“Stop the Demolitions” major event planned at threatened heritage home – 1241 Harwood, The Legg Residence, May 25 (Sun) 3 pm

“Stop the Demolitions”
3 pm on Sunday, May 25, 2014
1241 Harwood Street

Update on speakers:

  • Michael Kluckner (artist, author, and heritage activist)
  • Elizabeth Murphy (Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver)
  • Adriane Carr (Vancouver City Councillor)

While demolition equipment has been moved into location this week, a large turnout is expected at this event in front of the Legg Residence in Vancouver’s West End. Renowned author/artist Michael Kluckner (Vanishing Vancouver, and Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years) is one of the scheduled speakers at this event. It is being convened by citizens concerned about the loss of heritage, and they have created a Facebook page for the event here. Further details, links, and background are below.

1241 Harwood poster 25-May-2014

Poster in PDF format: Vanishing Vancouver, 1241 Harwood, heritage event 25-May-2014

For several years this site has been the centre of debate about development versus protection of heritage and the environment. CityHallWatch has shown that processes at City Hall let the citizens of Vancouver down, as the City failed to use tools at its disposal to save both the house and trees on the site.

The Vancouver Sun and other media last week quoted the City’s Director of Planning Brian Jackson indicating that the building could be saved if someone came forward with a proposal to move it.

But we have obtained the following response from a “Property Rehabilitator” who investigated moving the Legg Residence: 

Talked to Rick at Nickel Bros about numerous aspects of this and the core issue is the trees. Even if you took off the main floor, top sundeck and back section you would need to take about 8 OLD trees off of city property to even have a chance of moving it to any major road (not to mention the trees at the front of the lot). The politics of removing ANY old trees off city land are huge, practically insurmountable. Beyond that the cost is prohibitive, easily $500,000 just to move it, then you have to rebuild the main floor etc. and restore the rest.

Moving the house is a non starter.

This makes the offer of giving the house away basically a red herring. I am pretty sure those involved knew this in advance.

Such is life, sorry I don’t have better news.

More information:

We’ve saved character homes before. Vancouver could improve policies to reduce demolitions of character buildings (Elizabeth Murphy, Vancouver Sun, 23-May-2014)  

The Landfill Is No Place for Vancouver’s Character Homes. A disposable city doesn’t do much for affordability, either. By Fiona Tinwei Lam, Today, TheTyee.ca

1241-45 Harwood – Tulip Tree & House – background (West End Neighbours)

Demolition coming for Legg Residence (1241 Harwood): Zoning explained – How much height and density did the City really have to give the property owner? (CityHallWatch)

Vancouver writer Caroline Adderson has created a Facebook page called “Vancouver Vanishes” here: https://www.facebook.com/VancouverVanishes

On Facebook, she and others are documenting the loss of hundreds of heritage houses every year. We encourage people to visit the page and sign the petition entitled “Save Vancouver’s Character Houses.”

Her page says that last year more than a thousand demolition permits were issued in Vancouver, many for pre-1940s houses built with a high level of craftsmanship and quality materials. As well as sending more than 50 tonnes of waste to the landfill, each demolition takes with it the history, character and narratives of our established neighbourhoods. 


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