|Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of heritage buildings and structures in recognition of their contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture.|
Places that Matter is closing out a busy summer by celebrating with a wild ride, a colossal coliseum, and the crack of the bat.
This week,Vancouver Heritage Foundation will be presenting three plaques at two events.
Wooden Roller Coaster
Almost every Vancouverite you ask has a memory, exhilarating or fearful, associated with riding the Wooden Roller Coaster at Hastings Park. Once threatened with demolition, the 1958 Wooden Roller Coaster is celebrated across North America as the last operating example of noted designer Carl Phare’s work. Built of Douglas fir by Walker LeRoy, the coaster features a maximum drop height of 20m and speeds of up to 76km/h. It is Canada’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster.
As the arena that brought NHL hockey to Vancouver, the Pacific Coliseum has been a landmark in the city’s sport and pop-culture landscape since it opened in 1968. Architectural historian Harold Kalman called W.K. Noppe’s 15,000 seat circular arena “[a] characteristic essay in Formalism.”
After more than 20 years as a Western Hockey League Franchise, the Canucks played their first NHL game here on October 9, 1970. The Canucks continued to play at the Coliseum until 1995 when they moved to General Motors Place, since renamed Rogers Arena.
Even after the Canucks moved to new home ice, the Pacific Coliseum continued to host a wide variety of local and international music, cultural and sporting events including the Vancouver Giants WHL junior hockey season. It also served as official venue of figure skating and short track speed skating during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
The plaques for the Wooden Roller Coaster and the Pacific Coliseum will be presented as part of PNE festivities at the start of the Superdogs show this Wednesday, August 28 at 11:30am in the Pacific Coliseum at 100 North Renfrew Street. Everyone is welcome with paid admission to the Pacific National Exhibition.
Nat Bailey Stadium
“The Nat,” officially known as Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium, has been home to professional baseball since 1951. First named Capilano Stadium, it replaced Athletic Park at 5th and Hemlock Streets and was later named Nat Bailey Stadium in 1978 to honour the work of Vancouver restaurateur Nat Bailey and his tireless efforts to promote baseball in Vancouver.
A curiosity of the 1950s and 1960s was “Scotchman’s Hill” on nearby Little Mountain, where fans unable to buy tickets would sit on their blankets with picnics and transistor radios. Jim Robson’s play-by-play on CKWX radio would include “a special hello to all the shut-ins,” at the beginning of each broadcast. The trees on the hillside have since grown to the point that the view of the field is blocked.
The Nat Bailey Stadium plaque will be presented during the pre-game show on Thursday, August 29. If you have a ticket to the game, make sure you don’t miss the presentation.