Cates Park artists' cabin must go ahead of condo development nearby, says Port Metro Vancouver
Supporters fighting to preserve 1930s cabin as 'last vestige' of artistic life in 1950s, early 1960s
A small blue cabin in the woods near North Vancouver's Cates Park is slated for removal at the end of the month, despite protestations from people who want it preserved as a piece of art history.
The cabin was built in the 1930s, one of a number in the area set up by sailors, squatters and artists. English author Malcolm Lowry wrote the classic Under the Volcano in a cabin nearby in the 1940s.
"A lot of the squatters were evicted in the late 1950s, early 60s and many of the cabins that were here are gone," said Esther Rausenberg, executive director of the Eastside Culture Crawl.
"This is the last vestige of that history and so its even more critical that we ensure it's preserved."
But Port Metro Vancouver is evicting the remaining squatters — two Vancouver artists — and has ordered the cabin to be moved at the end of January.
According to the port, there is extensive heavy metal contamination on the site, and it must be remediated in advance of a Polygon condo development nearby.
The port has offered $10,000 to the North Vancouver Museum and Archives to document the blue cabin and its artifacts.
A leader in Vancouver's arts community, Rausenberg says she understands the cabin has to move, but says its an important artifact in Vancouver art history and the structure itself is important.
Rausenberg and others are looking to find it a new home.
"We do need to find a place to store this incredible piece of history."
With files from Tim Weekes