Vancouver History: Roedde House

Comments 13 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The thing I love about living in the West End is that once you walk in a block from the bustling Robson or Davie Streets the sound of cars and crowds turns into lawn mowers and birds chirping. Green grass grows in small corner parks like urban savannas while sunbathers find a level surface on which to stretch out and avoid the game of frisbee being played over their head. One of such metropolitan refuges is Barclay Heritage Square and one of its main features is Roedde House.


Photo credit: superliciousness on Flickr

Roedde House at 1415 Barclay was built in 1893 for Vancouver’s first bookbinder, Gustav Roedde. In 1927 the house was sold by Gustav Roedde in 1927 to H.W. Jeffreys and it later became a boarding house called the ‘Oehlerking Rooms.’

The City of Vancouver bought the Gustav Roedde House [in 1966] and made it the centrepiece in what came to be called Barclay Heritage Square, bounded by Barclay, Nicola, Haro and Broughton Streets in the West End, and which features nine historic houses built between 1890 and 1908.


Photo credit: superliciousness on Flickr

In 1990 the restored Roedde House Museum opened its doors for community events and tours. Having done many tours of Victoria during our girls weekends, I’ve become pretty familiar with the architects that formed our big coastal cities in BC, however I had no clue that there were murmurs that Francis Mawson Rattenbury built Roedde House. Rattenbury being the designer of the Vancouver Art Gallery (former Court House) and Victoria’s Parliament Buildings and Empress Hotel [VancouverHistory].

John and I have yet to make our way over to Roedde House for a tour (Tuesday to Friday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm), or even Sunday tea (served from 2:00pm to 4:00pm) but it’s definitely on our list of things to do. They also do group tours by appointment, lecture series, musical evenings special events, and you can book the entire house for a small dinner party at a per hour rate.

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13 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. fotoeinsMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 10:05am PST

    Thanks; I never knew about Roedde House.

  2. RaulMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 10:08am PST

    Sunday tea… hmmmm… let me know about that!

  3. JaniceMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 10:17am PST

    I wanted a tour too but haven’t had time to do that yet. I found the Roedde House when I looked up on historical buildings in Vancouver for a photo shoot session. I wonder if you can rental the house like Hycroft.

  4. StewartMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 11:36am PST

    The Antler’s lived on Nicola opposite the Heritage Square for 10 months before the owner sold the place we were renting. We never did the tour but welcomed Roedde House being there. The gardens were welcome greenery and home to the odd stripey cat or two (I believe these stripey cats are called raccoons). Didn’t know they did Afternoon Tea, might have to investigate that!

  5. Tyler IngramMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 2:21pm PST

    I walked past this house the other day actually. I was curious about it and it’s history. The area is nice to walk through too. If you don’t like the crowds of Robson, go down to barclay (couple blocks south of Robson right?) and walk among the cherry blossoms.

  6. GhostyMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 7:07pm PST

    Isn’t this the same house they used in that horrible Cat Women movie with Halle Berry where the crazy cat lady lives? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. phaedraMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 8:12pm PST

    I’d be down for Sunday Tea sometime.

  8. RaulMonday, May 12th, 2008 — 10:28pm PST

    Phaedra + Raul + the Bollwits + whomever wants to be added to the party for Sunday tea = FUN! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Vancouver History: Lord Roberts School » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 — 7:40am PST

    […] history all around the West End of Vancouver, from Pauline’s Monument in Stanley Park, to Roedde House. Using such inspiration from this area I decided to look up the history of Lord Roberts School – an […]

  10. CBC’s On the Coast Liveblog from O’Douls » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittFriday, January 30th, 2009 — 3:28pm PST

    […] what I write about, what I like about the West End etc. I got to sit next to the woman who runs Roedde House, who is absolutely charming. Tweet This Digg it Add to del.icio.us Stumble it Add to […]

  11. Barclay Heritage Square Photowalk » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittSunday, April 5th, 2009 — 6:23pm PST

    […] yet to have tea at the historic Roedde House but it’s near the top of my must-do list and I have profiled it in one of my Vancouver History pieces: In 1990 the restored Roedde House Museum opened its doors for community events and tours. Having […]

  12. Vancouver San Francisco History Tidbits » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittFriday, May 29th, 2009 — 10:59am PST

    […] via San Francisco and opened the city’s first book bindery in 1886. You can visit the Roedde House Museum in the Barlcay Heritage Square in the West End. […]

  13. Mountain View Cemetery Open House » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittWednesday, June 24th, 2009 — 8:20am PST

    […] Gustav Adolph Roedde (as in Roedde House) […]

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