The R.F. Anderson House is a large, two-and-one-half storey Arts and Crafts style wood frame house, now located in Deer Lake Park, built as a family home and now used as institutional offices.
The R.F. Anderson House contributes to the overall stylistic ambiance of the area and demonstrates that a range of architectural features can be read as a cohesive whole. Although designed primarily in the British Arts and Crafts genre, as were other residences around Deer Lake, it also displays some influences of the popular Craftsman style.
It was constructed in the Deer Lake Crescent subdivision, which was originally promoted as an upper class neighbourhood. It represents one of the first residential developments in the City of Burnaby that required buildings to be of a specific value, thus demonstrating the desire for exclusivity among the successful businessmen who chose to settle in the area. The house and grounds illustrate the social, cultural, lifestyle and leisure sensibilities of a successful local businessman and his family in the early twentieth century; Anderson was a New Westminster hardware merchant and Justice of the Peace.
The development of the house and grounds within a controlled suburban context also illustrate the values of the owners in the Deer Lake Crescent subdivision, such as social aspiration, racial exclusivity, demonstration of architectural taste, importance of a landscaped garden, and the provision of facilities for fashionable leisure pursuits such as lawn tennis. The estate makes an important contribution to the residential grouping now preserved within Deer Lake Park, and demonstrates the broad social mix of those who chose to live in the area at a time when it was in transition from a market gardening area to a more exclusive residential community.
The R.F. Anderson House is important for its association with local architect Frank William Macey (1863-1935), the first resident architect in Burnaby. Macey was born and trained in England where he was well-respected for having published two standard texts for the architectural profession. He settled in Burnaby in the first decade of the twentieth century and obtained a number of commissions from prominent businessmen who were building grand homes in the new community of Deer Lake. He designed these houses mostly in the British Arts and Crafts style.
Key elements that define the heritage character of the R.F. Anderson House include its:
- location within a park setting in relation to the W.J. Mathers House
- irregular massing of the exterior and its cladding of drop-siding, with half-timbering and rough-cast stucco in the gables
- picturesque irregular roofline, including an alteration in pitch over the front verandah, with cedar shingle cladding
- interior plan with its generous entrance hall, staircase, and massive staircase window with leaded-lights
- multiple-assembly wooden-sash casement windows
- quality of interior features such as the Douglas Fir woodwork (some with original varnish finish); original hardware supplied by Anderson's hardware company; and original fireplaces with ornate tile surrounds
- setting with the imprint of the lawn tennis court, now a garden terrace, and some of the original plantings