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Aberthau Community Centre and Gardens

Aberthau Community Center – Floor Plan – Main Floor – PDF

This beautiful Tudor-style house has had an interesting history. At its inception known as “Aberthau”, Gaelic for ‘place filled with light’, it was used as an officer’s mess during WW II and obtained by the Park Board in 1974 when the federally owned parcel of land known as Jericho Beach was given to the City.

Now the West Point Grey Community Centre consists of six buildings or facilities including a former carriage house and stable which has been transformed into one of the city’s best-equipped pottery studios. Other nearby buildings include a gymnasium, fitness centre, and the cooperatively operated Jericho Arts Centre.

Located practically beach side at West 2nd Avenue and NW Marine Drive, West Point Grey Community Centre serves a largely English speaking community featuring a myriad of recreation programs for all ages. Some featured programs are health and fitness, day camps, special events, outdoor excursions and socials, painting and drawing, pottery and drama along with the popular bi-weekly coffee house-style event; Monday Night Live.

Aberthau Heritage Mansion

Aberthau Heritage Mansion – Floor Plan – Main Floor – PDF

Aberthau House (previously known as Rear House) is a spacious heritage mansion in Tudor Revival style, located at the intersection of West 2nd Avenue and Trimble Street in Vancouver, British Columbia, which currently serves as a facility of the neighbourhood’s community centre. Situated on the highlands of the Point Grey neighbourhood, it overlooks English Bay, the Gulf of Georgia, and the City of Vancouver.

The first notably large residential property in Point Grey, a distinct municipality from the City of Vancouver until 1929, this edifice was designed by British Columbia’s respected, but largely undiscovered, architect, Sam Maclure. It serves as an example of Tudorbethan architecture, one of Maclure’s famed specialties, the other being the American Craftsman Style.

Interior

The interior design of Aberthau deviates from the Tudor form and relies on Maclure’s own signature approach. Highlights of the house comprise of a grand, central, living hall, paneled with hardwood and furnished with a fireplace, a winding staircase, and a two-storied gallery. Gargoyles guarding the library chimney, the staircase’s mother-of-pearl adorned newel posts, the hardwood flooring and the incorporation of stained glass, comprise the staggering list of ornate embellishments present inside the edifice.

The maximum view of the surrounding scenery is encompassed in the layout, encouraging movement towards the structure’s windows and extremities. Meanwhile, the attractive central hall beckons inhabitants to the hearth. This ‘inward-outward’ pull draws from inspiration of the respected architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

The alterations made under the director of Colonel Spencer saw to the elegant Oak Room, whose linen-folk oak paneling and ribbed plaster ceiling proves to be impressive, and to the greater freedom in movement enabled by the West 2nd Avenue entrance.