Vancouver Art Gallery
In the early 1900's, Francis Mawson Rattenbury designer of the Empress Hotel, won the architectural competition to create a new courtroom. When this new courtroom was opened in Georgia, it subsequently replaced the old courts in Victory Square. The courtroom was impressive in its hey-day with marbles imported all the way from Alaska, Tennessee and Vermont. There are 18 courtrooms which served the city for more than 60 years.
At the end of the 60 year period, the city outgrown its courthouse and Arthur Erickson was called to build new and better facilities at the south end of Robson Square. He then converted the old courts into a new home for the now famous Vancouver Art Gallery.
Walking into the grand hall of the library is quite interesting. The interior was completely restructured to accommodate the needs of the art gallery. Courtrooms were replaced with wide space and the old copper dome above the rotunda was refurbished with 4.9m of fiberglass to allow lighting spaces.
Not all within the gallery was taken out. If you go to the Annex Building, you will find the only part of the gallery that was declared a heritage site. Here you will find the original judges' benches and original walls that will remind you of the olden times.
The front garden of the gallery is one of the few green spaces in Downtown. Summer time would find most people lying on the lawns, enjoying the sunshine and a good book. A beautiful mountain designed in 1966 to commemorate the 1866 union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia is one of the major highlights of the gallery. This is known as the Centennial Fountain.
750 Hornby Street, Vancuver
Other Art Galleries in Vancouver
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