Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Condie Residence

This is the Condie Residence, built in 1912, and located on West 11th Avenue.

It is an example of a two and a one-half storey, front gabled Arts and Crafts residence with a two-storey front verandah. It is distinctive because of its stone foundation, lapped wooden siding and cedar shingle siding, Arts and Crafts detailing and multi paned wooden sash casement windows with stained glass panels.

(Obviously this residence has been renovated but according to the photo I found on Bob's_2006 photostream on, the building looks very much the same - just cleaned up and a few minor changes.)

This bed and breakfast is next door to the Condie Residence. It was built in 1910.

In the years before the First World War, rampant speculative development resulted in the consistent style and construction of many of the city's historic streetscapes. The Condie Residence is a valued representation of Vancouver's Edwardian-era economic boon. It was a massive expansion of residential buildings but it was brought to a screeching halt with the economic depression of 1913 and then the start of World War I in 1914.

The consistent use of Arts and Crafts inspired architecture during those few boom years did set the character of many of Vancouver's neighbourhoods. This architecture is typified by rational space planning, the use of natural materials and a mix of traditional design elements such as picturesque rooflines, decorative brackets and a rich textural contrast of siding and shingles.

Numerous periodicals and plan books popularized this style. Both traditional aspects of the Arts and Crafts movement as well as modernized techniques were showcased in these books. It is likely that the Condie Residence was built according to a pattern in one of the plan books. This residence represents many typical design features and is part of a consistent streetscape in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

This residence is also valued for its connection to local contractor James Bruce Arthur, who was responsible for many residential projects in the Mount Pleasant and Kitsilano neighbourhoods. The Condie Residence is one of the larger examples of speculative houses that Arthur built to resell immediately in those boom years. It is also an example of how the streetcar suburbs were quickly and consistently developed.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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