History

From a community landmark: A landmark community

The James Residence, built in 1942, is valued for its “Storybook Cottage” and timeless Arts and Crafts style architecture, its association with architect Ross Anthony Lort, and with builder Brenton T. Lea.

The “Storybook Cottage” architecture of the James Residence is an illustration of enduring, traditional domestic ideals. The “Storybook Cottage” style derived from period revival styles that were popular between the two World Wars. At the time, houses were expected to display some sort of historic reference, in order to demonstrate the owner’s good taste. This was especially prominent along the boulevards of West King Edward Avenue and Cambie Street, which intersect near the James Residence.

An English Arts and Crafts influence is shown in the half-timbering in the front gable and in the diamond-patterned leaded casement windows of the James Residence. A more generalized, romantic, “Storybook Cottage” influence is visible in the rough rubble masonry used for the front chimney and quoins, as well on in the roof, which is meticulously crafted from hand-bent cedar wood shingles, cut and layered upon one another, giving the appearance of a thatched roof. (The James Residence Conservation Plan: Donald Luxton And Associates Inc.)

The aesthetic of King Edward Green is at once traditional and contemporary, all designed to complement the adjacent James Residence (The Hobbit House), whose charm has made it a Vancouver landmark for generations.