The Golden Coin

stair,staircase,vancouver,Andrew,Carnegie,center,George,Grant,architecture,HDR




This is a shot I took during a trip to canada. From the outside, the building didn't promise much, but inside one could appreciate this nice staircase. On the technical side, this is an HDR shot as usual, but this time taken with a fisheye lens to better capture the curvature of the tower where the staircase is located.

The history of this building starts in 1901 when American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie decided to donate $50,000 to build a city library if Vancouver would provide free land and $5,000 annually to support its operation. After a public plebiscite the final location was determined and the construction of the new institution started.

The building was designed by Vancouver architect George Grant and is in the style of Romanesque Renaissance. Inside is this large staircase made of steel and marble, having a massive three-panel stained-glass window with three smaller colored windows below.

After the initial tenant moved out around 1957, the building went through some troubled times. Between 1967 and 1977 it was simply left unused and deteriorating, while at the same time the city hall considered to lease, sell or simply give away the building.
Finally it was decided to renovate it and in 1980 it was reopened to remain at the service of the community.