Grandview Database v. 7

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.

Update June 4th:  I had misloaded the new pdf and it wasn’t making itself available. I believe it is fixed now and I apologise for any inconvenience.

Changes in this version include:

  • More than 247 new data points from the City Directory for 1911, various media and MLS reports, and from Clairw Shepansky’s study of residential displacement in the building of Britannia Community Centre.;
  • 8 additional previously-demolished buildings recovered;
  • miscellaneous minor corrections

Notes From November Meeting

We had a very large turnout for last Thursday’s Grandview Heritage Group monthly meeting. So many in fact we have begun to think about alternate locations; but we’ll let that lie until the new year.  Welcome one and all!  Again, as usual, we had a wide-ranging discussion.

  • Michael gave a presentation on basements. Typical early Vancouver housing styles had a residence above an at-grade crawl space. This led to fully designed basements. He showed some 1961 design ideas for basements. He also discussed the securing of heritage homes to foundations.
  • Eric then gave the latest in his ongoing series Mechanics and Materials. This month’s subject was manufactured wood. He presented on plywood, hardwood, Beaver Board, and Glulam.
  • Jak previewed the December 1st release of the GV Database. Almost a thousand new data points have been entered since the ortiginal release.
  • Penny outlined her idea for rewarding new buyers in Grandview who decide not to demolish a heritage house. This led to a brief discussion on rezoning the RT zone to better defend against demolitions.
  • Michael discussed the current state of the City’s Heritage Action Plan.  He noted there seems to be no appetite at City Hall to create further Heritage Conservation Areas like First Shaughnessy. He also presented on the change to heritage evaluation criteria, moving to a “value based” approach.
  • The Shelly’s Bakery Plaque: Penny discussed the history of the sign and the plaque. The replacement plaque is fading rapidly already and needs to be replaced.  Still thinking of alternatives.
  • 2016 Student Intern: Michael discussed the history of our encounters with GEOG 429 students over the last few years, culminating in Kevin Shackle’s excellent work on Grocery Stores. We have been offered a student for 2016. It was agreed we would say yes. Penny, Michael and Jak will work on suggested topics.  Some of the ideas offered at the meeting were: basement history. barners and beauty shops, dairies, the shift from stables to garages, older apartment buildings, the range of “party hat” decoration.
  • Next meeting wlll be 21 January 2016.

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 …

Pictorial History “Fixed”

The Pictorial History of Grandview (available both from the Main Menu and the sidebar) has not been working properly for a while. It was a mystery to us why.  However, it now appears that WordPress has disabled it due to a security flaw, and the original developer of the gallery software is no longer supporting it.

We have not yet found an equivalent gallery software that allows an automatic slideshow.  However, we have adjusted the view that now allows all the images to be shown.  Click on any thumbnail and you should be able to go backwards and forwards through the images.

Sorry for the delay on this; we are historians not technicians!

Next meeting this Thursday the 16th of April, 7 pm

Another action-packed GHG meeting on the horizon, as always in the Britannia Boardroom (go into the info centre just west of the lane on the north side of the Greenway – the continuation of Napier Street west of The Drive). Everyone is welcome.

Agenda items will include:

•Eric Phillips’s Happenings in the ‘Hood – what’s been going on in the past month;

•Kevin Shackles will present the results of his study of Grandview grocery stores of yore – Kevin is a student in the UBC Geography 429 course and undertook a project for the GHG on the history of grocery stores not on either The Drive or Hastings Street.

• We will put dates on the calendar to begin our Century Signs campaign for 2015; the 20+ signs in the neighbourhood need to be rounded up and cleaned and a set of new houses must be found and researched.

Everyone is welcome!

Eric Phillips on Asbestos in Older Houses…

Almost any house built prior to the 1990s will contain some asbestos. This WorkSafe BC link will show you some of the more common places and give an overview of asbestos in the home.
It is interesting that the diagram uses a relatively modern house as its example. Asbestos, as the miracle do-anything product, came into full prominence after our houses were built, but there will still be some asbestos used either during original construction or during subsequent renovations/maintenance. The most common places to find materials which may contain asbestos are in vermiculite insulation (one common brand name is Zonolite, which looks like small brown popcorn), “popcorn” textured ceilings (sometimes called Spray-Tex), duct tape (asbestos tape was used to seal joints on hot-air ducts and also on furnaces and fireplaces), asbestos-board siding, flooring, drywall & fillers, and electrical boxes. We had a local Grandview example where asbestos was found in the plaster as well but it was not clear if it was in the original plaster or came from post-construction renovations (filler with asbestos). The reason for the asbestos concerns is that once disturbed, the fibres will stay airborne for a long time and the long-term consequences of inhaling them will not be immediately evident. To confirm I was not misleading you, I talked to a carpenter friend who has been through the working-with-asbestos course and he gave a few examples. He had a job of re-placing some old flooring. The 9×9 tiles and the adhesives almost certainly contained asbestos. To avoid the cost of dealing with their removal, the tiles were left undisturbed and were covered with floor-leveling compound and then with sheet flooring with the edges sealed. An engineered wood floor could also have been used with the same sealing precautions.
How do you know for sure if there is asbestos in a material to be removed during renovation? Testing in the only way to know for certain. For example, I have some vermiculite insulation in my attic. If I simply wanted to increase the amount of insulation, I could have added more insulation on top but since I needed to move some to get access to wiring, I took some samples to a lab and had it tested. Although my insulation does not look any different from any other vermiculite I have ever seen, it did not contain appreciable amounts of asbestos. While on that topic, if you are planning a renovation, someone in our ad hoc group is completely renovating their house and therefore had samples analyzed but found the City would not accept self sampling and required sample collection by a certified testing group. This is contrary to the information provided on the City’s website.

Eric Phillips
“Amateur House Mechanic”, Grandview Heritage Group