A Heartbreaking End to Our April 2014 Cover House
A lovingly restored mid-century gem looks to be facing the wrecking ball.
Even by our (admittedly high) standards the home was special. It arrived at the always difficult to source intersection of modern and classic, and what’s more it appeared to have been lovingly restored to a high, very period appropriate, standard. And as we learned more about the house the better it got: it turned out that the then new house had run in our magazine in the 1950s and that the same man—University Professor Sydney Friedman—still owned it. And even though he was in his late 90s he had poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into its restoration with the idea that after he passed away the University could use it as accommodation for visiting lecturers.
The good fortune continued as to the design: not only was it one of the last surviving homes designed by Fred Lasserre, the former head of UBC’s School of Architecture, it had also been one of the first projects by a then-unknown landscape architect named Cornelia Oberlander. We assigned one of our best writers on the story, the Governor General-award winning Michael Harris and the story (read it here) was just perfect.
But it was another story last week that’s cast a pall over this unique space: Kerry Gold of the Globe and Mail reported that the house has been put on the market with the almost certainty that the eventual owner will demolish it: one heartbreaking line in her story spoke of people tromping through the house with boots on, so certain is the house’s fate. Read the entire story here and here is the real estate listing. Calling all fans of mid-century modernism—this is the house for you.