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Otto Landauer, Second Narrows Bridge

Otto Landauer, Second Narrows Bridge with Concrete Pier, course of construction. November 6, 1959 [Teck Gallery, SFU Vancouver Campus, Vancouver BC, through Jun 22] Source: Jewish Museum & Archives of BC, Leonard Frank Photos Studio; LF.01060

Bridge City: Links for a Fragile Peninsula, 1895-1980

Teck Gallery, SFU Vancouver Campus
Vancouver BC – through June 22, 2010

These images of local bridge construction reveal the universal gracefulness and ‘dynamic form’ of steel and concrete in the service of making new transportation links.

The city of Vancouver and its surrounding municipalities and cities were once a series of disconnected villages. The waterways separating the various regions are linked today by numerous bridges. The concept of “Greater Vancouver” depends to a great extent on their construction. Photographs by Leonard Frank and Otto Landauer document local bridge erection and capture both the difficulties and the triumphs.

The photos for the exhibit were selected from the Leonard Frank Photos Studio Collection of the Jewish Museum & Archives of British Columbia, which includes 39,000 photographic images taken between 1880 and 1983. The studio was founded by Leonard and Bernard Frank and later purchased by Otto F. Landauer.

Bridge City shows images of the Art Deco-styled Burrard Street Bridge (1932); the truss-built Patullo Bridge (1937); the Lion’s Gate suspension bridge (1938); the eight-lane Granville Street bridge (1954), which replaced earlier timber and steel swing bridges; the three-span Oak Street Bridge (1957); and the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (1960). The years 1946 to 1971 in particular were a heyday for Modernist influence on Vancouver’s architecture and transportation infrastructure. These three decades witnessed the virtual rebuilding of Vancouver’s central business district.

The subject of bridges in the 21st century raises questions of their fragility in the face of earthquakes, rising sea levels and other natural events; the cost-effectiveness of their maintenance and replacement; the aesthetics of their design and construction; and the socio-geopolitical forces involved in building and maintaining structures designed to integrate different municipalities with different agendas.

Mia Johnson

Otto Landauer, Nearing connection of channel span, Port Mann Bridge

Otto Landauer, Nearing connection of channel span, Port Mann Bridge, Coquitlam, BC. September 14, 1963 [Teck Gallery, SFU Vancouver Campus, Vancouver BC, through Jun 22] Source: Jewish Museum & Archives of BC, Leonard Frank Photos Studio; LF.02032

Leonard Frank, Burrard Bridge from Kitsilano

Leonard Frank, Burrard Bridge from Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC. 1932 [Teck Gallery, SFU Vancouver Campus, Vancouver BC, through Jun 22] Source: Jewish Museum & Archives of BC, Leonard Frank Photos Studio; LF.02800


 Sun, Apr 25, 2010