When most people think of touring around to look at historical buildings, it’s an activity we usually associate with a trip to Europe or the Middle East. What we sometimes forget is the breadth of the history that surrounds us everyday here in the Tri-Cities. For people like Bob Hare, history is all around us, if we just know where to look.
I came across Bob’s photos on Flickr, and started digging through the pictues of local heritage sites and the text that he’s culled from different sources that tell the stories of the buildings he has photographed throughout BC. I had to contact him and learn more about this incredible resource he’s sharing with all of us.
Bob is an environmental consultant, part of his work is researching the history of sites to find out what businesses have operated there. This led to curiosity about the heritage churches of downtown Vancouver. It all began with a photo of Christ Church Cathedral on Burrard in the fall of 2006. Thousands of photos later Bob is still going strong.
“My favourite historical sites in the Tri-Cities would be Riverview hospital grounds,” Bob says. “There are several heritage buildings there including 3 large buildings with interesting architectural features.Â The old City hall in Pomo (now the Port Moody Arts Centre) is also a great old building that people can see everyday.”
While most owners of heritage buildings are more than happy that people come by to admire, I asked Bob about the recent privacy concerns of the owner of a Port Moody heritage home, and what can be done so we can all enjoy heritage buildings while coexisting with homeowners.
“I agree with her that people should absolutely not walk on other people’s property without permission,” he said. “That’s an invasion of privacy. I personally don’t go on private residences. I always take photos from the street and if I cant get a good shot, I just don’t take the shot. Also, I take the photo and then leave. I don’t hang around – that might bother some people.”
When asked what we can do to celebrate and preserve our historical sites, Bob said, “What they can do is take photos like what I’m doing to make the public aware of such sites and the importance of the sites.”
In the past photo collections like these might be found in archives or tucked in corners of museums. With today’s digital cameras and the Web, we can all enjoy and benefit from the work of guys like Bob Hare, who in all sorts of ways work to keep the history of BC alive.
Once again, you can see his constantly evolving collection of pictures on Flickr.
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