Friday, July 19, 2013

900 Block Semlin Drive

This is 931 Semlin Drive. An expensive house to build, it was estimated at $3,500 on July 8, 1912, the day that builder E. Beam obtained a permit to build it. Beam is listed as the owner, architect and builder, which indicates this was a spec house.

The house sits on the north 40 of a double lot - lot size of 40 X 66 - which makes this a lot of house compared with other century old buildings of the city.

This 'front gabled' Vancouver Craftsman style home is most usually seen in the Kitsilano area, rarely anywhere else. The exposed rafters and brackets and small-bracketed roof over the sleeping porch are typical of this style.

Semlin Drive in the Grandview-Woodland district is named after Charles Augustus Semlin who happens to be our 12 premier.

As you know, I am writing entries on the premiers of this province and Charles Semlin is next up.

944 Semlin Drive is a small hipped-roof vernacular bungalow with a stoop rather than a porch. It sits on a half lot and is one of the houses in the Grandview area that was built sideways on two end lots of a block, common in Grandview.

In this case, it's four houses on 30 X 50 foot lots with a very narrow lane behind. In fact, the lane itself is unusual being too narrow even for cars.

On December 11, 1912, permits were issued to owner and builder George J. Thompson and the architect is listed as A.A. Morrison. This pair also handled 948 Semlin earlier in 1912.

This style of a small home and a few variants remained popular through the 1920s.

I would like to thank the Grandview Heritage Group for the information on the homes and to the book Namely Vancouver by Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke for the information on Semlin Drive.

 I hope you find the beauty around you.

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