forums
new posts
donate
UER Store
events
location db
db map
search
members
faq
terms of service
privacy policy
register
login




1 2 3  
UER Forum > Archived Canada: Alberta / BC > Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope. (Viewed 4561 times)
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
< on 8/2/2005 12:01 AM >
Posted on Forum:
 
This building is scheduled to be destroyed to make room for luxury condos. I'd heard stories that some of the rooms are connected via a series of false doors, hidden panels, trap doors, and that one may navigate throughout the entire city block through these secret passages. Sadly, we found little evidence to support this claim.

Instead, what we discovered was a state of collapse: the outer rooms, those nearest the main walls, were intact. The inner structure had all but fallen in on itself.

We discovered human waste, hypodermic syringes, carefully discarded in one of those plastic BIOHAZARD bins typically found in hospitals, doctor's offices (which we agreed was very responsible...obviously, the IV drug users were consciences enough to take these precautions).

We found bundles of old newspapers dating back to 1972.

There were signs of recent habitation. Once we realized that the building was likely occupied, we were extremely cautious as to not disturb those who had made their homes in the various rooms. In one room, we discovered a king-sized mattress, four-post bed, a reading table and an assortment of magazines. We did not take pictures of this room, as we felt it would be a violation of that person's privacy.

We did run into one young man who offered a story of Victoria's Underground. He told us that there was indeed a vast network of tunnels connecting every building built before 1920, and that many of the city's homeless lived in an underground catacomb. He recommended that we NOT venture into these, as they were places of serious danger, violence, drug addiction, and were often the place of last resort for those who had given up.

There is an inner courtyard and is not accessable to the public. This may explain some of the 'hidden garden' stories that circulate through the city. In fact, it is an alley that snakes around a few corners and leads to Fan Tan Alley.










[last edit 8/16/2005 7:39 PM by Jester - edited 3 times]

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 1 on 8/3/2005 4:37 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Not more than 24 hours after we checked out this site, than it went up in flames. I walked by the building yesterday and half of it was a smouldering ruin.

I asked a couple of panhandlers what had happened, and one of them said it had been torched a junkie gone wild. The other guy offered a more sinister version: word had got out that the building was burned to destroy evidence of a secret network of passages, and that if this information went public, it would expose City Elite to much unwanted scrutiny. This guy even said "unwanted scrutiny."

In any event, the whole building is now officially condemned, and will likely face the bulldozer much sooner than had originally been planned.

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
melissah 


Gender: Female




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 2 on 8/4/2005 11:14 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Great shots! Walking by those buildings, I often find my self wandering into the middle of the road b/c I'm so distracted by the buildings.

Thanks for showin' them pictures! I was so dissapointed when I saw that they had burned down. But...thanks to you I have been given a chance to actually see inside!

-Melissa


Soggy 


Gender: Male




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 3 on 8/5/2005 5:34 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Very cool pictures! I just wish they were a little higher res...


PS.: I love all the tunnel stories people tell you Keep 'em coming.

KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 4 on 8/5/2005 4:40 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
The Times Colonist reported that the fire is now subject to an arson investigation. A number of persons were reported to have been seen fleeing the building immediately before the fire was spotted.

The building was well known as a squat, and various people I've spoken with (mainly indigent persons) have told me that it is an extremely dangerous place to visit. I've heard stories of violent confrontations by seriously addled drug users, and there was certainly evidence of that violence when we checked it out. The place was a shambles. The one redeeming feature was that biohazard receptacle: someone had the foresight to properly dispose of their hypodermics in one of those little plastic buckets you find in hospitals and doctor's offices.

What I found most disturbing, not to mention upsetting, was that people are forced (yes...forced) to live in squalid conditions in one of this country's most beautiful (not to mention economically rich) cities. There were piles and smears of human waste in every room. The stink of urine filled the hot air. You'd think you were in some Third World (sorry...'developing world' for those of you who are politically dumb...er, politically correct) shanty town.

Obviously, tourists do NOT lay down big bucks to see homeless people hovering around abandoned buildings. Maybe they should. Maybe tourists should extend their holidays to include tours of places like these to help them better appreciate the very thin line between Have and Have Not.

Victoria is a MAJOR tourist destination. Over a million people visit this city, and they leave behind billions of dollars (that's right) each year. Sadly, however, little of that money goes towards helping people who are desperately addicted, or otherwise economically marginalized.

Anyway...this grand old building is a gonner. In another couple of years, the space where that building stood for 120 years will be home to a new condo development. These fancy new digs will be very expensive, and the people who live in the area now will be forced (yes, forced) to move elsewhere, so that wealthy new home owners won't have to trip over them on their way to the pub.

Maybe this is why I keep asking about these tunnel stories. Maybe this is why homeless people tell the more interesting versions. Maybe all the sinister horror Satanism etc. etc. etc. stories are a way for indigent people to claim some ownership over the city they call home. When all else is denied them, they invent stories of human sacrifice as a means of owning some part of the city's history.

Who knows.







"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
melissah 


Gender: Female




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 5 on 8/6/2005 4:51 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Here are some pictures that I took w/ my cel. Sorry about the crapy quality...



-Melissa


KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 6 on 8/6/2005 9:13 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
That's the one. This time a week ago the roof was falling in, the walls were smeared with feces, desperate people were living inside and the whole world was marching by right outside the now blown-out chard remains of what was once a beautiful and old and historically significant part of the city.

It's all so elegant, as though the building itself were clinging to life, unwilling to surrender to time. As though it welcomed in whoever wanted shelter, despite its odour of decay. Like an old dying woman clutching the hand of her granddaughter.



"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
Wiccan 


Location: Hamilton Ontario
Gender: Female




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 7 on 8/9/2005 10:02 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Wow, how depressing. It really makes you think,KK.

What was the original use of this building, was it a hotel or something?

KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 8 on 8/10/2005 12:27 AM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Posted by Wiccan
Wow, how depressing. It really makes you think,KK.

What was the original use of this building, was it a hotel or something?


I think it was a hotel. A lot of the buildings on Johnson St. were hotels.

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
anvil 


Gender: Male




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 9 on 8/10/2005 7:42 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
The building was on lower Pandora - not Johnson. It was a part of old Chinatown, and I believe that either Oriental or Theatre Alley ran up beside it.

KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 10 on 8/10/2005 4:21 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Posted by anvil
The building was on lower Pandora - not Johnson. It was a part of old Chinatown, and I believe that either Oriental or Theatre Alley ran up beside it.


Correct. My mistake...Pandora. Not Johnson St. Theater Alley. Correct. Foot of Johnson St. Bridge.



"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
Greg 


Location: Canada
Gender: Male


How is this even 'exploration'? It's a loving house you've already been in you weirdo!

Send Private Message | Send Email | My Personal Site
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 11 on 8/13/2005 12:59 AM >
Posted on Forum:
 
The pics are really great.

KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 12 on 8/13/2005 1:18 AM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Thanks. I just saw a couple of them featured on some A-Channel news item about the building fire.

KublaKhan didn't receive a photo credit (thanks A-Channel guy), but I recognised them instantly.


[last edit 8/13/2005 1:18 AM by KublaKhan - edited 1 times]

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
Curious_George 


Location: Cambridge
Gender: Male


Straight outta New Bedlam

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 13 on 8/15/2005 10:39 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Wow, nothing like smearing fecies on the wall. Cool find by the way.

KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Johnson St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 14 on 8/16/2005 5:09 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
So I ask around a bit. The regulars who panhandle outside a local pub not far from the now shattered hulk of that once beautiful and historic building tell me that it was arson. But it wasn't them who lit the match. Or anyone they know.

One guy suggested that it was one of the developers who torched the place to drive out the homeless. Reduce the building to rubble and no one will want to go inside. Protect themselves from liability.

Odd that, not more than 24 hours after I posted my report and pictures than the whole place goes up in flames. Odd...just a little maybe. Purely coincidental. A fluke. An odd little fluke.

Anyway. There were many many security people hovering around the building in the days after the place burned. Now there are massive steel support beams holding up the facade. One of the side walls (see in one of my photographs bearing the words [the taunt, really] KEEP OUT) has collapsed. The building now looks like something from an old newsreel from WWII...a Blitzkrieg victim...and generally gives the surrounding area the sad and almost terrifying aura of Inner City Ghetto a la New York circa 1973. Or maybe Detroit.

Bricks and mortar and wood and steel and wires and filth now spill out onto what was not long ago a parking lot. Kinda like something came along and punched the guts from the building.

I'll get some pictures and post them ASAP.

Odd little coincidence, isn't it?

[last edit 8/16/2005 7:31 PM by KublaKhan - edited 1 times]

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
Jester 


Location: Vancouver,B.C. Canada
Gender: Male


Always just out of sight...

Send Private Message | Send Email | Wraiths
Re: Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 15 on 8/16/2005 7:40 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Thread renamed as per kubla Khan's request.

It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 16 on 8/16/2005 8:05 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Posted by Jester
Thread renamed as per kubla Khan's request.


Thanks, boss.

KK

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
anvil 


Gender: Male




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 17 on 10/5/2005 6:12 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Just done a bit of research - the building was built in 1882, by Roderick Finlayson (HBC fur trader, Fort Victoria commander, colonial chief accountant, HBC superintendent, business leader, Victoria mayor), when this was still Cormorant Street.


It was purchased in late 1912 by Choong Hooie, and it was Chinese owned until it was seized by the City of Victoria for tax arrears (as so many downtown buildings were) in 1931. It was purchased by Chu Sing Hor and Lee Gan in 1942. In 1990, the City of Victoria purchased half of it.

Information taken from "The Forbidden City," David Chuenyan Lai, 1991, and "Encyclopedia of British Columbia", 2000.


Anyone visited the site recently, or heard news of what's happening with it?

KublaKhan 


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


With Satan, it's always gimmie, gimmie.

Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 18 on 10/5/2005 8:20 PM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Posted by anvil
Just done a bit of research - the building was built in 1882, by Roderick Finlayson (HBC fur trader, Fort Victoria commander, colonial chief accountant, HBC superintendent, business leader, Victoria mayor), when this was still Cormorant Street.


It was purchased in late 1912 by Choong Hooie, and it was Chinese owned until it was seized by the City of Victoria for tax arrears (as so many downtown buildings were) in 1931. It was purchased by Chu Sing Hor and Lee Gan in 1942. In 1990, the City of Victoria purchased half of it.

Information taken from "The Forbidden City," David Chuenyan Lai, 1991, and "Encyclopedia of British Columbia", 2000.


Anyone visited the site recently, or heard news of what's happening with it?

Have read Dr. Lai's book.

Re-reading it now.

As far as I know, the facade is being restored and then incorporated into the new condos that will be built on the adjacent lot.

"The truth is knowable. But probably not, ever, incontrovertible."
--Don DeLillo
PICS
bailey_ca 


Location: Victoria BC
Gender: Male




Send Private Message | Send Email
Re: Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope.
<Reply # 19 on 10/14/2005 9:07 AM >
Posted on Forum:
 
Posted by KublaKhan

Have read Dr. Lai's book.

Re-reading it now.

As far as I know, the facade is being restored and then incorporated into the new condos that will be built on the adjacent lot.


This is correct; the facade was always slated to be part of the new condo (Bambu). What I have heard-- to add to the theories-- is that to get approval for the condo, the developers had to agree to not only include the facade but restore and build in the original building to the plans.

This seems like an awfully intensive investment for the developers; would it not just be easier to incorporate the gutted facade of the building into the design? Problem solved, sadly.

C


UER Forum > Archived Canada: Alberta / BC > Pandora St. Squat: Abandon all Hope. (Viewed 4561 times)
1 2 3  



All content and images copyright 2002-2019 UER.CA and respective creators. Graphical Design by Crossfire.
To contact webmaster, or click to email with problems or other questions about this site: UER CONTACT
View Terms of Service | View Privacy Policy | Server colocation provided by Beanfield
This page was generated for you in 109 milliseconds. Since June 23, 2002, a total of 594739372 pages have been generated.