Two of Maple Ridge’s old homes will see better days

Two of Maple Ridge’s old homes will see better days

Buildings from another era will live on

Two parts of old Haney, now Maple Ridge, are moving towards their second life in efforts to preserve the city’s history.

The Turnock-Morse residence is about six months away from completion, after being picked up and moved a few metres to its final resting spot on the corner of St. Anne Avenue where it will form a feature part of a new 64-unit condo development.

Joe Barkovich, who usually manages new projects, has learned that restoring old homes to their original state just takes time. The Cape Cod style home was built in 1938 by Joseph Turnock and is on the Maple Ridge heritage inventory.

“You just have to find the right ones (people) and be patient,” he said.

The restoration involved detailed, painstaking work such as scraping off the original bricks laid when the house was built. The original cedar shake siding is being cleaned up and repainted, then reapplied. The old, single-paned windows will also be reinstalled after being reconditioned.

There will be some new material in the house however, which will be divided lengthwise to create two condos.

The original frame was made of 2X4s, but the studs will be strapped out so the walls are 15-centimetres (six inches) thick.

The roof will also be repaired but will have new plywood and shingles to match the new condo that’s being built beside it.

“Everything else is being re-engineered to today’s standards. So inside is going to be completely brand new. The outside will have the same old look,” Barkovich said.

In return for preserving and restoring the house, the developer is able to build an adjoining condo building, using two other adjacent lots. A property tax exemption for five years on the restored house, which will be turned into a duplex, is also part of the agreement.

Restoration remains to start of the other old house, the former Mussallem residence, built in 1936, that moved in May from Royal Crescent to Maple Ridge Cemetery. The relocation was required after BC Housing bought the property on Royal Crescent for use as a 55-unit modular home site, which opens this fall.

Bob Mussallem, son of former MLA George Mussallem, grew up in the house, along with brother Dave and sister Anne.

B.C. Housing paid $250,000 to help with moving the house, while an anonymous donor gave $100,000 to help relocate the building to the cemetery where it will be used as maintenance and service centre.

 

Turnock-Morse residence will be restored in about six months. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Turnock-Morse residence will be restored in about six months. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)