The historically valued carriage house on the Annandale property at 1561 York Pl. will be saved after all.
The two-storey carriage house looked doomed for demolition as recently as August.
However, not only will it be saved but its decrepit state will be renovated and added to Victoria’s rental stock amidst a housing crisis.
“Earlier this week, Abstract came to an agreement with Victoria resident, Murray Campbell, who will dismantle, relocate and reassemble the carriage house at his 13,000 sq. ft. property,” said Abstract spokesperson Brandon Williams.
The carriage house’s poor shape made it difficult for owner Mike Miller, the CEO and founder of Abstract, to find a taker for the old building. It doesn’t fit with the Miller family’s plans to redevelop the property for their personal use.
Abstract Developments tried multiple initiatives to help save the carriage house, with it slotted to be relocated to Windsor Park.
Campbell will move it to a future heritage conservation area next to his 1895-built heritage house on Robert Street in Vic West.
“It’s like it was meant to be,” Campbell said. “I had been looking for a suitable heritage building for my property for the past year – and had already been corresponding with Nickel Bros. to see if they had any buildings that could be relocated to the property.”
Knowing Campbell’s interests, a friend and fellow heritage homeowner contacted Campbell about Annandale and he was able to reach out to Abstract.
Abstract is thrilled to keep the carriage house in the neighbourhood, said Adam Cooper, Abstract’s director of development.
“The fact that Campbell plans to not only restore the carriage house, preserving its heritage significance but to establish it as a new rental suite within Victoria is a phenomenal outcome,” Cooper said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better plan.”
The carriage house was built for the staff of Charles Hibbert Tupper, son of the last surviving Father of Confederation, in about 1897.
Titled the Annandale estate, Tupper’s property was broken up generations ago and the house built on Miller’s portion of the Annandale property sustained a fire in 1986, Miller said.
The two-storey (1.5 by today’s standards, because of the floor height) carriage house has swing-out barn doors on the ground floor and a caretaker’s space upstairs with a fireplace and a small, open living quarter.
Following a July call out to save the carriage house in the Oak Bay News, several interested parties contacted Abstract to learn more about, or view the structure with interest in relocating it.
An early development proposal included an option for the Carriage House to be located to nearby Windsor Park, where it would be restored by the municipality to be used for storage at the park. The plan was dismissed due to the costs associated, Williams said.
Campbell plans to retain the siding, windows, beams, shiplap and structural timbers of the carriage house. The architectural ornamentation will be replicated or restored to ensure it closely resembles its original form, William said.
Work to dismantle the Annandale carriage house is expected to begin later this month.