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….