As many of will recall, we were lucky enough to have a tour of the interior of Brookhouse at 1872 Parker some while ago. This was just after a new owner had decided to move ahead with an HRA for the property. Unfortunately, that project had difficuties and the current owner is seeking a demolition order and the right to build two duplexes. 68 members of GHG have signed the following letter in protest at that plan:
Subject: Development applications (DE417015 and DE417016), 1872 Parker Street
We the undersigned, who together form the Grandview Heritage Group, protest the above-listed development applications and insist that any demolition activity on this property be denied until the heritage house at 1872 Parker is properly assessed with a Statement of Significance and all options are explored for the house’s adaptive re-use under a Heritage Revitalization Agreement.
Built in 1909, the house is one of only about a dozen Queen Anne-style homes whose signature turret has become an identifying emblem of the Grandview area. In spite of its poor condition due to years of neglect, the house still is a landmark on a very prominent section of Victoria Drive, adding character and sharing the streetscape with the 1910 Copp House at Napier and the Hawkins residence (designated and rehabilitated as part of Britannia Lodge) between Napier and Parker. Other significant Queen Anne-style houses in nearby blocks are the Odlum House (a coop on Grant Avenue) and Kurrajong (designated) at Napier and Salsbury.
As well as its distinctive architecture, the house still contains significant interior detailing, in spite of its decades as a rooming house.
In the Mount Pleasant area near City Hall, houses of this style have attracted the interest of sympathetic developers: for example, the former Anglican Women’s Auxiliary house at 334 West 14th, has recently begun the process of conversion into suites with an infill building. It is only laziness and expediency on the part of the property’s current owners that is prompting them to consider demolition of such a heritage asset.
It is our understanding that work was done a year or so ago to develop plans for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement. We insist that these or similar plans become the basis for a future use of the home. Demolition, in this “greenest city,” is simply not an option.
The Grandview Heritage Group