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Geographic & Historic Distribution of Concrete Sidewalks in Vancouver, BC Daniel Brendle-Moczuk ACMLA / CARTO 2012 Ryerson University Juin/June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Geographic & Historic Distribution of Concrete Sidewalks in Vancouver, BC Daniel Brendle-Moczuk ACMLA / CARTO 2012 Ryerson University Juin/June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Geographic & Historic Distribution of Concrete Sidewalks in Vancouver, BC Daniel Brendle-Moczuk ACMLA / CARTO 2012 Ryerson University Juin/June 2012

2 Introduction - concrete sidewalks are commonplace today - not so common is setting the date into the wet concrete of when a sidewalk was laid - history is etched into concrete - Do not know how many cities do this; suspect few as I have looked - Vancouver did and still does date stamp the fresh concrete of its sidewalks - collected approx. 800 concrete sidewalks date-stamp locations throughout Vancouver -earliest I found is from 1906

3 Introduction / Preliminary Questions -How did this begin? - noticed sidewalks with date stamps of 1931, 1942, etc -date stamp 1931 on my in-laws street but their house was built Were sidewalks date stamped throughout the city? - Earliest concrete sidewalk date stamp? - Earliest sidewalks? Where? Why? - If I collect hundreds of concrete sidewalk date stamps points, does a pattern of Vancouver’s development appear? CVA Str N314.2 Main & 35 th, 1931

4 Methodology - rode bicycle approx. 125 km and approx. 60 hrs - was going to use a GPS and record the location but also wanted the date of the stamp and its North-South & East-West location at the intersection of 2 streets or avenues So…

5 Methodology - created a grid-chart and carried it around and filled it in - later created these points in a GIS - approx. 40 hrs (so far) at City of Vancouver Archives - approx hrs entering data and creating maps

6 Background: Other cities - What cities have concrete sidewalk date stamps? -personally seen date stamps in San Diego & Coronado from 1913 & others have uploaded photos from: San Diego: 1896: th St Sherman Heights 1897: Fifth Avenue near Nutmeg Street Toronto: 1913: Chippewa Ave. Toronto Island 1918: Palmerston, near College and Bathurst

7 Background: What was first? The chicken or the egg? Concrete sidewalk or Concrete road / street? -early concrete sidewalks "In December, 1873, the first cement sidewalk on the Pacific coast was laid by George Goodman (who is still in that business), on the northwest corner of California and Kearney streets, San Francisco.” Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies, 1900, Vols 24-25, p.26. "Hawai'i saw its first sidewalk in 1838, its first brick sidewalk in 1857, and first concrete sidewalk in “ Firsts and almost firsts in Hawai'i. University of Hawai’i Press, 1995, p early concrete roads / streets "The first concrete road in Great Britain were constructed in Inverness and Edinburgh, Scotland, in The first concrete road in the United States was constructed in 1893 at Bellefontaine, Ohio.“ Sutherland et al. Historic concrete: Background to appraisal. Thomas Telford. 2001, p.361.

8 Vancouver: Assumptions & Questions - before / during / after I was riding and collecting… - There are areas and sidewalks with no date stamps; why? the earliest sidewalk? If not, when/where was the first concrete sidewalk? - How were decisions made as to laying concrete sidewalks? Who made the decision? What was the decision-making process? - What was first? The chicken or the egg? The concrete sidewalk? or the concrete street? - Was there a time period of greater activity of concrete sidewalk laying?

9 approx. 800 points of original concrete sidewalk date stamps

10 Geological Survey of Canada, Multicoloured Geological Map no. 1965, 1923

11

12 Goad's Atlas of the City of Vancouver: [Plate 79] Vol.2, 1912

13 CVA Race Track - [Hastings] Park, 1919

14 approx. 800 points of original concrete sidewalk date stamps

15 Vancouver - Why are there some large areas with no concrete sidewalk date stamps? - in Van’s Agricultural, Commercial & Industrial zones it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find any original concrete sidewalk date stamps (the original sidewalks are gone) - Residential areas are the most predominant areas with concrete sidewalk date stamps

16 Vancouver's Agricultural-Commercial-Industrial Zones with approx. 800 concrete date stamp points

17 $haughnessy (no concrete sidewalk date stamps)

18 $haughnessy (no concrete sidewalk date stamps), 1911 CVA DistP20

19 approx. 158 points before 1929 (1929: amalgamation of Point Grey, Vancouver, South Vancouver, Hastings)

20 approx. 345 points (1929: amalgamation of Point Grey, Vancouver, South Vancouver, Hasting)

21 Vancouver in context: Kerrisdale area, c.1914 Davidson, John. CVA

22 Vancouver in context: Kerrisdale area, c.1920s Davidson, John. CVA

23 Vancouver's “downtown-central core” (Commercial-Industrial Zones) with very few concrete date stamp points

24 “Laying Cement Sidewalks”: Georgia St, 190? CVA

25 Melville St, downtown Vancouver, 1913 CVA

26 Vancouver’s early concrete sidewalks - Because of development, Vancouver’s original concrete sidewalk date stamps are gone… - thus where were Vancouver’s first original concrete sidewalks? need to spend some time at… City of Vancouver Archives

27 Vancouver’s early concrete sidewalks City of Vancouver Archives - Vancouver Board of Works Minutes, Oct.5, 1886 (onwards): Tenders called for grading, culverts, sidewalks; BUT what kind of “sidewalks”? - “…resolved that hereafter the price to parties putting down a superior class of sidewalk, the same having been previously approved of by the Board of Works and the City Engineer shall be 5 c per [illegible] foot.“ March 6, 1890, Vancouver Board of Works Minutes

28 Vancouver’s early concrete sidewalks City of Vancouver Archives - “…resolved...this Board [of Works] recommends...the City will pay private parties putting down cement sidewalks in accordance with the City Engineer's office 7 (seven) cents per square foot...and 35 cents per linear foot for granite curbs laid..." July 20, 1893, Vancouver Board of Works Minutes - “...referring to the laying down of concrete walks, shall only apply to business streets approved of by the Board of Works, and in no case will a refund be made to parties putting down concrete walks without due and proper application to the Board first being made." Aug.24, 1893, Vancouver Board of Works Minutes

29 Vancouver’s early concrete sidewalks City of Vancouver Archives - “…Evans, Coleman, and Evans… request laying down a cement sidewalk opposite their new block on Cordova…granted.” Sep.7, 1899 Vancouver Board of Works Minutes (early “list” of concrete sidewalks) - “…hear appeals against the assessment for cement walks on the following streets: Georgia St on the southside from Burrard St to Jervis St Georgia St on the northside from Burrard St to Bute St Robson St on the southside from Burrard St to Thurlow St Nelson St on the northside from Bute St to Jervis St…” July 19, 1901, Vancouver Court of Revision Minutes - “…enable the City of Vancouver to raise the sum of $28, for the following purposes: 1- For cement walks...” Dec.7, 1903, Vancouver by-law no. 465

30 Vancouver Court of Revision Minutes, April 18, 1904

31 (formal) City Engineer Year End Summary of concrete sidewalks laid (began in 1906) Supplement to the twenty-fourth report of the City Engineer, Dec.18, 1906

32 Vancouver's “downtown-central core” (Commercial-Industrial Zones) with very few concrete date stamp points Yearscollected pntsArchives: Miles of sidewalk laid

33 Vancouver's concrete sidewalks to 1911 (in blue) (constructed using Vancouver Archives)

34 How was it decided when and where concrete sidewalks were laid? -direct request to City Council (Court of Revision) and/or Board of Works and passed to City Engineer and... City Engineer and staff generally followed the directives of above… but… - "the laying of a cement sidewalk N side of 8th Ave from Birch to Spruce, passed the Court of Revision on Oct.12, 1905 but the work has not been carried out as it will be necessary to grade the street first...” May 8, 1906, Eighth Report of the City Engineer

35 How was it decided when and where concrete sidewalks were laid? - direct request to the City Engineer… but... -"Re: 10th Ave: Cement walk request...we cannot very well grade for cement sidewalks before they have passed the Court of Revision.“ August 14, 1906, Fifteenth Report of the City Engineer

36 How was it decided when and where concrete sidewalks were laid? - City Engineer made recommendations… "Mr. T.A. Fee asked for a cement sidewalk east side of Granville from Smythe 50' north...and he is willing to pay as soon as it is laid. As it is only a small piece of walk I recommend it is laid.“ Nov.20, 1906, Twenty-Second Report of the City Engineer

37 How was it decided where and when concrete sidewalks were laid? in addition….. -historical maps also shed some light...

38 Supplement to the twenty-fifth report of the City Engineer, Dec.26, 1911

39 1911: 10th Avenue side: North from: Heather to: 250’ West Goad’s Atlas of the City of Vancouver, Vol.1, (LAC)

40 Trafalgar and 14 th Ave, Vancouver, 1928

41 Moore Co. CVA StrN263

42 as time passed… How was it decided where concrete sidewalks were laid? City Engineer (continued) to make recommendations - "In the old city, there are approximately 4 miles of cement walk ready to be laid, and in the Point Grey area approximately 7 miles and I would recommend that your Engineer be authorised to call for tenders for the construction of these walks.“ March 19, 1929, Sixth Report of the City Engineer - “RE: Plank sidewalk Balaclava/49th 2200‘. A concrete sidewalk in this section is not warranted at present." May 28, 1929, Eleventh Report of the City Engineer

43 as time passed… How was it decided where concrete sidewalks were laid? Petitions - “Fully Signed Petitions“ - “Insufficiently Signed Petitions" “I further beg to report that I have examined the subject matter...and recommend concrete sidewalks be carried out as Local Improvements on the 'Initiative Principle’” - “Recommended without Petitions...on the 'Initiative Principle’” May 28, 1929, Eleventh Report of the City Engineer

44 My collected points vs Archival Records Yearmy collected pnts(Archives) Miles of sidewalk laid

45 further research… October 8, 1923 Vancouver City Council asked: “How many miles of plank walks exist and what will it cost to convert to cement?” City Engineer replies: “342 miles and $2.2 million” October 30, 1923, Twenty-second Report of the City Engineer - 3 plank wood walks were still being laid… “I beg to recommend that three plank walks be laid on the following streets…” March 5, 1929, Fifth Report of the City Engineer thus… -map 3 plank walks versus concrete sidewalks… and.. -any relation between concrete sidewalks and… - city budgets - property owners (occupation, status, wealth, etc) - other influences, i.e. BC Electric Railway, etc

46 Answers(?) / Conclusions (thus far…) - mapping concrete sidewalk date stamps provides another pattern of Vancouver’s development - there are areas with no concrete sidewalk date stamps b/c they were never there to begin with or have been destroyed by development - using Vancouver Archives, early concrete sidewalks (no longer existent ) can be mapped - City Council (Court of Revision), Board of Works and City Engineer decided when/where concrete sidewalks were laid (sometimes with requests / petitions from businesses / homeowners) - post 1929 amalgamation/creation of Vancouver to 1932 was the busiest period - no easy answer for chicken/egg i.e. concrete street or concrete sidewalk

47 Burnaby St. West End, Vancouver, 1905 Timms, Philip. In Vancouver: Then and Now / Roland Morgan


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