A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

An Architect In Vancouver's City Hall
Sunday, October 30, 2011

William (Bill) McCreery
We have never had in our city or province a politician who would represent Plato’s ideal of philosopher king. Only philosophers-made-kings would ever help the ideal city state become a utopia.


My next best bet towards a possible utopia (a very small one) has been the idea of an engineer. I do believe that my photographs of NDP mayoral candidate for Surrey, Bob Bose, helped him win and in Bose we did have a politician whose intelligence and honesty has never been in question.

My third candidate for a political office would have to be an architect. As a photographer in  this city since 1975 I can genuinely assert that my favourite people to photograph (after beautiful women, that is!) are the architects. I have found that architects here (can this be a universal feature of architects) are renaissance people. You can talk to them about anything. They also seem to think rationally.

It was shortly before Ned Pratt (perhaps my favorite of all Vancouver architects) died in 1996 that he and I walked in my neighborhood. We were discussing the problem of monster homes which in those years was a real one. And he told me, “I have had on hell of a problem trying to get a city permit to fix up my girlfriend’s garage at her house on South West Marine Drive. And yet here these houses are going up so quickly. I am sure that some sort of money is changing hands between developers and City Hall.” This was from the man whose firm Thompson, Berwick, Pratt and Partners had built our city’s Burrard Bridge, the Cenotaph, several buildings in UBC and some of the firm’s alumni had built such buildings as our CBC and many others.

For me the best way to keep unchecked development checked is to have an architect as mayor or in City Council. For me that mayor would be Bing Thom. Unfortunately Thom, the architect is having a booming career and nobody would expect this man to leave all that for the peril of being our city’s mayor.

Based on the above an architect in City Council would be a good thing for our city. And to avoid all kinds of conflict of interest that architect would have to be a retired architect.

Today I noticed that William (Bill) McCreery is running for City Council. I photographed McCreery quite a few years ago when he was a practicing architect. At the time he had modified a heritage firehall on 70th Street to have it converted to a senior’s home. During our photo session and later when he had his offices in the building that housed Equity Magazine (a business magazine for which I contributed as a photographer) I came to appreciate this intelligent,  sensible and quiet man.

I would suggest that when you vote in this coming city election that you consider Bill McCreery as a good candidate regardless of your political affiliation



     

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12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17