City of Vancouver Heritage Award

2009 / Award of Merit

Project: Renovation of the existing “Pasadena Craftsman” style character house including extensive landscaping and interior renovations.
Style: Pasadena Craftsman
Date: circa 1922
Original Architect: James P. Gadd
Original Owners: James Parson Gadd
Vancouver Heritage Register Status: Not Listed


6583 Marguerite Street-originally 6583 Markham Street-was built in 1922 by Cedar Cove Sash and Door superintendent James Parson Gadd. James P. Gadd was born in Durham, Ontario on December 13, 1885. James Gadd came to Vancouver in 1906 where he married Annie Irene McGill in Vancouver’s Chalmer’s Presbyterian Church.


James P. Gadd applied for water service for his new Markham Street house on January 3, 1922. The same day he applied for a building permit. The building permit application records that the estimated cost of the house was $8,000.00 and that James P. Gadd was the architect. The contractor for the project was Dalbert F. Nunn. The Gadd house on the now called Marguerite Street had a very unfortunate renovation in the 1980’s which ruined some of the interior character of the house. The original porte cochere was filled in for a garage (facing Marguerite) and a master bedroom was added to the main floor immediately behind the garage. The existing basement of the house had a very low ceiling (quite unusable) and the second floor had only two very small bedrooms.


When we began the renovation project in 2007 it started as a basement renovation for the then teenage boys bedrooms and games room, and it grew into a full scale house renovation with completely new landscaping and rear terraces. The unique Pasadena Craftsman heritage house had very uncommon “klinker brick” column bases, full covered porch running across the full front of the house, low sloped roofs supported by large beams, all hallmarks of the Pasadena Craftsman style.


The owner, an ex lumber broker (Lignum Lumber Ltd.), saw great potential in the house, and loved the unique Pasadena Craftsman style. This style was originally pioneered by Greene and Greene architects of Pasadena, California in the early1920’s. Their now famous “Gamble” house is on the United States Registry of Historic Homes. This style is very unique to Vancouver and there are apparently only five examples known to be in existence.


A master bedroom was added to the upper floor (with west facing balcony) and a rear porch was added on the main floor to match the existing covered front porch. A rear “raised” terrace and rear porch stairs were built of brick to complete the transformation of the rear façade. Bricks were sourced from three different locations and mixed together to create the “klinker brick” look (match the existing klinker brick house base and columns). A semi-trailer of bricks were shipped from a brick broker located in Chicago as part of this detailed process of matching the authentic Pasadena Craftsman house details.


The timber frame fences were inspired by timber details on various Pasadena heritage houses (mainly the Gamble House). The square wood pegs give the illusion that the fence was built in the era of that early timber frame building that was inspired by wooden ship builders. Although every detail on this project was painstakingly researched and detailed for an authentic Pasadena Craftsman look, the interior was a bit more “transitional” in it’s design approach. Some parts were authentic “craftsman” but other parts of the design took on a more detailed touches.


The City of Vancouver rarely gives heritage awards to houses that are not on their own heritage register, but this renovated character house was rewarded with an “award of merit” in 2009. The response to the renovation/addition of the “Gadd Residence” has been overwhelmingly positive.

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