Thursday, October 13, 2016

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 268

The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, ca 1920s

Recently we went to Victoria, B.C., Canada for a couple of days where I found the two postcards shared this week.  The card above has a vintage photograph of The Fairmont Empress Hotel built in 1904 and opened in 1908.  Two wings expanded the hotel in 1909-1914 and more was added in 1928.  Further restorations and modernization were made in the 1960s and 1989.  Originally built as a hotel for the Canadian Pacific’s steamship line it served business people and visitors.  When the Canadian Pacific stopped passenger service to the city the hotel was re-marketed as a resort to tourists.  Victoria became a tourist destination in the 1920s and the postcard photo suggests that it was taken in the late 20s or early 1930s.   Ownership of the hotel has changed hands a couple of times and when the hotel sold in 2014 the new owners, Nat and Flora Bosa invested approximately 30 million dollars in additional renovations. 

The hotel was known as The Empress until Canadian Pacific Hotels changed its name to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 1999.  It has 464 rooms, courtyard gardens; most rooms have views of the inner harbor, the Ivy Ballroom, spas, four restaurants and the Lobby Lounge where the world-renowned Tea is served.  We initially thought we would attend the tea, consisting of small sandwiches and desserts, but ended up being hungry at the wrong time and settled one day for ice cream cones on the pier at this little place below and the next day a regular lunch instead of tea in the afternoon.  

However, we did stop in at the hotel gift shop to look around, which netted the postcards and this small teapot.   

The postcard below shows approximately the same view shown as the top card of the hotel as it looks today.  Both cards are published and distributed by The Postcard Factory and printed in Canada.  The top card has a alpha-numeric of PC57-CST 9450 and the second card is identified as PC57-CST 9452.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2016

Francis Rattenbury (1867-1935) was the architect not only for the hotel but also for the Parliament building and several other notable buildings in British Columbia as well as the Burns Manor and Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.  He designed the hotel in the Edwardian chateau-style.  

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