Heritage Research: Erickson House and Garden (4195 West 14th Ave)

The Erickson House and Garden is microcosmic of the life and works of acclaimed Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. The modernist home was built in 1924 and purchased by Erickson in 1954. Little has been written about the original owner of the house but archived permits has suggested that it was built by a man named C. Brockenwagen.

The initial structure and design of the home was initially minimal hence, throughout his ownership, Erickson added features to the house designed by him that is emblematic of his personal and artistic interests. For example, the layered horizontal lines of the house reflected his passion for Zen culture which he picked up from his days of serving for the British army in Japan during the Second World War. Similarly, minimalist traits continue to form a thread in his architectural designs that include the Museum of Anthropology at U.B.C and the S.F.U. campus in Burnaby.

The status of the house was at risk when Erickson filed for personal bankruptcy in 1992. The house was put up for sale, facing potential excessive remodelling and even demolition. The Arthur Erickson Foundation was immediately established to preserve Erickson’ residence and handle the financing of the house. Although the A.E.F. was able to secure a mortgage, funds are still scarce to ensure timely payment along with covering the costs for maintenance and preservation.

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Source: National Trust of Canada

Sources:

Hadani Ditmars, ‘The former home of late architect Arthur Erickson faces an uncertain future,’ Wallpaper*, 1 March 2013.

Brent Jang and David McGinn, ‘Arthur Erickson’s home faces the wrecking ball,’ The Globe and Mail, 27 March 2013.

National Trust of Canada, ‘Erickson House and Garden,’ This Place Matters, 2015.

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