In 1903 Charles Woodward expanded his mail order catalog service into a department store called Woodward's, built at the corner of Hastings and Abbott streets. By the mid 1950's Woodward's had defined one-stop shopping in Vancouver. The Woodward's 1993 closure had intensified the sense of dispossession in the Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood long-affected by poverty, homelessness and drug addiction.Currently in the last months of construction, the redevelopment of Woodward's is designed by Henriquez Partners Architects as a complex of multi-use buildings, offering significant urban spaces and integrating market and social housing and making an optimistic claim for inclusion, one that may be seen as a model in its quest to become home for an heterogeneous array of culture.
Body Heat is intended to tell the story of this redevelopment. the project is unique in the history of Vancouver due to its scale, inclusivity, social aspirations and the complexity of the partnerships required. The book will feature 20 interviews of key participants in this process. They provide the backbone of the book's structure and include: Liz Evans -Co-founder of the Portland Hotel Society, Lee Donohue- DTES Community Activist, Larry Beasley -Urban Planner, jim Green -DTES Housing Advocate , Ian Gillespie - president Westbank Projects, Dr. Milton K.Wong - Chancellor of Simon Fraser University, Frances Bula - Journalist, Bob Rennie - Marketing, Stan Douglas - Artist, Gregory Henriquez - Architect.
The book's editor is acclaimed Art Critic Robert Enright, who conducted all the interviews and edited a series of essays, by Christopher Macdona;d, Dr. Alberto Perez-Gomez, May So and Reid Shier, which provide insight into the diversity of issues confronted in the process. It also includes a myriad of images, historical photographs and memorabilia,amazing construction photographs, contextual documentary photography and architectural drawings.