Of Squares And Walls

A Couple Cool Uses For Water

Our gallery today is made up of shots taken at two different locations, both in the heart of downtown, and actually within two blocks of each other.  The first fourteen pictures are of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, or to be more precise, with just a very few exceptions, the magnificent fountain in front of the Wall Centre. The first 17 floors of this magnificent award-winning tower are hotel rooms, the next three are dedicated to Club IntraWest Resort which is an independent facility operated apart from the hotel, and the remainder of the floors are condominiums.  One of the most interesting stories related to this hotel has to do with the colouring of the windows.

When construction of the facility had just begun, it was decided through public discussion, and meetings between the city planners and the construction companies that in order to prevent the tower from completely dominating the Vancouver skyline, the windows would be tinted a very light shade so that it would blend in with the blue sky.  At some point during the construction someone requested an amendment to the original plans, asking for permission to use darker glass.  A lower level employee with the city planning department okayed the request not realizing the political consequence of what he had just done.  After a whole lot of fighting between all the different departments, the construction companies, and the public, it was agreed that they could keep the darker tinted glass that had already been installed, but that they had to go back to the lighter tinted glass that was originally decided on for the rest of the building.  As a result, the tower ended up being two toned, with dark blue windows for the first two thirds, and then light, almost clear windows for the top third.  I’m going to include before my own gallery a public domain picture of the way the tower looked at that point simply because I don’t have any pictures of it anymore in that two-tone form.

Public DomainThe reason I don’t have any pictures of the Wall Centre in its two-tone form, is because even when you think these things are over with, they’re never really over with.  It seems that the owners of the condominiums had some problems with the clear windows.  Now I’m not sure what the problems were other than they had something to do with the fact that it was costing them a fortune to maintain a suitable temperature in their living areas.  I’ve heard several different stories, read a few more, and the only thing the stories have in common, is that none of them have anything in common.  However, the point is, the condominium owners finally got together with the strata corps, and somehow came up with the $6.5 million bill (I believe the builders also kicked in) and beginning in 2013, they started changing all the light-coloured glass to glass matching the blue that they had installed on the lower two thirds.  And this is the way you will see the tower in my pictures. Of course, like I also mentioned earlier, what you’ll mainly be seeing is the fountain that sits between this huge tower, and the two smaller towers that make up the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center. Personally, I think the fountain has a lot more going for it just because it’s easier to understand. Trust businessmen to take a nice building, and turn it into a great big argument.

So now leaving the Wall Centre behind us, we move on to one of my favourite hangouts in all of Vancouver.  If you’ve been following my page for any length of time now, then the odds are pretty good that you’ve already seen a few pictures taken from this location, but today I wanted to give it a little more time for a couple reasons.  First of all, I thought the skating rink might be open, and even though I know it’s there I very seldom manage to get down there at the same time that it’s active.  Well, I’ve known for a while that Sunday afternoons are usually a good time to check it out, so since I wanted to scout the hospital out to make sure I knew exactly where I was going tomorrow morning (St. Paul’s is a huge complex), I thought I would take a look over at Robson Square on my way.  Guess what, I got lucky. So I was finally able to get my shots of everybody having fun on the skating rink, and I even took a couple little movies, but unfortunately my camera just doesn’t do it very well, so we’re gonna put the movie thing off for a while.

And then finally, just because it is Robson Square, I spent a little more time just trying to take a couple nice shots.  It took a while, but I think I finally came up with one or two that I could live with.  So all in all, it was a pretty good day, and except for a couple little sun-showers, I hardly even got wet.  I hope everybody had a good weekend, I’m real sorry about not getting all the mail answered, but I did give it a pretty good shot and I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done, and even some relaxing.  So without any further ado, the two wonderful ways that I found this weekend for using a little water.

O.K. so that’s it for now, and it’s time I got to bed, and we’ll see you guys after I get back tomorrow. Everybody stay healthy, and happy, and keep up the great writing. I’ll read you later.

A little modification of one of my shots of the ice rink at Robson Square.
A little modification of one of my shots of the ice rink at Robson Square.

 

Gallery

9 thoughts on “Of Squares And Walls

    1. A belated Happy New Year to you also, and I hope 2015 is being good to you and yours. That little one must be getting into everything by now, so it must be almost time for a second book. Thanks for checking in.

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  1. wonderful tour. you’re a great host and guide of your area. this metroplex is lovely and inviting. Washington DC could take a good lesson from Vancouver. the monuments, museums, and other attractions in downtown DC are spread out in a linear sprawl so far from each other that it’s a long and unaccommodating walk between attractions. not visitor friendly… and i love the ferns and greens in your photos! in winter! 🙂 and the fountains in winter. in our area, all the fountains are turned off during the winter–fear of freezing or just too lazy to maintain, i don’t know which… 😦

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    1. Actually, Robson Square is basically a linear area itself, stretching for three city blocks, but they’ve broken it up so nicely into three separate tiers that you don’t really notice how far you’ve walked. In the summer, the waterfalls begin at the Law Courts Buildings, and work their way down to the skating rink. Because the pools at the bottom are only 4 inches deep, those are off in the winter, but in the summer they hide all those stretches of windows that you can see in the pictures. It’s really nice. According to the the rumors mentioned on the plaque, the architect’s vision was to “turn the whole thing on it’s side, and let people walk all over it”. I’ve always liked that quote. And as for your city, if I even have a “bucket” list, Washington is on it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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