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




 

UBC's Deadening of Robson Square
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Gillian Guess


I remember when Robson Square was a going concern. It had restaurants and there were lectures at the Judge White Theatre. Some of them were presented by that active organization of our past called The Urbanarium Society. In many of them Arthur Erickson was in the audience. And I could usually spot Alderman (that's what they were called then) Gordon Price sitting nearby with a copy of the NY Times under his arm. And very important in 1986 Premier Bill Bennett had an office there. Robson Sqare was a thriving part of our city core. With Chapters, Duthie's and Murchie's gone from the area we can now boast a lingerie company occupying the former site of the Vancouver Public Library an important example of Vancouver Modernist architecture.

Last Friday I took a retired New Zealand architect, Nigel Cook on an architectural tour of Vancouver. The moment we went down the steps onto Robson Square from the Vancouver Art Gallery we did not run into a soul. The restaurants and other shops that used to be there were all shuttered. We looked through the window that said UBC and saw 8 students in a class. Not a soul went in or came out.

We went up the stairs to the Law Courts and again (it was 11am) the whole area was deserted.

Everybody knows that Simon Fraser University has a downtown campus. There are many cultural events held there (my fave are the concerts of the Turning Point Ensemble. But who many people know that UBC has a downtown campus? How many people have ever shopped at the UBC Bookstore there?

It is my belief that UBC likes to have the best of both worlds. When it is convenient they are not part of Vancouver. They are at the Endowment Lands. These are becoming a huge condo city.

When it is convenient UBC is in Vancouver and seems to do nothing about stating that it has a presence here.

Before he died, my friend, architect Abraham Rogatnick and I discussed this and he agreed. Not only that he was very much against the Vancouver Art Gallery moving from where it is. 




     

Previous Posts
A Dead Channel

The Return of She

She of the Resurrection

High on Knees

A Dish of Gnocchi

La Rubia de Categoría

Lolita

The Ocean is the Sky

The Golfer's Indumentum

The Real McCoy & Only Butter is Butter



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4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17

11/19/17 - 11/26/17

11/26/17 - 12/3/17

12/3/17 - 12/10/17

12/10/17 - 12/17/17