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Vancouver, Washington State

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Vancouver in Washington State.


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Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. Incorporated in 1857, it is the fourth largest city in the state with an 2010 census population of 161,791 as of April 1, 2010. Vancouver is the county seat of Clark County and forms part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

Architecture and notable buildings

Mother Joseph was one of the first architects in the region, and because of its relatively long history, Vancouver contains a variety of buildings. Homes vary from Victorians and craftsman bungalows downtown, to small wartime tract housing and ranch-styles mid-town, with rural styles and larger homes in the outer ring. In addition to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the city was named one of the National Register of Historic Places' "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" for 2003.

Other notable buildings in Vancouver include:

The Covington House at 4201 Main Street, a log cabin and boarding school built in approximately 1848
Officers Row, including The Grant House (first house on the Columbia Barracks) and the Queen Anne-style 1866 Marshall House
Mother Joseph's Providence Academy, constructed in 1868, where Evergreen Boulevard crosses Interstate 5
St. James Catholic Church (originally St. James Cathedral), saw its first Roman Catholic mass celebrated August 16, 1885
The Carnegie Library at Sixteenth and Main, which opened on New Year's Eve, 1909, to showcase its unusual electric lights
The 1914 Chicago-style U.S. National Bank (now the Heritage Building) at sixth and Main
The 1916 U.S. Post Office at 1211 Daniels Street
The vertical-lift Interstate Bridge, which opened on February 14, 1917, Oregon's 58th anniversary
The 1935 art deco telephone exchange building at Eleventh and Washington
The 1941 Clark County courthouse, designed by prolific local architect Day Hillborn

Many of these buildings have been re-purposed. The 1867 Slocum House, an Italianate villa style residence originally built one block south of its current location in Esther Short Park. It was moved to its present location at Esther Short Park in 1966 and now houses a community theatre company. The Carnegie Library was expanded in the 1940s, becoming the Clark County Historical Museum after a new library was built in 1963. Other buildings have been torn down for urban renewal or renovated to house professional offices such as lawyers and accountants.

Art and Culture

Vancouver has recently[when?] seen a revitalization of local art and cultural events. In 2010 there was a movement among local artists to form cooperatives and meet with established local gallery owners for a monthly forum known as "Art Conversations". Much of Vancouver's art scene is located in Downtown Vancouver.

Public libraries

Fort Vancouver Regional Library District

Annual events

Since the mid-1960s, Vancouver hosted a Fourth of July fireworks display on the grounds of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site that drew many people to the city. The display routinely ran to 45 minutes, attracted up to 60,000 visitors and was broadcast on area television, one of the largest west of the Mississippi River. Due to the death of key organizer "Mister Fireworks" Jim Larson and a poor economy, the show was not held in 2009. A shorter, redesigned 2010 show charged admission and brought in approximately 35,000 people.

Late August features the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival in Esther Short Park, the largest jazz festival in SW Washington.

Each September sees St. Joseph Catholic School host the Vancouver Sausage Fest, drawing attendance upwards of 100,000 over three days.

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