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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Hudson

While I'm on the subject of residential initiatives here I'll post these pictures of The Hudson, currently under construction on the corner of Fisgard and Douglas Streets (i.e. downtown). It's called The Hudson because for many years it was the Hudson's Bay Company department store, known as "The Bay." For those of you who may not know, the Hudson's Bay Company was responsible for the exploration/exploitation of much of Canada, especially for the fur trade.

Victoria founder James Douglas arrived here in 1843 to set up the Hudson's Bay Company Trading Post that became Fort Victoria. Such trading posts were widespread throughout Canada. In more recent years the company was represented by a chain of department stores across the country. With the decline of department stores and their replacement by suburban malls, this building became vacant for some years since it was too nice to demolish but no longer usable as originally intended.

In its transformation to The Hudson, most of it has been demolished except the fa├žade and interior flooring. Those creamy columns are terracotta, a kind of ceramic. Saving attractive old buildings, rebuilding them and increasing the residential areas within the city are initiatives I'm happy to see and I will be watching The Hudson as it develops. And, while not as revolutionary as Dockside Green, The Hudson is nevertheless being rebuilt with some sensitivity to environmental concerns. Below is a wider angle shot of the building in context.

4 comments:

Wayne said...

I'll be interested to see how this turns out myself. At the moment I'm slightly leery of the whole thing.

I'm glad you decided to do this one Benjamin.

.escamilla. said...

i've only been living in victoria for 2 months now, so i don't know much about historic details just yet. this was interesting information to learn. i drive/walk/bike by there almost every day :)

Virginia said...

This building is reminiscent of some BIrmingham 'grand dames' ( I am not referring to myself). THe lovely detail roof side is so lovely. Hope your city preserves these wonderful old buildings. THe workmanship is a lost art.

Kris said...

That is one massive task. I would imagine that it is an expensive exercise, and the residences will not exactly be of the budget variety!