Benevolent design

BY VANCOUVER COURIER AUGUST 6, 2008

An explosion of feathers precedes a pigeon as it knocks a red and gold paper lantern askew on its way to a higher perch on the balcony above. That motion is the only visible activity in the old Chinese Benevolent Association building. The four-tiered homage to Chinese architecture is otherwise quiet, the rows of windows on the three upper balconies dark. It is relatively unassuming, and although it is one of Chinatown’s most important structures, there is no glitz or pomp celebrating its storied history. Pedestrians rushing by do not gaze up in wonderment at it, or the similar buildings scattered through the neighbourhood. Read more …