Tag Archives: heritage

Iconic reminder of railway history is being pushed from place to place in North Vancouver | The Global Canadian

From the Global Canadian:  for those wondering where our PGE Station is:

A rare railway structure dating back to 1913 lies forgotten and abandoned as a new glitzy city shapes up at the Foot of Lonsdale. The iconic reminder of BC’s railway history and pioneer spirit was temporarily moved to a city-owned vacant lot on Alder Street to make way for the new Polygon Gallery and other buildings at the Foot of Lonsdale in 2014.

This ‘designated municipal heritage building’ was supposed to be back to the Foot of Lonsdale in 2015. Three years later, this seminal structure lies neglected and forgotten by a council too focussed on developing and reshaping the city. A study by a city consultant even suggested the PGE building could be converted into an ice cream shop or coffee shop in efforts to keep it on the waterfront, but that never happened. Those who value history may have to wait another few years before the council decides what it will do with the PGE building.

Communications manager for the City of North Vancouver, Connie Rabold, said council decided in 2014 that the relocation of PGE Station be referred to the Waterfront Park Master Plan process, which is scheduled for 2020. The abandoned building is a painful sight for former journalist John Kendrick, whose accompanying picture documents the council’s broken promise on the building. “It seemed to have been conveniently forgotten and that is certainly no way to treat a key part of our community’s heritage,” Kendrick said.

“This iconic piece of North Van’s history has been getting treated like this for decades.  For the longest time, it sat on the grass in Mahon Park behind Burdett stadium (where nobody much knew what it was), being used as an annex to the North Van Museum, until it was finally decided to move it back to the its original site at bottom Lonsdale.  As we now know, that wasn’t to last very long. It’s now sitting in a lonely corner of the municipality overlooking the grain elevators, where nobody sees it.”

Railway historian and archivist at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish said the railway operated from the Foot of Lonsdale to Horseshoe Bay from 1914 until 1929. He said the old station has been moved several times since 1929 and faces an uncertain future considering the frenzied pace of development happening in the City of North Vancouver.

“CNV is having trouble keeping up with the development happening at the moment and there are hundreds of old homes being torn down in the name of progress. History and one old station are way down on the list of priorities. Look at how the North Vancouver Museum has been pushed around from one place to other over the years. It looks like they might now have a permanent home but it won’t be ready until 2020,” he said.

According to the Canadian Register of Historic Places, a resource funded by the federal government, the building’s heritage value is associated with its location in Lower Lonsdale, the ‘earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings on the North Shore of Burrard Inlet.’

“The railway had an important role in the economic growth of North Vancouver, providing a link to the resources of the interior of the province as well as passenger services to Horseshoe Bay and West Vancouver. The streetcar, ferry to Vancouver and PGE railway all converged at the south foot of Lonsdale Avenue, the major transportation hub on the North Shore. The PGE station serves as a reminder to the area’s historic significance.”

For Kendrick and Mills and many others City of North Vancouver citizens who value history, the PGE station is now a reminder of something entirely different: of shameless neglect and political amnesia.

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Source: Iconic reminder of railway history is being pushed from place to place in North Vancouver | The Global CanadianThe Global Canadian

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Shelley Fralic: A time machine that lives next door

Quoting in part from the Vancouver Sun:

We are constantly reminded, all around Metro Vancouver, that, in our quest to transform ourselves into a first-class city renowned for gorgeous scenery and a multicultural imprimatur that is the envy of the world, we often lose sight of our physical roots.

In our rush to densify and modernize, we tear down our history, ripping century-old homes and historic buildings from the dirt as if they were bad teeth, as if they are disposable impediments, erasing any notion that Metro Vancouver has a structural pedigree worth preserving. Another 1910 west-side arts and crafts beauty bites the dust; a rare 1899 West End mansion, The Legg House, is headed to the landfill to save a tulip tree.

Bloggers lament the loss of viable century-old housing stock, Facebook is ablaze with indignation, columnists write about the relentless destruction of vintage structures to make way for condos and malls, and frustrated but dedicated heritage organizations continue to fight the good fight.

And, always, the question hangs in the air: What can be done to stop the physical eradication of our region’s history?

Ask local heritage preservationists and they will tell you one way is to educate, to extol the virtues of heritage, to remind us that the greenest house is a house that is already built, and that to erase the past is a foolish undertaking for a young city looking to the future.

full article here;  Shelley Fralic: A time machine that lives next door.

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from North Shore Heritage advocate Peter Miller, details of gathering:

Stop the Demolitions: A Gathering to Save Our Character and Heritage Homes
When: Sunday May 25, 3 pm
Where: The Legg Residence, 1241 Harwood Street

Bring your messages, pictures and mementoes of a vanishing Vancouver to attach to the orange fences.

Why: The Legg Residence is a grand Arts and Crafts mansion built in 1899 when the West End was one of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods, but this 115 year-old A-list heritage home will soon be demolished. It will be replaced by a 17-storey condo. Last year more than a thousand demolition permits were issued in Vancouver, many for pre-1940s houses built with a high level of craftsmanship and quality materials. As well as sending more than 50 tonnes of waste to the landfill, each demolition takes with it the history, character and narratives of our established neighbourhoods.

Please join us in honouring the Legg Residence and all the homes we have lost. Let’s demand better protection of the heritage buildings that remain.

Heritage buildings reveal Vancouver’s history and are essential to our city’s sense of place.

Say NO to wasteful demolitions. Say YES to preservation of our built heritage.

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