I had lunch with my niece yesterday and went an hour early to find an interesting
building or scene to sketch. As I was driving into the city of Vancouver I remembered the “beer can” building, looking glum and peachy against a black stormy sky.
The building, Smith Tower, was originally a much cooler color – a mustardy yellow.
City fathers decided they wanted it scraped and repainted.
It reminds me of the Capitol Records Building on Vine (as in Hollywood & Vine
for those who grew up hearing that in ads.) I had the pleasure of working at Becket and knowing Lou Naidorf, who designed this building in his twenties! He insisted that he was not thinking of stacked LP’s — I say, “Who does he think he is kidding?”
I think the stacked vinyl building is a much cooler piece of Googie architecture,
but It is nice to see another mid-century building just across the river.
I had little time, and it was freezing and pouring. I turned my car around and
sketched from afar so I could see Smith Tower in the window. Ten minutes tops!
I also had a frustrating day of leaky and stubborn pens!
Great lunch of cranberry and pineapple chicken salad (yummers) with my niece at the Rosemary Cafe! (The best part, too busy enjoying her to draw!)
For more info on the Tower:
I discovered a wonderful blog on local architecture, Portland Architecture,
written by people who actually KNOW architecture. (You can’t believe how many bad articles there are in Portland on architecture.) They include Vancouver:
Vancouver’s Mid-century Gem: Visiting the Smith Tower.
I also found biographies on the two architects that designed Smith Tower,
which has been elderly housing since it was built in 1966 —
a tad late for Mid-Century Modern, but we’ll let it squeak by.
In looking up the info on Keith Bradbury and Henry Greybrook,
I found another great site of info, the
The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is Washington State.
Drawn in an Strathmore Mixed Media journal (new journal, and does not take a lot of
wet well) with Caran D’ache watercolor pencils, Noodler’s Polar Brown and
Lexington Grey ink, and Daniel Smith watercolors.
Note: Normally those inks do not run, but they bled a bit in this journal.
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- Portland Architecture
- The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is Washington State: Architect Biographies
- and always, Wikipedia!