Developer Robert. J. H. Baker built a row of four picturesque homes on West 11th Avenue in Vancouver between 1910 and 1911.
The houses still stand today, looking totally pristine, but in 2004 they were in danger of being torn down.
The owner of the properties (Quigg at West 11th Properties Ltd.) and the city of Vancouver reached an agreement that designated the houses C-class Heritage status and restored their exteriors while renovating the interiors to provide two dwelling units per building while the other side of the road made way for townhouses. They were also brought up to current housing codes and by-laws.
Council's Heritage Policies and Guidelines state that buildings "identified in the Vancouver Heritage Register have heritage significance" and that "the City's long-term goal is to protect through voluntary designation as many resources on the Vancouver Heritage Register as possible."
Back when the homes were first built in the Arts and Crafts style, the entire neighbourhood was covered in houses of a similar size and the original windows were stained glass.
The Arts and Crafts movement was a reactionary attempt to restore design and decoration standards in the mid-19th century. It began in Britain due to a perceived decline brought about by machinery and factory production.
The design coupled with some of the first owners of historic significance meant that the city decided that "the public benefit from heritage retention and rehabilitation of four listed heritage houses and their long-term protection."
The houses' first tenants included Bradford Heyer editor of the BC Financial Times; John Blair, Secretary of the School Board of South Vancouver Municipality and an organizer of the BC Conservation Association; James Paull, a conductor on the Canadian Pacific Railway; and Charles Holmes, a printer at Hazeldine Printing.
The modest homes are pretty and historically significant. History buffs can find them on the Vancouver Heritage Site Finder map along with other properties in the area such as the more imposing McLean Residence, a terracotta and stone house built at the same time.