Finding Aids

David Spearing collection
David Spearing collection [graphic material]. -- [ca. 1980].
147 photographs : b&w

David Spearing was born in Nelson, but grew up in Nanaimo. In 1957, he left to attend the University of British Columbia where he studied under architect Arthur Erickson, whose own design work included Simon Fraser University. Spearing joined the core team that conceptualized and implemented the revitalization of Vancouver's Chinatown and Gastown in the early 1970s. He also provided the early conceptual design work for the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort. In 1973, he published the book Living on Mountain Slopes, in which he advocated building housing on mountainsides in order to preserve agricultural flatlands. The book was considered radical at the time of publication. In 1973, he returned to Nanaimo to start his own architectural firm and spearheaded Nanaimo's downtown and waterfront revitalization through his firm's work and involvement in the local heritage conservation work. He was a founding member of the Nanaimo Heritage Advisory Committee. In 1978, he assisted in the formation of the Downtown Development Group, later known as the Nanaimo Improvement Association, with the purpose of revitalizing the City's downtown core. Later, Spearing worked on a number of international projects. He designed a master plan for a university in the Philippines, spent two months in Poland working on hotel and urban core design, worked on a hotel restoration project and eco-tourism resort in Guyana and did three hotels and a strategic plan for eco-tourism in Peru in 1998. In 2000, Spearing worked on a pool and gym development project in Russia and a hotel restoration project in Siberia. In 2002, he returned to the Philippines to do Master Planning work. Spearing was president of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, a Rotarian, and a director and vice chair of the Nanaimo Airport Commission. He was a recipient of the Heritage Canada Foundation's Lieutenant-Governor's Medal (1979), a Queen's Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal (2003) and the City of Nanaimo's John Thomson Heritage Memorial Award (2004). Spearing married Dianne LaSota and raised four children Kjeld, Justin, Saul and Simon in Parksville. Spearing died from ALS in 2005.

Collection consists of photographs of downtown Nanaimo taken by Spearing.

Title based on the contents of the collection.

Photograph from David Spearing collection, 2004 009 A-P1
Photo 2