Wild About Arches

SGN 1081 - [Arch on#1EFCAAA

SGN 1081 – Arch erected at CPR wharf (foot of Howe St) for visit of Chinese diplomat, Li Hongzhang. William M. Stark, photo, 1896

From the incorporation of Vancouver through the early decades of the 20th century, residents of Vancouver were nuts about erecting arches. Most arches were constructed to celebrate special occasions and visits of dignitaries. There are photographic examples in the City of Vancouver Archives of arches being constructed to celebrate:

As far as I know, with the exception of Lumbermen’s Arch, none of these stood much longer than the occasion for which they were erected. The arch-building craze seems to have run its course by the end of WWII. I’m not aware of any arches being erected to welcome home troops for VE or VJ Days.

But arches continue to have a following in contemporary Vancouver and the form can still be found today. Most notable is the Lumbermen’s Arch – first erected at Pender and Hamilton streets for the 1912 visit by the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, then moved to Stanley Park where it remained until it had to be demolished in 1947 due to its deteriorating condition. It was replaced by a more abstract, simpler arch in about 1952; it remains there today. Chinatown’s Millennium Gate (2002), and the Peace Arch (1921) monument at the Canada/US border crossing are two other examples of continuing local affection for the arch form.

1912 Arch N6.02 - [Lumbermans Arch at Pender and Hamilton for the visit by the Duke of]-2

CVA Arch N6.02 – Lumbermen’s Arch at Pender and Hamilton for the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, 1912. Note: Later, this arch and its replacements would be situated in Stanley Park.

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One Response to Wild About Arches

  1. Sheila says:

    The original Lumberman’s Arch looked more like a Lumberman’s Parthenon!

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