Irving House, 1865 —Ongoing Conservation of BC's First Historic House Museum

Sustainable Development
Royal City Builders' Awards

Completed in 1865 for riverboat captain William Irving, this high Victorian house is one of the oldest extant buildings in the province. In 1950, the City of New Westminster purchased the residence and turned it into a historical centre and archives. Since 2002, our firm has been involved in several conservation assessments, planning and procurement assignments for this significant heritage site. We provided a phased Conservation Plan for the museum that lays out restoration and maintenance measures and priorities.  Other work campaigns included:

  • renovation of basement collections area and new public washrooms;
  • renovation of fire detection and sprinkler protection system;
  • new ground-source (geothermal) environmental control (HVAC) system;
  • complete electrical rewiring and new security system;
  • selective exterior building envelope insulation and repairs;
  • restoration of historic light fixtures, and;
  • extensive repairs to plaster ceilings and decorative mouldings.

Upcoming work includes a room-by-room restoration of historic interior finishes, including original 1887 gold-ground wallpapers, and re-exhibiting by museum staff.  At completion, the house will provide an authentic experience of a Victorian home in a colonial frontier city.

Click here to read the Irving House Statement of Significance on the Canadian National Register of Historic Places.