Friday, 9 January 2009

Renewal


The Hotel Pennsylvania is a good news story from the Downtown Eastside, Canada's poorest postal code.

The hotel was built as Woods Hotel in 1906. Some time after that it became known as the Pennsylvania Hotel. After a more or less steady decline in recent decades it has been given new life. The 70 or so SROs (single room occupancy) with bathrooms down the hall have been converted to 44 mini apartments providing supportive housing for DTES residents.

The building looks better than I ever remember it looking in my lifetime but the best part of the restoration is the recreation of the neon sign which has not been in place for ages. I just happened by shortly after the grand opening attended by politicians, community workers and residents or the neighbourhood. 

Another significant addition to the reno is the conical roof on the corner turret which had been removed some time back when I wasn't paying attention. 

12 comments :

Virginia said...

What a grand old building. The neon gives it some pizazz and I love those snazzy balconies as well. (Too bad we're not playing Scrabble, W. Look at all the z's I used!)
V

Laurie said...

What does DTES stand for?

I love this building. I think this is the way city buildings are supposed to look.

Wayne said...

Laurie, It stands for Downtown Eastside.

If all the historic buildings in this neighbourhood, and there are dozens and dozens of them, were done up like this it would be an amazing boost for Vancouver and the community.

Wayne said...

V. Why do I get the feeling that if I were playing Scrabble with you that you would have that many Zs to play?

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

So great to see some new life being breathed into some beautiful old buildings and with some benefit to the community too. More of the same would be great news.

Great pics and info, Wayne. Thanks.

Boise Diva said...

It looks new to me!

PinkPanthress said...

The building looks awesome, I like the corners with those windows which look like oriel/bay windows. :)

Anne Vis said...

Beautiful blog, great shots!

BABOOSHKA said...

This is the opposite of my post today. Here you have renovation,input, a new lease of life. Fabulous building. I literally have a waste of space in Ramsey. Great angle too.

Hilda said...

I think it's a lovely old building. I'm glad they renovated it. Love all the windows and that corner turret.

Wayne, what's DTES?

Virginia said...

W.
Only you would know how many Z"S there are in Scrabble. I'm not playing with you now, so there! And I 'm taking my board and going home!!!

Kris said...

Great to hear, and even better to see.

Renewing the DTES will go a long way to lifting Vancouver more generally, as you say.