Today, few of the Queen Anne, Edwardian Builder or Arts-and-Crafts style homes remain from the turn of the century - that period in Vancouver's history when Georgia Street was known as "Blueblood Alley" and the West End was home to the families of railway executives.
Gabriola, (at the northwest corner of Davie and Nicola), is the last of the community's truly grand mansions. Built in 1900-1901 for industrialist Benjamin Tingley Rogers (founder of BC Sugar), it was designed by Samuel Maclure and was known as "probably the most lavish private home ever constructed in B.C." . Its superb stonework was quarried on Gabriola Island and the impressive stained glass windows were designed by the Bloomfield Brothers. The home was saved from demolition, rehabilitated in the mid-1970s and has since been a series of restaurants.
Other examples of the West End's early residential architecture have been preserved in Barclay Heritage Square - a unique blend of restored heritage houses and park space. The block, bounded by Nicola, Barclay, Broughton and Haro Streets, is anchored by the Roedde House. It is a modest home built in 1892-1893, with an exuberant Queen Anne tower and porch. Roedde House is now operated as a historic house museum. The Square also contains Barclay Manor and Weeks House, as well as six other late Victorian homes renovated to accommodate eighteen subsidized dwelling units (all buildings are on the City of Vancouver's Heritage Register).
Kensington Place on Nicola Street, symbolizes apartment living in the urban West End of the turn of the century. The building, built between 1912 and 1914 in the Second Renaissance Revival style, features an outstanding use of decorative pre-cast concrete trim. Its recessed balconies add a touch of refinement.
Other West End buildings such as the 1940s Baycrest and Seacrest Apartments (across from Alexandra Park) and the 1950s Ocean Towers Apartments (on Morton Street, one of the city's shortest streets) may stretch the traditional notion of heritage but should also be noted as important recent landmarks and fine examples of the Modem era.
See detailed information on the city's heritage and a complete list of heritage buildings.
Additional information is available through the City of Vancouver Archives.