Mayor to recognize award-winning heritage properties

New Westminster’s heritage architecture is one of its biggest assets. While there are pockets of heritage neighbourhoods throughout the Lower Mainland, New Westminster is lush with vintage appeal. At June 14th’s Regular Council meeting at 7pm, Mayor Wayne Wright will recognize two award-winning local historic properties and present plaques to a number of recent homes that have received municipal heritage designation status.

Here are the details, from New Westminster Heritage Planner Julie Schueck:

Two projects were nominated by New Westminster to stand against heritage projects from around the province and both projects were recognized for their achievements at the Heritage BC conference that recently took place in Victoria.

Boiler House
The Boiler House at Victoria Hill has won an Award of Honour from Heritage BC

The Boiler House at Victoria Hill won an Award of Honour from Heritage BC. The Boiler House was constructed in 1930 by the provincial Department of Public Works. The original intention of the Boiler House was to provide a reliable source of heat to all the buildings on the site, using what was then an advanced technology. It was designed in the Art Deco style of architecture and consists of cast-in-place reinforced concrete, a circular smokestack with decorative banding, and gothic-inspired quatrefoil inset panels in the centre window bay.

The distinctive board-formed concrete was repaired where necessary, windows were repaired rather than replaced, unsympathetic additions were removed. New structural elements, including the seismic bracing, were left exposed in a manner that respects the old while being clearly new. The main interior feature of the Boiler House is its fitness room with an impressive 2-storey high ceiling and exposed structural and mechanical systems, which gives the space a gritty yet modern feel. The washroom facilities are completely accessible. The remainder of the Boiler House consists of rooms for friendly gatherings, billiards, a theatre with raked seating, meetings, and reading – where there are overstuffed chairs and a gas fireplace. Inside and out, the Boiler House has been rehabilitated into a pleasant and functional space that honours the past and looks forward to the future.

-The heritage conservation plan was developed by Robert Lemon of Robert Lemon Architects
-the architectural work was carried out by Doug Johnson of Doug Johnson Architects
-the landscape plan was developed by David Stoyko of Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architects
– the owner, Onni Group of Companies

Howay Cottage
Howay Cottage received a Certificate of Recognition from Heritage BC. The 500 Fourth Ave house was created through a Heritage Revitalization Agreement that saw the property at 340 Fifth St subdivided and an at-risk heritage house relocated to the new lot from the Brow of the Hill neighbourhood.

The Howay Cottage at 500 Fourth Avenue won an Award of Recognition from Heritage BC. Built in 1902, the Howay Cottage was originally located at 506 Tenth Street. In 2008, the cottage was under threat of demolition when it was spotted by Felicity and Chris Rudolph. Unlike most people who saw a badly run-down house, they saw a house with potential.

Through a Heritage Revitalization Agreement and with the help of architect Eric Pattison and contractors Basil Restoration, the Howay Cottage was relocated to the Rudolph’s property in Queen’s Park and rehabilitated using an approved heritage conservation plan.

The rehabilitation of the cottage retained the clarity and simplicity of its form, scale and massing; the deep enclosed roof eaves and wide frieze boards; the wood sash multi-pane windows; and the cantilevered window bay. Contemporary asphalt shingle siding was removed and the original wood siding was restored. Corner boards and trim were restored and replicated where necessary. The masonry chimney was rebuilt to its original profile. The front porch was replicated to match the original and paint scrapings established the original paint scheme that was able to be matched. All original windows were repaired or restored. All non-historic windows were replaced with matching historic style windows. The non historic front door was replaced with just the right salvaged door that took months to find. New cedar roof shingles were installed. New elements to the house included a 450 sq ft addition on the side of the cottage that was set back 12 feet from the street. This allowed for a family room and a second bedroom, making the house more liveable.

The Howay Cottage has quickly settled into its new location and its new life; showing that a run-down house could be turned into a sought-after gem when in the right hands.

The heritage conservation plan and the rehabilitation plans were developed by Eric Pattison of Eric Pattison Architects; and the construction was carried out by brothers Mark and Miles Wittig of Basil Restoration.