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First Shaughnessy: Walter C. Nichol House (1913) Appears to be Saved

June 13, 2010

Over the past 27 years, fifty-one pre-1940 heritage houses have been demolished in First Shaughnessy District, despite the Overall Development Plan’s stated goals to preserve the heritage character of this neighbourhood.

Despite a well-organized opposition from the Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association, it appears that City Council is still supportive of moving forward with the townhouse solution, that will allow the Nichol House to be preserved.

This outstanding example of an Arts and Crafts residence – a prime illustration of the “English Picturesque Aesthetic” as outlined in the First Shaughnessy Design Guidelines, is widely-recognized as one of famed architect Samuel Maclure’s finest houses. Flanked by two outstanding Tudor Revival houses, the Nichol house anchors a perfect Crescent of pre-1940 houses – one of the few intact streets left in First Shaughnessy.

There has been ferocious opposition from the neighbourhood to the proposed development that would preserve the house, by allowing townhouses to be constructed on the lots to the north. The current plan accepts the home’s non-conforming position straddling two lots, meaning that it will not be necessary to strata title the house, avoiding the requirements for so that rain screening (which would destroy the exterior), and sprinklering and other code requirements (which would tear up the meritorious period interior). Rezoning the lower lot for townhouses is a similar solution as was achieved in preserving Hycroft. As one Councillor previously remarked when walking around the Crescent, the proposed HRA/CD-1 lot would have no visual impact on The Crescent. As for the underground parking, the same scale of parking is underneath the Chinese Consulate around the corner on Granville Street and has met with no resistance from Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association.

Despite a well-organized opposition from the Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association, it appears that City Council is still supportive of moving forward with the townhouse solution, that will allow the Nichol House to be preserved.

Photos and further info:

Google Map Corner of 16th Avenue & Granville Street, Vancouver, BC Canada

Google Satelitte Map of McRae Avenue, The Crescent, Shaughnessy, Vancouver, BC Canada

heritagevancouver.org

Article from straight.com

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