These 1887 matching cottages were built by enterprising widow Maria Keary as affordable rental housing when the CPR arrived in bustling New Westminster. The houses are now the oldest surviving buildings by noted BC architect, Samuel Maclure.
With full community support, the project rehabilitated twin, endangered, 1887 houses into a 35-bed supportive housing facility. The theme of the project was to answer a social need while resurrecting long-obscured heritage values.
The houses were raised onto new foundations, generally brought up to current codes and connected by a subtle rear addition to create a single, 3-storey building. The addition uses traditional design and does not overwhelm the character of the historic houses when viewed from the street. Original exterior paint colours were discovered and reapplied.
The project attained sustainability objectives by using geothermal energy, creating housing close to transit and jobs, and re-purposing existing buildings. In addition to low consumption plumbing and electrical fixtures, many other “green” features were incorporated.