Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cotton Homes

This simple, box-like shape with a front-gabled roof, and attached porch is an example of a Gabled Vernacular style home. The 1-1/2 storey house is first listed in the 1908 directory as a vacant new building though it was built the year before - no building permit has been found for it.

1329 Cotton Drive saw its first resident in 1909, a hardware merchant named William C. Haycock. In 1910, James McLennan, a carpenter, resided here.

Across the street, at 1330 Cotton Drive, is a house and apartment building listed from 1913 though, once again, no building permits have been found. I am going to talk about the house.

It is another Gable Vernacular Style house - a simple rectangular building with a front-gabled roof and an attached porch. The glassed in area was probably added years ago to create a more usable space. August Yarco, a labourer, had a shack here from 1907 to 1913 and when part of the area was rebuilt into an apartment building, Yarco was hired as a janitor. (I will have to go back to the area and get some photos of the apartment building!)

These two houses, plus others I am featuring, are in the Grandview district. The story goes that the area got that name due to a resident putting up a sign at the interurban stop near his home at Commercial and 1st. The sign read 'Grand View'. Perhaps the resident was a realtor trying to unload property and wanted to make the area sound special.

The view would have been great; it still is at certain spots. The view was a result of the extensive logging of the forests to feed Hastings Saw Mill. The sights residents of the area would have seen then included the small city of Vancouver to the northwest and False Creek, which at the time covered a lot of the area.  

What a sight that must have been! Of course, the view today is mainly of buildings. With the addition of the interurban line in 1892, the village of Vancouver began to grow a little more. Then large homes began being built in the 'Grandview' area. Originally, it was intended to be an upscale district but when the CPR invested $2 million into the Shaugnessy area, making it the place to be, Grandview settled into a comfortable, middle-class area. 

Thanks goes to the Grandview Heritage blog for the information on the homes and to the book Namely Vancouver by Tom Snyders and Jennifer O'Rourke for the information on Grandview. There is more to tell about this district and I will get to it another time.

I hope you find the beauty around you.