Vancouver City Treasure saved from Wrecking Ball

imageA Vancouver west side home that is more than one-hundred years old is being saved from demolition, although the future home for the home itself remains a bit uncertain. An anonymous local Vancouver resident was able to save the Arts and Crafts residence from the wrecking ball and will soon begin the process of moving the house not just once, but twice.

Built in 1912, the rescued residence is one of the most elaborate and beautiful Craftsman style homes that has ever graced Vancouver. Built by American architect William Alexander Doctor, the home boasts unique glasswork, a built in grandfather clock, and detailed woodwork that is increasingly rare, in historic homes and new homes alike in Vancouver. The log exterior is distinctive and has always caught the eye of passersby, including the city, which designated the home a Heritage B property. With only a kitchen update, the home remains intact and ready for a move.

Saving the home from demolition has been satisfying not only to the owner, but to the developer of the lot as well. With no cost for demolition, the situation could be viewed as a win win for everyone. A surge in overvalued land and undervalued historic homes in Vancouver has created and ever growing gap between the old and the new. However, moving companies are seeing an increase in business as more people seek to save heritage properties and relocate them elsewhere. With a price tag of around $35,000 to move a house, moving older homes is not only more efficient, more affordable, but also better for the environment – reducing the landfill contribution by 50 tonnes or more.

With an average of three or more Vancouver homes bulldozed each day and sent to landfills, local heritage advocates are seeking out creative ways to keep historical properties like these unharmed and occupied. The owner for this particular home struck up a deal with the builder that purchased the property and is moving the home to temporary storage while seeking out a piece of property in the area to eventually move this home sweet home permanently. Not a small task, the move for the house will total upwards of $100,000 because of the need to move it twice. The logistics are complicated, with everything from utilities to permits to take care of.

This will be one more property to add to the increasing list of saved homes. They may not remain on their original land, but they will remain intact.

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