Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1241 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC

I've been doing a lot of research and interviewing for my upcoming feature on Radical Entertainment. They're celebrating 20 years so it's kind of big milestone, especially in the world of game development.

In the process of gathering information and doing interviews, I've become somewhat fascinated by the early history and the stories behind the Who, What, When, Where and Why of things associated with the company.

Most recently this happened while trying to run down information and a picture of the original building at 1241 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC. There are plenty images of the building there now -- a modern residential apartment -- but it has taken me a long time to find any of the original building. I finally found one!

1241 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC (circa. ~1910)
The description found in the "Self-Guided Walking Tour - Yaletown" describes the building:

"Rooming houses such as this one offered inexpensive, convenient lodgings for the many single working men who crowded into Vancouver in the early 1900s. Completed in 1910, the building was designed by architect J. Pearson for David McCall, a CPR boilermaker. The double-entry stair and the wooden cornice and brackets are original, but the gingerbread curlicues were added when the building was renovated for office use."

When I first started doing interviews, there was a legend, myth, story, whatever, that the original building where Radical Entertainment got its start was a brothel at one point. I have yet to actually confirm that rumour but because the building "offered inexpensive, convenient lodgings for the many single ... men" it's not outside the realm of possibility that some section of it was a bawdy house or offered those kinds of "services."

The old building was demolished some years back and the residential apartment building that replaced it doesn't have the same kind of character as the original building.

Radical is (obviously) no longer at that same site. The company moved many years ago to their building on Terminal Avenue, close to the big golf ball of Science World and just south of the Vancouver Pacific Central Station. The trains arriving and departing the station can be seen from the north-facing offices. It's a faint echo of the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) origins of the original building. I like that bit of synchronicity.

No comments:

Post a Comment