Heritage Vancouver - Bulletin

Heritage Updates: Jan 4, 2011

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+ President's message
+ Development Update: 1241 Harwood
+ Zoning Application: 7101-7201 Granville (Shannon Estate)
+ Heritage BC: An Update
+ Vancouver Heritage Success Story
+ Top Ten Endangered Sites Launch & Bus Tour
+ A Conversation about New Strategic Alliances


+ President's Message

Heritage Vancouver would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011, and thank you for your on-going support for our many initiatives that preserve and celebrate Vancouver's built heritage. Last year was an exceptionally challenging one for heritage, with greatly diminished financial support from both the provincial and federal governments. "Heritage BC: An Update" in this E-Bulletin is a Call to Renew BC's Heritage Programs in 2011, and we strongly urge you to contact Premier Campbell, Minister MacDiarmid and your local MLA to support this initiative.

Despite the lowest ebb of funding in years, we did see some significant steps forward. The most important was a change to the provincial Homeowner Protection Act, with an exemption clause for heritage register buildings. This very significant exemption lines up with other provincial legislation – Building Code equivalencies and Energy Efficiency Act exemptions – allowing much more sensitive heritage conservation to occur, especially in cases where heritage buildings are strata-titled. Despite these gains, provincial heritage funding remains suspended, and we hear of no progress on the issue of federal tax credits for conservation.

In Vancouver, support remains strong for heritage conservation, but there are many competing interests and limited financial resources. Opposed by Heritage Vancouver, a decision was made to replace the windows in Vancouver's landmark designated City Hall. In addition, the overloaded Heritage Density Bank remains frozen, although excess density is slowly being absorbed by new development. As we monitor these ongoing issues, we remain optimistic that we can continue to work with the City, building owners and heritage stakeholders in creating a future for our heritage resources. We invite you to join us at our many events that we have planned for the New Year. Watch for the release of our Top Ten Endangered List in February, and more of our continuing Success Stories. Please check our website for more details. Best wishes for 2011.

Image - signature Don Luxton

Donald Luxton, President


+ Development Update - 1241 Harwood Street

The City of Vancouver is hosting an Open House regarding a development application submitted by Bing Thom Architects regarding the Legg Residence (1899), the heritage house located at 1245/1241 Harwood Street. The Open House will be held on January 17th 2011 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at the Cascadia Hotel, 1234 Hornby Street; a formal presentation by the applicant team will start at 6:00 pm. For further information on the project, view the application at this link:

Application details (City) for 1241 Harwood here (web link)

The Legg Residence is one of the few remaining grand estate homes built in the West End at the end of the 19th century, and Heritage Vancouver has been conducting additional research on this significant site. This house was under construction in July 1899, just 12 years after the arrival of the CPR railway. The Klondike Gold Rush had ushered in a brief wave of prosperity, and a number of grand residences, such as Gabriola on Davie Street, were being developed in the desirable West End by the city's wealthier citizens. Gordon T. Legg arrived in Vancouver in 1889, was the manager of Union Steamships of BC, and was one of the founders of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the house – with its broad overhanging jerkin-headed roof – typifies the style and grace of the late Victorian era and the patriotic connections to the Mother Country of many of Vancouver's elite.

The owner seeks to negotiate a Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the City. In addition to the house, the property has a very large tulip tree that was in the news this past summer when Council chose not to make the tree eligible for a heritage bonus density. At the Open House you will have the opportunity to view and discuss the proponent's new proposal which includes an 18-storey onsite tower that is required to absorb the heritage bonus density necessary to offset the costs associated with saving the house.

Heritage Vancouver has the following position on this development:

1) Heritage Vancouver supports the use of onsite density to preserve the Legg Resdence, a significant Late Victorian-era West End residence;

2) We request further research into the significance of this site, so that its heritage value is more clearly understood and interpreted; and

3) We request consideration of enhanced conservation of the Legg Residence, including a more appropriate Late Victorian era colour scheme.

We encourage you to attend the Open House to learn more about this proposal to save this very significant heritage house.


+ Zoning Application: 7101-7201 Granville (Shannon Estate)

Busby, Perkins + Will has applied to the City of Vancouver to rezone the four hectare, historic Shannon Estate Property from RS-6 (Residential) to CD- (Comprehensive Development) District and redevelop it with residential buildings, which would increase the overall floor space ratio over the entire site to 2.08 FSR. The attached letter sent to the City of Vancouver outlines Heritage Vancouver's position on the zoning application.

Click here to read the letter (PDF link)
Application details (City) here (web link)


+ Heritage BC: An Update on Ongoing Challenges and a Call to Renew BC Heritage Programs in 2011

Heritage Vancouver is pleased to provide a new feature for our members: an update from our provincial heritage organization, Heritage BC. We would like to thank Karen Russell, long time member and former board member of Heritage Vancouver and current board member of Heritage BC for this update.

Read the Jan 2011 Update (PDF link)


+ A Vancouver Heritage Success Story: SFU's Segal Graduate School of Business, January 19, 2011

Heritage Vancouver Encourages you to support our heritage conservation initiatives by attending "An Evening of Celebration" hosted by Heritage Vancouver and Simon Fraser University at the Segal Graduate School of Business on January 19th. This remarkable Temple Bank was originally built for the Merchant's Bank in 1915-16 (architects Somervell & Putnam) then more than doubled in size for the Bank of Montreal in 1924-25 (architect Kenneth G. Rea). The award-winning adaptive re-use of this former bank, by Merrick Architecture, restored the exterior and conserved many significant interior features including the highly ornate, cast plaster coffered ceiling. Don't miss this unique opportunity to go behind the scenes with the project architects Paul Merrick and Mitch Sakumoto, and heritage consultant Donald Luxton, and discover the ideas that shaped this splendid restoration and how the experts met the challenges of such a complex project.

Time: 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Location: 500 Granville Street (at Pender)
Tickets: $100 donation to Heritage Vancouver. Includes tour, visual presentation and wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. (Tax receipts will be issued)

View full event information here on our website


+ Top Ten Endangered Sites Launch and Bus Tour

Heritage Week is fast approaching and it has become a tradition to announce our Top Ten Endangered sites and host our now famous Top Ten Endangered Sites Bus Tour to mark this important time in the heritage calendar. This year – for the first time – we will be announcing our Top Ten immediately before the bus leaves to visit this year's sites. On Saturday, February 19th, plan to attend the announcement and visit the sites with renowned tour guide, Donald Luxton.

View full event information here on our website


+ A Conversation about New Strategic Alliances with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Heritage Vancouver and the Vancouver Heritage Foundation have been in conversation about how we can create new strategic alliances and a stronger voice for the Future of Heritage in Vancouver. March 17th is your opportunity to join the conversation and bring us your ideas about how you think our two organizations can work together more effectively.

View full event information here on our website


Thank you for your support!

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Heritage Vancouver Society
PO Box 3336, Main Post Office, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3Y3
604 254-9411 info@heritagevancouver.org

Creating a Future for Heritage – Heritage Vancouver encourages the community to preserve, restore, and appreciate Vancouver’s heritage structures.