West Cordova Street – 500 block, north side

Cordova between Seymour & Richards

In 1898 the traffic was pretty quiet on West Cordova – so much so that we suspect it was possible to re-shoot the same picture more than once without worrying too much about anything else getting into the shot. The camera equipment of the day didn’t include point-and-shoot, so these two shots taken almost, but not exactly, in the same part of the street would presumably have required the cyclist to make at least two passes (or they’re identical twins on similar bicycles – the less likely possibility).

Cordova near Seymour 1

The remarkable thing is that today – for a short while – it’s possible to line up the mountain profile and the waterline and still reproduce the correct angle, as this midblock part of Cordova consists of a surface parking lot – albeit that the ‘surface’ is actually the top of a parking structure – in 1890 you looked over the roof of a building down at beach level. Today to the west are the sails of the convention centre, or a cruise ship, hiding them, but soon there might be the base of a folded-plane office tower proposed by landowner and developer Cadillac Fairview.

Image source: city OF Vancouver Archives SGN 1084.1 and SGN 1084.3

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Posted May 18, 2015 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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