Friday, July 6, 2012

Architectural Theme, Victoria

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia province in Canada, is celebrating its 150th year. One might think that the much larger mainland city of Vancouver would be the capital, but it was late to the game, being incorporated in 1886.

Few decent-sized North American cities manage to maintain a consistent architectural theme, though downtown Santa Barbara's Spanish Colonial architecture comes to mind. Victoria doesn't have a consistent theme, but in recent years some large, new structures have picked up the chateau style of the city's famous Empress hotel. As the link indicates, the Empress was built by the Canadian Pacific transportation company, being opened in 1908 and expanded since then.

Two recent structures echoing the Empress' chateau theme are the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa and the Hotel Grand Pacific located nearby facing the Inner Harbour.


This is the Empress. The original section is to the center-right.

Not a very good picture, as I was taking it from the ferry boat when leaving town. The Grand Pacific is the tall building on the right. The dome to the left is part of the Legislative (formerly Parliament) Building.

This is the Delta resort. A de Havilland Beaver aircraft and harbor taxi are in the foreground.

Farther west, in the Outer Harbour area is this condominium building whose name I can't seem to locate. It's architecture isn't chateau style, but I'm including it here because, while it's not traditional, I find it interesting to look at. A modernist purist critic would find it cluttered, but to me the clutter and variation in fenestration give the structure an oddly appealing sort of "organic-industrial" appearance.

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