Riverview Hospital blogs
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Henry Esson Young -- Hillside unit -- Home for the Aged-Valleyview
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Monday, September 24, 2007
CREASE UNIT (B21618)
Henry Whittaker, Supervising Architect Public Works Department 1930-1934, Additions in 1949
Plans were prepared for the first wing of the Veterans Unit, in 1929, to be used for veterans of the First World War, mainly shell-shock victims. Construction was delayed due to the Depression, and took from 1930 to 1934. Although designed shortly after the East Lawn building, and built at roughly the same time, an entirely different architectural vocabulary was adopted, to distinguish the veterans from the mental patients. Unlike the other buildings on the site, it also presents a prominent face to the outside world, and forms a gateway to Riverview.
The original building was more than doubled in size with the construction of a matching east wing. The plans had originally been prepared in 1944, and revised in 1945, but construction was delayed by wartime building material shortages. The two wings were joined with a new central, arcaded entry which is the architectural highlight of the building today.
On November 16, 1949 the Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine was opened here. This clinic was conceived as a way of providing psychiatric treatment for mental patients; the idea that mental and physical illnesses could nave the same cause was relatively new at the time. Patients were certified here rather than committed, and the maximum stay was four months. The clinic was designed to care for the earlier, and more hopeful cases, of mental illness.
The structure is reinforced concrete, and in random-coloured rug brick, terra cotta blocks, and precast artificial stone. Projecting decorative balconies feature intricate wrought iron railings. The main central staircase boasts a large Palladian window. The use of symmetrical design, the horizontally banded base, the regular arched windows, the wide overhanging eaves, and the articulation of the facade materials reflect an Italianate influence unusual in British Columbia architecture.
This building defines one side of the Lawn area, and also marks the edge of the Riverview site. It is the most prominent building facing Lougheed Highway. Its most distinctive characteristics are the monumental, symmetrical massing, the central Italianate-influenced entry with double-staircase, the broad, low hip roof forms, and the all-masonry construction.
The front facade is the most prominent landmark of the site. The rear facade marks the edge of the Central Lawn area. The most important heritage elements of the building that should be retained are:
1) The original elements of the front, side and rear facades
2) The roof form, as visible from the Central Lawn area
3) The entry portico and double-staircase
The elements that are less critical for retention are: The steel sash windows
The Crease Unit is a three storey reinforced concrete structure with a ground level basement. The roof is hip, and the roof cover is duroid. Although built in two stages, the detailing of both parts is identical, and the join is invisible. The central entry has a double staircase with precast balusters. A broad projecting pantile roof extends over the entry. Large arched windows highlight the top floor. The concrete base has been articulated with horizontal banding. The walls have been clad with random variegated rug brick, ranging in colour from tan to deep red. Terra cotta block cladding has been used at the top of the walls, and is pinkish-orange in colour. The window trim, and decorative wall trim, is of “artificial stone” (precast concrete). The windows are steel sash. Projecting decorative balconies feature intricate wrought iron railings. The main central staircase has a large Palladian window at the rear.
Alterations: Some of the steel sash windows have been replaced with aluminum sash. Two projecting stair towers have been added on the front facade.
Condition: The building is now vacant. General disrepair is evident. There is some deterioration evident in the concrete surfaces at the entry arcade. There are no visible signs of structural damage or failure.
CREASE DINING BLOCK (B21626)
Henry Whittaker, Supervising Architect Public Works Department 1930-1934
Located directly behind the main building, this smaller free-standing pavilion was built as the "Veterans’ Unit Dining Block”. It is the companion building to the main block, and is faced in the same palette of materials. The design is simple but elegant, with a central ground level entry, which leads to the dining hall on the second floor. A decorative balcony, with a wrought iron railing, is featured above the entry. It is connected to the main building by an underground passage.
As an integral part of the design of the Veteran's Unit, this dining pavilion equal in heritage significance to the main block.
As an integral part of the design of the Veteran's Unit, this free-standing pavilion is equal in significance to the main block.
As a free-standing building, the facades have been composed to be seen from all sides. Its most distinctive characteristics are the symmetrical massing, the central entry, the broad, low hip roof forms, and the all-masonry construction.
The most critical heritage elements of the building that should be retained are:
1) The original elements of the front, side and rear facades
2) The roof form, as visible from the Central Lawn area
3) The double-hung wooden-sash windows
The building is a free-standing pavilion, two storeys high, symmetrically massed, with a central entry. A decorative balcony, with a wrought iron railing, is featured above the entry. The entry is at ground level, and an internal staircase leads to the dining area on the upper floor. The concrete base is articulated with horizontal banding, and the brick walls match the main building. The trim is “artificial stone” (precast concrete), that matches the main building in detail. The windows are double-hung wooden sash, multi-paned 9/9 on the ground floor, and 1/1 on the upper level.
Alterations: A concrete block addition has been added at the rear.
Condition: Was in use as a cafeteria.(now closed 2006) There is some general repair and maintenance required. There are no visible signs of structural damage or failure.
Dr.Arthur Lionel Crease
(From the Hospital Annual Reports V 13-4 1949-50) By A.M. Gee.M.D.(Director, 1951-58)
Dr. Arthur L. Crease retired from the position of director of Mental Hygiene and Psychiatry on March 31st, 1950, after a professional lifetime devoted to the care and treatment of the mentally ill. Throughout his career Dr.Crease has been noted for his outstanding humanitarianism, his great kindliness and his devotion to the welfare of others, patients and staff alike.
His early medical training was obtained at McGill University, from which he graduated 1910, followed by four years of postgraduate study in medicine and pathology in the hospitals of Rhode Island. With this excellent preparation in medicine, Dr. Crease came to the West and in 1914 joined the staff of the Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B.C., as pathologist and physician. Since 1914 he has devoted his full time to the Provincial Mental Health Service and over the years with his increased experience he has had greater responsibilities. On the death of the late Dr. Steeves in 1926, Dr. Crease was given the appointment of Medical Superintendent and in 1934 he was promoted to General Superintendent and Provincial Psychiatrist this latter appointment being redesignated Director of Mental Hygiene and Psychiatry in 1946 Throughout his long career in the Provincial service, Dr. Crease has had many interests and all of them have meant better care for the mental patients. He always insisted upon a high level of competence from the physicians and called for the maintenance of high standards of medical practice. His early training in the hospitals of New England convinced him of the importance of modern laboratories as an aid in the practice of medicine. He therefore gave the developments of this department, of the Hospital his full support, thereby laying a firm foundation for improved diagnosis and treatment. The quarter century of Dr. Crease's administration of the Mental Hospitals was far from being placid; there was first the great depression of the 30's and then the upheaval of World War II, both of which placed severe restrictions upon the budget and made it difficult to obtain personnel. In spite of these difficulties, however, Dr. Crease maintained his progressive outlook and was able to pioneer in the introduction of many new services to the Hospitals, which made for better care and treatment of the patients.
The Training School for Psychiatric Nurses graduated the first group of students to take the postgraduate course for registered nurses in October, 1930, while the first class of psychiatric nurses was graduated in 1932.
The Psychiatric Social Service Department was established in 1930 and has grown over the years to meet the increasing demands. This department has played an important part in spreading the newer ideas concerning mental illnesses and in assisting the patient and community to achieve a wholesome adjustment to each other when the patient returns to his home.
The preventive aspects of psychiatry have always been of special interest to Dr. Crease, and in this connection he was instrumental in the establishment of the Child Guidance Clinics in 1932. He devoted many, years to the daily duties of the Child Guidance Clinic, where he stressed the importance of the early treatment of the behaviour disorders of children and carried on an informal teaching programme of the principals of mental hygiene. Many physicians, nurses, social workers, and psychologists of the staff workers from referring agencies learned much from his teachings and continued to be amazed at the wisdom and foresight in human relations that Dr. Crease exhibited.
To provide variety and stimulation in the daily routine of the patients living in the Hospitals, the occupational therapy department was increased in size and new crafts introduced, and a diversified leisure-time activities programme comprised of music, movies, and all types of recreation, was established. Dr. Crease was always a serious student, devoting many of his evenings to keeping abreast of advances in medicine and psychiatry.
In 1935 he was granted a leave of absence and went to the University of Colorado, where, under Dr. F. G. Ebaugh, he took an intensive postgraduate course in psychiatry with the purpose of learning the latest methods of treatment. Upon his return to Essondale, Dr. Crease made arrangements for a rotational plan of postgraduate study for the staff psychiatrists and other key personnel. This policy of postgraduate study remains in operation to-day, and over the years it has paid increasing dividends in the high quality of service rendered by the Hospital staff.
Throughout his career, Dr. Crease maintained that psychiatrists should not neglect the preventive aspects of their science and that they should concentrate on the early, active, and intensive treatment of the mentally ill. Such an emphasis, he thought, shortened the duration of the illness, reduced the toll of psychic suffering, and left the patient with fewer incapacitating "mental scars" when he returned to his home and community. It is this philosophy that motivated him in his years of planning and striving for the modern Clinic of Psychological Medicine that so fittingly bears his name.
As an administrator, Dr. Crease was unique. In an age of increasing tension he was able to maintain a warmly democratic personal relationship with his staff. He respected the judgment of his associates and gave them his full support in difficult times. He made it a policy to have the staff come in to his office from time to time “to talk things over," and in this fashion he issued the necessary directions for the operation of the Hospitals. In all matters Dr. Crease was eminently fair and scrupulously honest; the friend of all and the counsellor of many in their own personal problems.
On the afternoon of Friday, March 10th, a reception for Dr. and Mrs. Crease was held in the day room of Ward East 2 in the new Crease Clinic. This was definitely a family affair, with the staff, their wives, and close friends of the Hospital being present to celebrate along with Dr. Crease his sixty-fifth birthday and to present to him some gifts for his new home at Ocean Park.
The reception was not an occasion for farewells but rather for congratulations on a job well done. While Dr. Crease may now put aside the heavy burden of responsibility that he has borne so capably over the years, to the staff he remains the senior member of the Mental Hospital family who will always be interested in the welfare of us all and an inspiration to continued humane care and scientific treatment for the mentally ill.
Arthur Lionel Crease passed away in 1974, he was married to Florence Sarah Vanwyck, on July 6,1926 in Vancouver. Sarah pre-deceased Dr.Crease on June 15,1968 at 70 years of age in Burnaby.