Inspired by a current book I am reading, Vancouver a History in Photographs by Aynsley Vogel & Dana Wyse, where I learned that one of our Governor Generals was Earl Grey and how he visited Vancouver on several occasions. Whose legacy boosted one of social reforms, advocating in national unity and bridging cultures - a true passionate Canadian character.His most known legacy 'the GREY CUP'. I had to read more with the thoughts of 'ok' - let me bridge this era with design and see where the journey leads........its a BIG BLOG and well worth the read!
The first thoughts are Earl Grey, and tea - right! Well this was the time when 1910 was a hey day of tea rooms and social gatherings. Celebrating accomplishments and discussing the birth of great change.
Here is a glimpse into the Tea Rooms and Tea Socials, and where better to think of High Tea is the Empress Hotel, then a CPR Hotel. And in retrospect, Governor Earl Grey was an advocate for CPR Hotels playing a key role in Chateau Laurier in Ottawa - still a grand architectural feature then as today.
The Governor General Earl Grey also participated in many historic events in Vancouver, such as the Opening of the Granville Street Bridge, and visiting the Hollow Tree in Stanley Park.
The Empress Hotel in Victoria still delights today with its Victorian Architecture, found in grand gallery and lower hall tea room - where if you visit take a stroll through the archives to set the mood in your walk about the Hotel, imagine halls filled with feather hats, piano music, laughter, and china.
This is echoed in the design of the Parliment Buildings and in the houses that surround its neighbourhood.
Here in Vancouver the buildings echo that Victorian build take a walking tour in the downtown core and look at the stores that surround the Art Gallery, The Bay, The Vancouver Hotel and our many old cathedrals. Walk around Gastown historic Strathcona, that is on a revival - see the new building renovation on Heatly & Hastings - stunning! Or in other neighborhoods of Mount Pleasant and Kerrisdale to see houses of this era.
As a designer I think it is vital to know the buildings that create our landscapes, and as exciting as the new build is - its also vital that we remember in some way the tear down that makes the way. Try to include some of the building/ home, or neighborhood's past. and incorporate this into the new design plan. HOW?By using the photo's found in the Vancouver Archives. Need a Saturday afternoon rainy day activity, visit the archives located in the Vancouver Public Library.
So we come back to Earl Grey and the Tea Room connection. In many historic events it was christened with the tea social celebration afterwards. In the daily routines of the era, 1909 it was also an element that was the meeting place to discuss and celebrate the the everyday events.
Today I encourage you to have a space in your home that you use for celebrating special events. A small corner lounge to display some of the old, retreat and socialize in the events of today. We usually do this in a form of library or dining room. Here is a twist on a wallpaper that is modern and Victorian to inspire such a space.......
If you do visit Kerrisdale, Visit the Secret Garden Tea Room, and experience that tea house social setting of yesterday today. Don't forget your hat!
So as you sip your cup of Earl Grey tea, reflect on the golden times of when dreams were created, and look at how you can create your own legacy, build - design - do it!
Today's info was sourced by: the Wiki on Earl Grey, the Google images, and Vancouver Archives.
Inspired by my current read, the book Vancouver, a History of Photographs by Aynsley Vogel & Dana Wyse.