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New West house and some of its interior features get heritage protection

1911 New West house protected – and so are some of its stained glass windows
Eric and Kathleen Langstroth have received the city's support to designate their home and some of its interior features.

A 1911 house in the Queens Park neighbourhood — as well as some of its interior features — will be protected in the years ahead.

Kathleen and Eric Langstroth, the owners of the G.R. Speck House at 109 Third Ave., applied to the city for a heritage designation bylaw for their home. The bylaw means that any future changes to the exterior of the house and some of its interior features — including 22 stained glass windows, some wood mullioned windows in the bathroom and attic, and some interior woodwork (including architectural features, trim, doors and flooring in the front hall, front hall stairway, living room and dining room) — are protected and would require a heritage permit and approval from the city.

Kathleen Stevens, heritage planning analyst, said the property has already been recognized and having heritage value through its inclusion on the city’s heritage inventory, and it’s also protected by the Queen’s Park heritage conservation area. (A heritage designation bylaw is the strongest form of heritage protection available to homeowners.)

According to Stevens, the owners are not seeking any type of redevelopment as part of the heritage designation bylaw. She said the house has strong esthetic, cultural and heritage values.

Queen’s Park resident Gail North applauded the Langstroths for their “lengthy and amazing dedication” to the built heritage in New Westminster and for seeking heritage designation for the home.

“It was just last year at this time that they were recognized by Heritage BC for their amazing lifelong achievements in heritage preservation,” she told council at the Jan. 30 public hearing. “The house that is on the agenda tonight is in fact the third house this couple has masterfully restored. The first was in the Brow of the Hill, the second in Glenbrooke, and this house is in Queen's Park. Their attention to detail, and their skill in the restorative work is truly amazing. It demonstrates a true love for preserving the life of a fabulous old house. But it's not a museum piece or just a great old house, it is a truly loved and lived in home.”

North said the couple is requesting the city’s support to designate their home, without asking for anything in return. She said their efforts to maintain a piece of New Westminster heritage is a “gift” for the community.

Following Monday night’s public hearing, council unanimously supported third reading of the heritage designation bylaw.

“It's a great proposal,” said Coun. Jaimie McEvoy. “I'm aware of the Langstroths’ work in this town going back to 1977. I just think that this is a particularly good proposal.”


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