Lecture about the Shelly’s 4X sign

ghostsign-600x450

The neighbourhood’s ghost sign at Via Tevere Ristorante on Victoria Drive at William is the subject of a Vancouver Historical Society lecture on Thursday, September 22nd. I will be talking about the discovery of the sign, its restoration by the Grandview Heritage Group in 2012 or was it 2013, and the advertising campaign the bakery used in the 1920s. The title is “Selling Bread to Housewives in the 1920s”; there is an article about the talk in Spacing magazine.

Progress on the Green House

greenhouse

The wraps are off the Green House – the former rectory of the Grandview Methodist/United Church on Venables near Victoria, which is being renovated to resume its role as the administrative and workshop space for The Cultch. Kudos to the city and the contractor! Earlier posts on this thread tell the story….

Notes from the February 18th meeting

Our February meeting ranged over a number of topics:

• Cynthia Low, the ED of Britannia Community Services Centre, attended the meeting to ask whether GHG would be willing to coordinate a research project on the history of First Peoples in the Grandview area. It would involve consultation with Elders, a review of historic documentation, a study of the landscape and natural history, and suggestions for showcasing the results as part of the Carving Pavilion recently erected next to the community centre. If at all possible, the work would include involvement with students at all levels. We are going to liaise with Cynthia to try to come up with terms of reference and a time line.

• Eric Phillips presented a detailed edition of his Mechanics and Materials series, this time on Seismic upgrading for homeowners. He referenced the SafeStrongHome website for further investigation. It was a good, comprehensive primer on the top handful of tasks homeowners should contemplate to minimize the damage their houses might suffer from the Big One and the Not-Quite-As-Big One.

• Michael Kluckner presented a handful of images and some speculation about the rumours of redevelopment swirling around St. Francis of Assisi School at Victoria and Venables and the possible implications for the church/presbytery at Napier and Semlin (especially its large lawn area) and the other church property, the former “Poor Claires” convent at the northwest corner of Napier and Semlin (now the Church of St. John of Shanghai). He included some informal history of the Italian community in Grandview.

• John Stuart will figure out a time to give his industrial heritage walking tour, sometime in late March or early April, which we will report on this site.

• We agreed to put together a table for Car-Free Day, June 19th. Details to follow.

• Eric Phillips wrapped up the meeting with pictures and commentary of changes in the neighbourhood, including the demolition of the old Bosa’s store/apartment building on Victoria Drive.

Next meeting will be on Thursday, March 17th at 7 pm, in the boardroom of the Britannia Info Centre at 1661 Napier, as always.

Centenary Signs 2015–16

Here is our map for the set of houses, at least 100 years old, we have chosen this year. There is a large cluster of them on Ferndale Street, reflecting the legacy of builder George Tyson more than a century ago.

This is the fourth year of our project to celebrate Grandview’s Edwardian-era heritage buildings. Links to the other three years are on the navigation bar at the top of this page.

Click here
2015houses
Click here

We thank the owners for their stewardship of the houses and their willingness to share them, through the display of the signs, with the community!

At our next meeting on September 17th, there will be a review of the houses and a modest celebration (i.e. cake!), along with our usual presentations and discussions.

No meetings for July and August

We’ve decided to go with the flow (an aspirational word in this drought-stricken summer) and be indolent and meeting-free this summer. The next meeting will be September 17th.

In the meantime, the neighbourhood issues that are occupying the most time are the “No Venables Tower” campaign against the proposed Boffo/Kettle collaboration on the triangle lot at Commercial and Venables/Adanac. If you are opposed to it, there is a petition at http://tinyurl.com/pwd9645.

The other one we are watching is the rehabilitation and infill project at the Brookhouse Residence, 1872 Parker Street. An application to add it to the heritage register is going ahead and plans will be presented, probably later this summer, to the heritage commission.

Nominate a site for the Heritage Register!

Just announced and posted a couple of days ago: the public nomination process for new additions to the Vancouver Heritage Register …

In broad terms, the Heritage Register is an information document; as I understand it, owners of properties will not be able to say “no” to a nomination, but they will be notified. You will notice that sites should respond to one of the broad themes of Vancouver’s culture and history – this is an evolution of the old Heritage Register which was more closely focused on architecture and landscape. That said, sites where “something happened,” however significant, may be more difficult to categorize and save than architecturally interesting buildings, but we will see how it works out.

To make sure you’re not nominating a site that’s already on the register, go to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Site Finder Map. It’s the best way to familiarize yourself with the buildings and places that are already recognized.

Being on the Heritage Register is no guarantee, and never has been one, of any sort of protection against demolition or alteration. It does, however, make a place eligible for a process that eventually could confer “designation” – that is, legal protection.

Goad’s 1912 atlas now a VanMap layer

Regular readers of this blog, and researchers of local history, will be aware of the 1912 Goad’s Fire Atlas, which has been available in low-res images on the national archives website for the past few years.

As part of the fantastic digitization efforts undertaken by City of Vancouver Archives, the atlas is now available in much higher resolution as a layer on VanMap, the city’s on-line data pool of everything from lot sizes to zoning to dog parks.

Read this post on the Archives’ blog to find out how to use it!

Next meeting Thursday, May 21st, at 7 pm

As usual, we are meeting this Thursday at 7 in the boardroom of Britannia – in the building with the Information Centre just east of the library. Everyone is welcome.

Items on the agenda:

– Eric Phillips will start the meeting with his “Neighbourhood Scan” – photos and commentary about Grandview since the last meeting.

Century Signs for 2015: we will have a tentative list of houses to approach to display our signs. Penny and Michael gathered up 23 signs last week and have them cleaned and ready to go.

– Eric will present a few slides on paint-stripping techniques, just in time for the summer maintenance season.

– There may be a bit of news about Brookhouse at Parker and Victoria, which has been for sale again during the last month.

Car Free Day on June 21st: should we have a table as we’ve had the last few years?

– Michael Kluckner will give a brief update on the progress of the city’s Heritage Action Plan.

– and, probably, some new business …