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· Keeping Northwest Books in Style ·

A four-day stay in Vancouver prompts my post. I go back a long way there, to 1966 when Stylish and I first visited British Columbia's most cosmopolitan city. In addition to spectacular views, we discovered something new, two public libraries keeping Northwest books in style today.

 · Vancouver Public Library · It was good to find just two blocks from the Georgian Court, where we stayed, the impressive Vancouver Public Library. If you visit, VPL is a must-see. Built in 1995, the building gestures to the Roman Coliseum architecturally but remains alert to the rich, variegated life of Canada's most diverse, multicultural city. Designed in 1992 by Moshe Safdie & Associates, its 9 floors house 2.5 million items adjacent to a new $50-million, 21-floor Federal Tower. An upbeat gathering spot, the VPL has been among the first of North American libraries to have included, with great success, adjoining retail shops.

 · The Koerner Library · No less impressive was the 1997 Walter C. Koerner Library on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Commanding spectacular views from its 920 carrels, the Koerner rises five floors above ground, its lowest belted in rock granite and its remaining in plate glass. For UBC's humanities and social science students, it offers an impressive blend of literary, natural, and technological sophistication unequalled, in our experience, elsewhere. We did find it amusing that benefactor Walter C. Koerner, an important UBC backer, made his initial fortune as a clever verbal stylist — simply renaming our low-grade "Hemlock" as "Alaska Pine."

It goes to show you how far a little bit of style can take you. But here it has simply taken us from Vancouver to home, where, if our books are not so well housed, they are, we think, just as well loved.


Word that Vancouver has been chosen to host the Winter Olympics, 2010, prompts my note. Stylish and I have equally enjoyed the other venue, Whistler. You're going to love February, 2010.

Posted by
Styles on July 2, 2003 10:45 AM

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