After a hiatus of a couple of years, I’ve begun to take my sketchbook out into the city looking for derelicts – looking for pending change. One place that’s been on my mind is the house at 1885 Venables that was used as rehearsal and administration space next door to The Cultch.
The house was built as part of the church compound, as a manse or rectory (whatever the term Methodists used), in 1912. Here are images of the building permit (from Heritage Vancouver‘s permit database) and the site as it appeared in the Goad’s 1912 atlas.
I’ve watched the blue tarp on its roof, put there to protect the interior from leaks, deteriorate to the point of uselessness, and heard the rumours that The Cultch will demolish the house rather than adapt it to its needs, arguing that it is too far gone to be rehabilitated affordably. And I wonder, is this an example of the prudent use of scarce arts-and-culture funds, or is it an example of cultural vandalism, the sort of thing we deplore when developers turn their backs on heritage stewardship? Just curious….
5 thoughts on “The green house next to The Cultch”
I am completely disgusted with where Vancouver is going. I’m a fourth generation Vancouverite and am about to move away because of this sort of thing. I’m sure my house will get torn down when I move. The mayor doesn’t seem to say much about it which leaves us feeling a bit hopeless, especially when he thinks he’s so “green” you might want to take a look at what’s going into our landfills Gregor.
I must agree that mayor/council have no regard for heritage in Vancouver. They are profit over people and let the developers take over the city. Soon they will be no heritage left. It is shameful.
This is a fantastic blog. I envy how many heritage homes are still standing in Grandview. Other parts of the city are not so lucky. Please have a look at my Facebook page Vancouver Vanishes to see just a sample of the more than 300 house demolitions that have already taken place this year.
I’m interested in the responses, especially the second one, because I hadn’t connected mayor and council to this at all; rather, it’s the attitude of a beloved cultural institution toward stewardship in a neighbourhood. Caroline Adderson’s blog documents a different type of waste: perfectly usable houses demolished and replaced by bigger houses. The “green house” is not a typical Grandview story, as most houses of any merit at all are rehabilitated and live on, maybe in a gentrified form.
It’s heritage policy, incentives, and will, which need attention. Write Mayor and Council expressing your concerns, copying the Vancouver Heritage Commission, which is an advisory panel for Council. Writing directly to Council members may garner more of a response, than the general ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
City Councillors and their contacts:
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