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Heritage Site Finder

An interactive map of buildings and sites on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

Lambert House

Photo Credit: Olivia Golden

Address

347 E Cordova St, Vancouver BC

Neighbourhood

Strathcona

Type

Institutional

Protection

D

Significance

B

Description

The Lambert House was built in the 1890s and was substantially renovated in 1901 by R.A. Lambert for the Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, who would later become King George V and Queen Mary. Lambert was a miner based in Vancouver who held leases on several gold claims in the BC interior, and who later founded his own mining company.

The building is a good example of the Queen Anne style of architecture, with a two-storey projecting bay, patterned wood shingles, and decorative wood trim. Notably, the building is strongly associated with the cultural heritage of the neighbourhood, including patterns of Japanese settlement and dispossession in Japantown. In 1940 the building was purchased by the Nakamura family, who had run a successful florist shop on Powell Street since 1921. The Government of Canada confiscated the building in 1942 when the War Measures Act forced Japanese nationals to relocate inland, reflecting a larger historical trend of forced displacement that would dramatically undermine the viability of Japantown by the end of the decade.

The building is also significant for its continuing association with religious community services organizations. As part of an early Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) with the City of Vancouver, the St. James Social Service Society (now called The Bloom Group) agreed to restore and designate the building to the Heritage Register in 1995. The Society was founded in 1961 by volunteers of the St. James Anglican Church to actively address social issues in the neighbourhood. The work of the Society reflects the historical concentration of community services on the 300-block of E Cordova: the Franciscan Sisters of Atonement Mission offered social, educational and recreational services to the local Japanese population, and St. Luke’s Home (now a hospice) was one of the earliest hospitals and nursing schools in the province. The Lambert House now functions as an office for the Society, which operates supportive housing at the Victory House and the Cordova House on the same block.

Source

Heritage Vancouver Permits Database, VPL British Columbia City Directories 1860-1955, Nikkei National Museum, UBC Open Library BC Newspapers Archive