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.
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.