City of Vancouver Heritage Award

2007 / Award of Merit

Project: Renovation of the existing heritage house and the construction of an infill dwelling.
Style: English Arts and Crafts
Date: circa 1912
Original Architect: Sharp and Thompson
Original Owners: Mary Adelaide & Henry Edgeworth Hanning
Vancouver Heritage Register Status: Heritage “B”


Slated for demolition in 2005 this lovely old Arts and Crafts house was instead completely restored, with a compatible duplex infill built adjacent to the south. The redevelopment of the property included re-subdividing the land by turning the north-south subdivision (the property line went through the middle of the heritage house) to become and east-west subdivision running behind the house. The house was raised by almost two feet to allow for a basement suite, but otherwise the original quirks and heritage features were left untouched. These changes were made as part of a Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the City.


The owner carefully restored the original fireplace tiles and all the mahogany woodwork in the house. The uniquely styled fir mantle on the west side of the living room was rescued out of the dumpster from the Abbott House on Georgia Street. The old front doorway has been retained, but bricks which in the 1950’s had been used as facing over the original living room fireplace tiles, have been used to rebuild the front stairs. Rather than an imposing entrance on West 2nd Blanca with it’s back to the view, almost like a servant’s entrance, an original verandah wraps around part of the first floor and overlooks Westmount Park.


Directly above the first floor verandah, the master bedroom has one of four Arts and Crafts tiled fireplaces, now converted to gas. The bedroom opens onto an intriguing second storey balcony which, with it’s sliding panels, doubles as a sleeping porch. A third-floor bedroom directly above I now an artist’s studio with a balcony addition to take advantage of the staggering views.


The other period touches include wood-paneled walls, leaded glass windows and an extensive built-in buffet in the dining room. The deep brown, almost black paint on the Avenue, the front stair opens onto exterior half timbering and the off-white plaster is the original colour scheme of the house. The house has changed hands several times over the years. John Cowdry had the house built for his daughter Mary in 1912. Mary lived in the house with her husband Henry Hanning, a time-keeper for Armstrong Morrison Paving Co. on Granville Street.

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