City of Vancouver seeks public input on future of historic Ludgate Residence

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      A Vancouver house where British statesman Winston Churchill is said to have smoked a cigar will be the subject of a public hearing.

      On Tuesday (January 19), council will consider a proposal by the owner to designate certain features of the home at 2024 West 15th Avenue, known as the Ludgate Residence, as protected heritage property.

      The plan also includes the conversion of the Kitsilano house into two dwellings, plus the construction of another home at the back of the 6,250-square-foot lot.

      According to a staff report recommending approval of the application, the 1913 residence is “significant for its robust craftsman details” as well as its “association with its second owner, Vancouver Police Chief W.J. Bingham, and possibly even with” Churchill.

      “A story exists that Sir Winston Churchill once stood in the living room and smoked a cigar,” according to the document. “The story has not been confirmed, but Police Chief W.J. Bingham, who lived in the house…was Churchill’s escort during his visit to Vancouver in 1929, and it is plausible the event occurred.”

      The report goes on to state that Bingham is an “important figure in Vancouver’s history”. “He was hired as Police Chief in 1929 to crack down on corruption, a problem facing many cities in North America at the time,” according to the report.

      The residence is also considered significant because of its location in the so-called Talton Place subdivision in the 1900 and 2000 blocks of West 13th to West 16th avenues, which was intended in the early 1900s to be a “select district”.

      “The owner has offered to conserve and rehabilitate the Ludgate Residence and to accept the designation of the exterior and an interior fireplace feature as a protected heritage property, which is a highly valued community feature,” the report noted.

      The heritage conservation and property rehabilitation will cost the owner $330,000. The city also expects to collect $5,900 from the owner in development fees for the conversion of the house into two homes and the construction of the other at the rear of the lot.