RSS Feed

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation Heritage Homes Tour

Last Sunday found us up nice and early in preparation to hitting the road for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation Heritage Homes Tour.

It’s something I’ve been promising myself I’d do, but always put it off.  This year, though, we were able to get it together and June 1 found us up, fed, dressed (with easily removable shoes) and water bottles at hand we headed off to the first house on the tour: Casa Mia.

HeritageCasa

Casa Mia is the fabled house built by the Reifel family.  It sits on Mansion Row on South West Marine Drive and yes, everything you’ve heard about it is true.  There is a ballroom on the basement level with gold-leaf walls and ceiling and a sprung dance floor.  The walls of the playroom were hand painted with Snow White decorations by Disney artists brought in for the job.  The rooms are beautiful, opulent, luxurious.  The bathrooms are incredible. The men’s powder room by the ballroom has black fixtures! The lady’s has gold plated faucets!  As a piece of OTT decorating (and the life that demanded it) it’s a prime example.  One that will probably be changing in the future, as it’s currently being considered for a care home.  This was our only chance to see this building, and thanks to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, we did.

By the way, kudos squared to the Foundation for the organization of the tour.  The route was good — from Casa Mia though houses 1 to 10, the guide told us what to look for and expect at each home (and where we could find public restrooms along the way), the volunteers were helpful and friendly, the homes were all lovely, and there was even a food truck mid-way through to make sure you didn’t collapse from hunger.

Still, intrepid explorers though we were, we found it almost too overwhelming and skipped one of the three storybook homes on the tour.

We saw this one -- it was terrific.

We saw this one — it was terrific.

I won’t take you on a room by room recap, there’s lots of info at the Vancouver Heritage Foundation site.  Here’s the highlights I took away:

  • It’s easy to think of the lovely west-side homes in Kerrisdale, Shaughnessy and Kitsilano as heritage homes, but there are many gorgeous heritage properties on the east side in transitional neighbourhoods like Strathcona, Grandview, Mount Pleasant and Sunrise that have not always been well maintained but should definitely be preserved and respected.
  • It’s still possible to maintain the charming design of an older home while updating it with energy efficient heating and modern bathrooms and kitchens.
  • People love built-in sound systems.  We have one in the laneway because we didn’t have room for speakers on the walls — but lots of people put them in so they won’t have to have ugly speakers out in the open.
  • Take shoes you can easily remove at each home — they didn’t mind bare feet inside so you could wear sandals — but make sure they are comfortable because you may have to walk a couple of blocks from where you can park
  • Mature gardens are so lovely — everyone had beautiful exterior spaces
  • Everyone was respectful of the age of their home — even when the furnishings were modern the interior design reflected the original finishings

How can we maintain these fine old homes?  How can we keep our city neighbourhoods from becoming homogeneous slabs of suburban architecture?  I’ll be thinking — and writing about this.

About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

My Pain, My Life, My Struggles, My Fight

Come walk with me, Down My Dark & Stormy Journey BUSINESS INQUIRIES & CONTACT EMAIL : GODSCHILD4048@GMAIL.COM

annotated audrey art

TUCSON ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATOR

kelzbelzphotography

My journey - The good, bad and the ugly

Im ashamed to die until i have won some victory for humanity.(Horace Mann)

Domenic Garisto/havau22.com / IF YOU CAN'T BE THE POET, BE THE POEM (David Carradine) LIFE IS NOT A REHERSAL,SO LIVE IT.

mannyrutinel.com/

An interesting educational blog which tackles the truth in Veganism, Politics, Ethics, general News, and more.

wegotperks

Company Perks and Resources

The Lady Who Lives Down the Lane

Lane Way Housing for the Nervous Novice

Apartment Therapy | Saving the world, one room at a time

Lane Way Housing for the Nervous Novice

House Hopes

Writing about real estate as it is and could be

The Tiny Farm

my journey towards sustainable living in the city

Slightly Snug House

building a home that's not too big and not too small

Vancouverandy

Funny thoughts from a nut like me.

My Cozy Ranch Home

Loving our Life!

Simple Northern Life

An Independant Voice

%d bloggers like this: