September 28, 2013 - 3:26 PM
The Urquhart house, built in 1912, is a one and one half storey Arts and Crafts bungalow located at 2501 23rd Avenue in Vernon.
The Urquhart house is valued as an important example of the English Arts and Crafts bungalow style in a mature setting. The house comprises a central side-gabled front with two front-gabled ends. The house is richly decorated with the vernacular and indigenous materials favoured by the Arts and Crafts movement. The use of cobblestones for the foundation and tall chimneys, the shingle cladding, and the half- timbering and roughcast in the eaves are all typical of the style.
Other high-style details include the decorative verge posts, the fenestration with leaded windows, the porch with tapered posts and decorative brackets, and the shed dormers. The house is complemented by a carriage house designed with the same Arts and Crafts details as the house and surmounted by an octagonal dovecot. The sloping grounds with mature trees and iron fence with cobblestone posts are an important part of the original estate plan.
The Craftsman interior includes fir paneling, a stone fireplace, and an inglenook.
The house is further valued for its association with Otto Beeston Hatchard (1879-1945), its architect. Hatchard was born in London, England. He trained as an architect and attended the London Polytechnic School of Arts and Crafts. In 1905, he moved to Sudan to take on the role of Chief Architect for the government. He designed many public buildings in Port Sudan and Khartoum. In 1910, he moved to Vernon to establish an architectural practice. He immediately started to build homes with Arts and Crafts and Craftsman designs. Examples include the Patricia Ranch House and Kinloch House, and Hatchard’s own house on 23rd Street, which he called a “Sussex Bungalow”. Hatchard’s chosen builder for these projects was Robert Ford. All of Ford’s homes exhibit the highest levels of craftsmanship.
The house is also notable for its association with its owners. While little is known of Mr. Urquhart, the original owner, subsequent owners included James Vallance, owner of Vernon Hardware Company, Dr. Hugh Alexander, one of two surgeons in Vernon during WWII, and Dr. Rudy Fischer, co-founder of Vernon’s first x-ray clinic. The current owners, Henk Bosman and Tanneke Oordt, received a grant from the City of Vernon to stabilize the carriage house.
In 2012, the City presented the heritage plaque, in recognition of the heritage significance of the building. The plaque is located on 23 Avenue in the rock fence where it can be viewed by the public.
In 2009, Council awarded a heritage restoration grant of $3,370 to assist with restoration works on the foundation and exterior of the historic carriage house on the property.
Vernon City Council has established, and provides, funds for the Heritage Restoration Grant Program. The Program applies to properties listed on the Vernon Heritage Register in order to assist owners with the cost of restoring the exterior, foundations and roof structures of heritage buildings.
Applications are accepted all year. Submissions are reviewed by the Heritage Advisory Committee; then they provide their recommendations to City Council for their consideration. Council awards grants based upon compliance with the grant program criteria, recommendation from the Heritage Advisory Committee and funding availability.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013