Vanishing family history

Caroline Adderson’s Facebook project, Vancouver Vanishes, has made me see local real estate in a whole new, more nostalgic way. Especially since across the street from me are two bungalows bought 50 years ago — one by octogenarians George and Inta, who still live in their home, and the other by a woman who’s lived in a nursing home since before we moved into the neighbourhood, ten years ago.

That house went up for sale earlier this year for $1.8 million, a price which reflects mainly the land value. And since surveyors were here for three straight days a few weeks ago, I’m guessing at an incoming triplex-plus-coachhouse.

Now, I’m not the best heritage advocate. Particularly since I’ve been rabble-rousing all year to get my kids’ death-trap of a school upgraded, which in this case likely means “rebuilt.” (Yes, those are asbestos tags in the kindergarten classroom. Thanks, Rachel, for the photo.)

asbestos

I’m also living in a relatively new duplex which replaced the lovely brown home in this photo:

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But, it’s hard to watch old buildings disappear. Especially when the building has family history.

This home, at 39th and Blenheim, was once a private nursing home owned by my grandparents. My mom was fairly horrified to drive by during a recent Vancouver visit and see the building in its current state.

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The good news: because it’s a heritage building, it can’t be completely torn down. From what I’ve read, there’s hope it will be bought and converted into luxury suites.

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Original owner William Morrisette probably didn’t have the granite countertop option, but with his love of verandas and columns, maybe he would have approved.

If I had a million (billion?) dollars, I’d snap it up and restore it’s faded glory!