Over the past decade or more, the relentless demolition of our built heritage has been the cause of great concern and regret to our community. Why does this matter? Because heritage buildings give communities a deep sense of history and identity, known in the jargon as a “sense of place.”
The District of West Vancouver's newly formed Heritage Advisory Committee is looking for members.
According to the District of West Vancouver website, "The Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) is established as an advisory body to Council and the Director of Planning and Development Services to assist in the processing of heritage applications, identifying and supporting the conservation of structures and landscapes recognized by the District as having significant heritage value and in undertaking education and engagement opportunities related to heritage conservation."
More information and a link to an application form can be found on the District of West Vancouver website. Those interested should apply by March 12, 2018.
1405 Doran, North Vancouver
Behind a surprisingly simple façade is an incredible, very pure example of how “Heritage Stands the Test of Time." Built on a large lot for English immigrants, the Tudor-style exterior and leaded glass windows must have reminded the owners of the ‘old country’. The interior contains amazingly beautiful built-in cabinets and each room is unique, cozy and still perfectly suited to modern day life. When the current owners moved in, they inherited a landscape plan for the property that included a 300-yard hole for golfers to show their stuff! Their stoop also includes the marks of a bear who tried to gain entry at some point! The owners have offered to host a summer party for our society, so stay-tuned for details!
750 17th Street, West Vancouver
Designed by Toby Russell Buckwell Architects in 1964, the West Vancouver Municipal hall is a lovely example of the modernist style. In 2015, in an effort to consolidate municipal services, funding for an adjoining Police Services Building was approved. In an architecturally seamless way, construction of the new building has now been completed. It is a beautiful example of how “Heritage Stands the Test of Time” and can even be mimicked!
448 East 13th Street, North Vancouver
In the hands of another owner, this house, with its dated interior and rotten front porch, might have been a candidate for demolition. Purchased in 2015 by its current owners, it has since undergone an extensive front porch restoration and an interior facelift. Now once again safe and beautiful, it is proof that “Heritage Stands the Test of Time!"
1824 Inglewood, West Vancouver
This unusual “Storybook” home, was built in 1938, as part of a trend influenced by Hollywood movies. Typical of this style is its stucco siding, steeply pitched gable and inset front door. Fondly called “The Little House That Could” by its owner, it is currently being lovingly restored. It is a sight to see and proof that “Heritage Stands the Test of Time.”
3623 Sunnycrest, North Vancouver
This unique home, also known as the Wedge house, was designed by Arthur Erickson in 1965 at the height of the West Coast modern design boom. Finding the home a bit small, the owners added a new section, with a transparent transition element, to ensure that the original home remains distinct and dominant. Through these efforts, once again, “Heritage Stands the Test of Time.”
1195 12th Street, West Vancouver
In an example of “Heritage Stands the Test of Time," the Rush House is a Craftsman-style home that was built in 1923. In December 2017, West Vancouver Council approved heritage bylaws that will see the legal protection of the original home and the addition of a laneway and garden cottage to the property. The construction of the new homes has not yet begun. This type of preservation is ideal for a home that sits on a larger property.
618 East 9th Street, North Vancouver
This Craftsman bungalow was last sold in 2011 and billed as a “tear down,” but the current owners fell in love with its charming style and decided to make minor changes instead. In an architecturally sympathetic way, the front porch and entry stairs were modified and the kitchen was enlarged. The result is a still-charming but slightly larger home.
It seems fitting to begin our “Heritage Stands the Test of Time” featured homes with the Cole Residence because when the owners moved into this house, they found a booklet on the built-in cabinet that contained a magnificent history of the families that had lived in this house since it was built. The most important part of the booklet was the first line: “I am not an ordinary house. I am a home with Tradition and History. I have sheltered families for over eighty years and in that course of time, only 7 families have lived under my roof. This little history is prepared for the eighth family who will dwell within my walls.”
Every year, communities nationwide celebrate heritage for one week during the month of February. The theme for the 2018 Heritage Week (February 19-25) is “Heritage Stands the Test of Time.” Throughout the week, North Shore Heritage will be featuring various North Shore homes or buildings on our blog that typify this theme (a new one each day). Despite the seemingly unending demolitions and new construction, there are plenty of examples of how heritage has indeed stood the test of time!
We value your interest and support and we encourage you to “like” or “follow” our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so you can stay informed about local heritage activities and help spread the word. As well, if you have an example of how “heritage stands the test of time,” please feel free to email us with a photo or the address so that we can feature it on our blog.
We are pleased to announce that a Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) has been reinstated in the District of West Vancouver, giving heritage matters a bigger voice going forward. At the District of West Vancouver Council meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2018, Mayor Michael Smith announced the creation of the new HAC. The committee will be comprised of three council members and three heritage advocates from the community. More to follow.
At the end of March, the City of North Vancouver approved a three-lot subdivision of the property at 910 Grand Boulevard. The move saves the 107-year-old Haswell Residence from almost certain demolition.
The house, known as the “Grand Dame,” was sold by developer Edward Mahon to timber dealer Eliot Haswell in 1910. The Canadian Register of Historic Places describes it as "a fine example of the British Arts and Crafts style...valued as representing the early development of the Grand Boulevard area, with large residences built on prominent corner lots.”
Under the approved plan, the Haswell Residence is to be moved to a new foundation, and two new homes will be built on the newly created lots.
While the decision received a mixed response from neighbours amid concerns about increased density, North Shore Heritage vice-president Jennifer Clay said the outcome of the hearing was the preferred option, given the bleak alternative.
To read more about this story, visit the North Shore News website here.