Photo Credit: Barry Bogart
2610 Marine Crescent, Vancouver BC
2610 Marine Crescent was built in the mid-to-late 1920s by Dominion Construction Company for Frank Reginald Arkell and his wife Winnifred Fraser, for the large sum of $12,000. At the time, Arkell, an accountant, was secretary treasurer at Kelly Douglas Company. His wife, Winnifred, was one of ten children and was born in 1880 to a pioneer family from the Townsite of Granville. Arkell did not reside here for long as supposedly he did not appreciate the view or possibly the smell of the adjacent farms.
Designed in Tudor Revival style, the exterior of the residence is clad with stucco and half-timbering and still retains leaded glass windows. This home was designed by notable architect Bernard Cuddon Palmer, who crafted many of Vancouver’s most stately mansions, including Rosemary in Shaughnessy (during his time with Maclure and Fox), and Rio Vista for Harry Reifel.
From 1930 to1944, George W. Thompson, managing director of G.W. Thompson & Co., income tax specialists, lived here with his wife, Juliet. Over their time here, the Thompsons put a great deal of work into the landscaping of this property, including a sundial-plan rose garden with rose varieties from England and a grass tennis court. They also developed several walkways through the property to allow Juliet to enjoy the garden when she was confined to a wheelchair. She continued to reside here for several years after George’s death.
The 2600 block of Marine Crescent is located in the heart of the Kerrisdale neighbourhood, just northeast of SW Marine Drive. Kerrisdale features a mix of early Craftsman, Arts and Crafts and Tudor-style homes, along with some newer builds. Similar to SW Marine Drive, Marine Crescent is lined with expansive lots and many English Tudor residences that belonged to Vancouver’s early elite. It offers sweeping views to the south and west of Vancouver, and across the Fraser River. Before the 20th Century, the south side of Marine Crescent (at that point named Marine Drive) was part of the approximately 40-acre McCleery family farmstead. The McCleerys, who hailed from Ireland, were Vancouver’s first permanent European settlers. Their original farmland is now part of the McCleery Golf Course.
Heritage Vancouver Building Permits Database, VPL British Columbia City Directories 1860-1955, VanMap, Dictionary of Architects in Canada, Building Permits Database, Mackie, J. “This Week in History: 1863 Vancouver pioneers Fitzgerald and Samuel McCleery buy land” Vancouver Sun (March 13, 2020), Past Tense Vancouver blog, City of Vancouver