raise funds for their organization. The trees were donated by the Provincial government, and local home owners were encouraged to sponsor a tree for 25 cents. Many people associate the planting with a visit by Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. However, although the Baden-Powells toured Vancouver in 1935, they did not visit West Vancouver in an official capacity. The double rows of these ornamental shade trees frame shaded avenues up 17th Street past the Gertrude Lawson House and Municipal Hall, and up 14th Street past Hollyburn School. The species is native to Greece and Albania, and can grow as large as 30 meters tall. Over the years, the trees have succumbed to a number of diseases, compounded by heavy pruning resulting from their initial planting directly under electrical wires. As early as 1980, there were problems with falling branches and debris, and obstructions for bus routes. On April 19, 2004, Mayor Ron Wood, former Boy Scouts Jack Leyland and John Gibson, resident Katerine Dickinson and the 2nd West Vancouver Boy Scout Troop planted a new tree and unveiled a rock bearing two commemorative plaques to mark the beginning of a program to replace trees that had been lost over time.

all images by Stacy Reynaud

The contractor took me on a little tour of the house so I could take some quick photos with my phone.

Original 1930s dining room chandelier - headed to the dump.

Bedroom chandeliers. I mentioned he should take these for his sixteen year old daughter's bedroom.

Bathroom. The toilet and sink were dumped on the lawn.

I didn't want to go down there.

Original immaculate hand laid oak hardwood floors

Original hardwood flooring - headed for the dump.

The kitchen. Not sure why there's a big hole in the middle of the floor.

Front room. Original 1930s French doors with glass, iron and the original glass door knobs (with brass). Also, headed for the dump.

One of those ceramic fake log fireplaces. Look at the mantle piece. All original and headed for the dump. See how gorgeous the flooring is!

Another door headed for the dump.

Look at those oak floors. I want to cry. The contractor said it's too much work to pull them up so they'll be demolished with the house.

Original flooring. It must've been restored at some time because it was in immaculate condition.

There was probably carpet over this one. Pine perhaps? Headed for the dump.

Gorgeous corner lot with mature trees - okay it needs a little TLC but big deal. The contractor said the new house wasn't going to be 'too big'. I'll keep you posted on that!

There's a full bamboo hedge - that will be headed to the dump.

Oct 12, 2013

Heritage Status for Canada's Oldest Skate Park?

A lot of my friends skated this park in the 1980s. Now, we middle-aged Gen Xers are rallying behind it. Seylynn Skate Park was built in 1978 and is Canada's oldest concrete park. 

The concern is that the rapid condo development in the area will level Seylynn to a plaque in the ground. However, seeing as we degenerate, skateboarders are all grown up, many of us successful entrepreneurs, PhDs, or working in influential industries. 

The opportunity has arisen for us to assist in the preservation of the park—possibly even as a heritage site. So phooey to all those name-callers in the 80s who thought we were good for nothing—we're still here, strategically sneaking up behind you.

If you want to get involved in the planning workshops for Seylynn, head out to the North Vancouver District Operations Centre @ 1370 Crown St on October 23 at 5:30. More info in the above pdf and at the District website.

Thanks for sharing the image, Dr. Chapman

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Oct 10, 2013

My Top Picks from Interior Design Show West

I'll tell you first off what wasn't my favourite - the Mah Jong sofa by Roche Bobois. I've idolized this sofa on pages of magazines for years. I've even posted about it here way back in 2008, (and how I sold all my furniture when I was in a mood). This is the most uncomfortable thing I've ever sat on, (even more than my peacock chair).

Please pardon my crappy phone photos.

There was a table setting competition and this woodland theme was by far the most popular.

The feature wall of the woodland room.

Do you ever feel like sometimes skulls are the equivalent of birds, as in, 'Put a bird on it.'?

This was cute. A table with a terrarium built in - sans bird.

Gorgeous ceramics by Haejin Lee

I liked this textured fake brick for a wall in our apartment, (the wall that is concrete and we can't hang anything on).

This was the Scandinavian table in the table setting competition.

These were the best truffles I've ever had in my life. Bowen Island Chocolatier Cocoa West. They have an online shop and a B&B.

Sep 17, 2013

Hemingway Tree House Residence | Piece of West Van Significant Architecture For Sale

Noted as a secondary building in the Survey of Significant West Vancouver Architecture, the Hemingway Tree House is now on the market SOLD for 1.6 million. Three storeys of 1977 architectural bliss! The home is a hop, skip and a jump away from the iconic 1966 Staples Residence. The home is hard to see from the road but take a drive by anyway - watch out for all the demolition going on though.

all images © Robert Crowe

Sep 11, 2013

Another West Vancouver Home Demolition

I'll be the first to admit I've been lagging on these architecture posts - two reasons:

1. I'm just so p*ssed I don't even want to snap photos.
2. There are so many in West Vancouver I can't keep up! Seriously. Go down Marine Drive past 25th and it's like a bloomin' construction zone.

I have been saving cuttings from the newspapers about the needless rezoning of property and demolition of our West Coast heritage - the North Shore News and the Outlook have been doing a fabulous job writing stories and publishing letters. A few folks have spoken out in council meetings but apparently demolition permits are more important and garner more value than heritage.

stacy reynaud

Douglas Coupland - remember our chat at the Harmony Arts Festival? Come on - take a stand - and I mean something more than an interview in a local documentary, (that wasn't really about Vancouver anyway).

A couple weeks ago I went to a yard sale in which the house had a for sale sign out front with a big sold slapped on it. You know what that means in West Vancouver, bye bye house. I befriended the owners - a lovely elderly couple who weren't even thinking of selling their home until a realtor knocked on their door saying she had sold the neighbour's house and the buyers wanted theirs too. That's right - they bought the two houses - and both houses are going to be torn down. Sick, eh. Now we have realtors intimidating elderly folks into selling their homes!

It was hard to snap photos of the front of the house as there were so many large trees - which will also be torn down.

Here are a few from the inside. It was built in the 50s, is two storeys and pretty much all original - as you'll see by the washroom. A very clean, sturdy and sound house. What a loss.

 stacy reynaud

I bought this wicker lounge from them. They brought it back from the Philippines, where they had lived for 19 years. The gentleman of the house was a senior manager for a heavy metal mining company there.

Top photo is of Gordon Smith's note card before his speech at the Harmony Arts Festival in 2011. Take a read of it.

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