Vancouver's Bronze Angel
Canadian Pacific Railway Station, 600 Cordova St., Vancouver, British Columbia

The bronze war memorial was erected in 1921 to commemorate those who had previously worked for the C.P.R. and had lost their lives in the war. This is one of four commissioned by the railway company and placed near their stations across Canada. After World War II, the dates 1939-1945 were added. The sculptor was Couer de Lion McCarthy.

Raw bronze colour is seldom used as a finish for a statue. Instead artificial patina can be applied, as the method involving acids or burying bronze in the ground are too long and involved. However, when bronze is placed outside, like this statue is, over the years it gradually acquires a patina. Exposure to air gradually changes the bronze to green; sea air and pollution hasten the process. Rain, saturated with chemicals, shows up as streaks on the bronze. Such a patina is either valued or, if not appreciated, can be prevented from the beginning by regularly washing and waxing the statue.

In 1967, some concerned citizens were horrified by what they called a "dirty" statue and got busy with wire brushes and detergent to scrub the "dirt" off. Scratch marks can still be seen. The statue quickly assumed the normal outdoor patina of a bronze.

The C.P.R. station is a heritage building, the third station to be built in Vancouver. The first was little more than a wooden shed. The second, a more substantial structure, was destroyed when a more modern one (this one) was built in 1912-14. Take time to view the inside of the building where there are ceiling murals. The classical style plaster work is the best to be seen in a public building in Vancouver.

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