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Dr. William & Ruth Baldwin House

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/landmark534
Repository
Burnaby Heritage Planning
Civic Address
6543/45 Deer Lake Drive
Description
The Dr. William & Ruth Baldwin House is a two-storey modern post-and-beam structure, located on the southern shore of Deer Lake in Burnaby's Deer Lake Park. The site is steeply sloped, and the main entrance of the house is at the top of the slope facing onto Deer Lake Drive.
Associated Dates
1965
Formal Recognition
Community Heritage Register
  6 Images  
Repository
Burnaby Heritage Planning
Civic Address
6543/45 Deer Lake Drive
Associated Dates
1965
Formal Recognition
Community Heritage Register
Enactment Type
Council Resolution
Enactment Date
26/05/2003
Description
The Dr. William & Ruth Baldwin House is a two-storey modern post-and-beam structure, located on the southern shore of Deer Lake in Burnaby's Deer Lake Park. The site is steeply sloped, and the main entrance of the house is at the top of the slope facing onto Deer Lake Drive.
Heritage Value
The Baldwin House is valued as a prime example of Burnaby’s post-Second World War modern heritage and progressive architectural style, as well as for its personal connections to internationally-acclaimed architect, Arthur Erickson. Inspired by the modern domestic idiom established earlier in the twentieth century by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, Erickson conceived his architecture as responding directly to the site. A cohesive expression of simple orthogonal lines and ultimate transparency, this structure reduces the idea of post-and-beam West Coast modernism to its most refined elements. A fine example of the evolving talent of Erickson’s earlier work, this house is a landmark modern house in Burnaby and is unique in terms of siting and context. Having just won the 1963 competition for the new Simon Fraser University in Burnaby with his partner, Geoff Massey, and having built fewer than half a dozen homes previously, Erickson’s reputation was growing and his skill as a designer of modern buildings was in great demand. The same year that Erickson/Massey Architects designed SFU, Dr. William Baldwin and his wife, Ruth, personal friends of Erickson, commissioned him to design this house. Erickson was already familiar with the site; as a child he had spent time at this spot when his family visited friends who lived on Deer Lake. Both the Baldwin House and the university were completed in 1965. SFU became internationally famous; the Baldwin House was also considered an architectural success and was recognized in publications of the time. Only a single storey of this two-storey house is visible from the road, as it is built into the hillside in response to its steep site and proximity to Deer Lake. Like many other Erickson designs, this structure was conceived as a pavilion. Constructed of glass and wood, its transparency facilitates visual access to the lake’s edge, acting as an invitation, rather than a barrier, to the landscape. The house blends into the natural surroundings and the site includes other man-made landscape features such as a reflecting pool. As a reaction to the often grey quality of light in the region, Erickson exploits flat planes of water as a source of borrowed light. The refined and purposeful design, transparency, openness of plan and adjacency to the lake combine to give the house a floating appearance at the water's edge. The concept of a floating house set within an accompanying garden was inspired, in part, by the palaces and house boats of Dal Lake in Kashmir and the famed nearby Mughal Gardens. Although Erickson never visited Dal Lake, he travelled extensively throughout India, and specifically mentions the Kashmir reference in relation to this house. There is a rich complexity of other allusions worked into the fabric of the house, unified by a feeling for the conjunction of light, water and land at this special location. Widely renowned as Canada’s most brilliant modern architect, Erickson’s reputation is important to the development and growth of modern architecture in Canada and North America.
Defining Elements
The elements of the Baldwin House that define its character are those materials and details which respond to the location of the building and determine the relation between landscape and building, combining to create a single cohesive site. These include its: - close proximity to water - orthogonal plan and massing, with flat tar-and-gravel roof - stepped down massing orienting the house towards the water - post-and-beam construction, with the width of the beams matched to the width of the posts - wood and glass used as primary building materials - transparency and light achieved by the abundant use of glass - large undivided sheets of single glazing - butt glazed glass corners - abundant and generous balconies, which blur the transition from interior to exterior - horizontal flush cedar siding - use of salvaged brick for chimneys - use of chains as downspouts - built-in rooftop barbeque - built in furniture and fittings dating to the time of construction, such as original hardware, benches, bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets - landscaped site including reflecting pool, plantings and a dock protruding into the lake
Locality
Deer Lake Park
Historic Neighbourhood
Burnaby Lake (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Morley-Buckingham Area
Function
Primary Current--Single Dwelling
Primary Historic--Single Dwelling
Community
Burnaby
Cadastral Identifier
P.I.D. No. 011-946-032 and P.I.D. No. 011-946-067
Boundaries
The Baldwin House is comprised of two municipally-owned lots located at 6543 and 6545 Deer Lake Drive, Burnaby.
Area
6,070.20
Contributing Resource
Building
Landscape Feature
Ownership
Public (local)
Other Collection
Canadian Architectural Archives, University of Calgary, Collection: Original Plans No. ERI 4A/76.13
Documentation
Heritage Site Files: PC77000 20. City of Burnaby Planning and Building Department, 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby, B.C., V5G 1M2
Geographic Access
Burnaby - 6543 Deer Lake Drive
Burnaby - 6545 Deer Lake Drive
Images
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Aerial photograph of Douglas Road and Sperling Avenue

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/museumphoto1165
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1938]
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum Photograph Collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 19 x 24 cm
Scope and Content
Aerial photograph of the area surrounding Douglas Road and Sperling Avenue.
  1 Image  
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Village Museum Photograph Collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 19 x 24 cm
Scope and Content
Aerial photograph of the area surrounding Douglas Road and Sperling Avenue.
Subjects
Aerial Photographs
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Douglas Road
Burnaby - Sperling Avenue
Accession Code
BV992.47.1
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Date
[1938]
Media Type
Photograph
Historic Neighbourhood
Burnaby Lake (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Morley-Buckingham Area
Scan Resolution
600
Scan Date
01-Jun-09
Scale
100
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
Notes on verso of photograph read: "Burnaby Image Bank #532" and "DOUGLAS ROAD AND SPERLING c. 1938"
Stamp on verso of photograph reads: "Copyright Simon Fraser/ University Archives"
Images
Less detail
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Date
1970
Collection/Fonds
Robert Prittie collection
Description Level
Item
Physical Description
1 photograph : col. postcard ; 9 x 14 cm
Item No.
369-002
Storage Location
A/V Storage
Scope and Content
Photograph of Burnaby Mountain Park looking west towards Vancouver. The caption on the back of the postcard reads: "This view was taken from Burnaby Mountain Park, which is adjacent to Simon Fraser University. Some of the most spectacular views can be seen from this high elevation."
  1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Date
1970
Collection/Fonds
Robert Prittie collection
Description Level
Item
Item No.
369-002
Accession Number
BHS999-1
Storage Location
A/V Storage
Physical Description
1 photograph : col. postcard ; 9 x 14 cm
Media Type
Photograph
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Scope and Content
Photograph of Burnaby Mountain Park looking west towards Vancouver. The caption on the back of the postcard reads: "This view was taken from Burnaby Mountain Park, which is adjacent to Simon Fraser University. Some of the most spectacular views can be seen from this high elevation."
Photographer
Weinhaupl, George
Subjects
Documentary Artifacts - Postcards
Geographic Features - Parks
Notes
Title based on contents of photograph
Geographic Access
Burnaby - 100 Centennial Way
Burnaby - Centennial Way
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain Park
Planning Study Area
Burnaby Mountain Area
Images
Less detail

Interview with Jack McGeachie June 18, 1975 - Track 1

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory35
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie's early childhood including the reasons why his family moved to Burnaby, the small pox house at the border of New Westminster and stories of the unfinished family home at Formby Street.
Date Range
1914-1922
Length
0:09:27
  1 Audio     1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie's early childhood including the reasons why his family moved to Burnaby, the small pox house at the border of New Westminster and stories of the unfinished family home at Formby Street.
Date Range
1914-1922
Photo Info
McGeachie family; John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie is the eldest child, standing second from the right, 1925 (date of original). Item no. 204-464
Length
0:09:27
Subject
Buildings - Residences - Houses
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Formby Street
Historic Neighbourhood
Edmonds (Historic Neighbourhood)
East Burnaby (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Richmond Park Area
Second Street Area
Interviewer
Bradbury, Dr. Bettina
Interview Date
June 18, 1975
Scope and Content
Recording is a taped interview with John A."Jack" McGeachie by SFU (Simon Fraser University) graduate student Bettina Bradbury June 18, 1975. Major themes discussed are: the Depression, the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation) and farming in Burnaby. To view "Narrow By" terms for each track expand this description and see "Notes".
Biographical Notes
John Aloysius “Jack” McGeachie was born January 14, 1914 in Little Mountain, Vancouver to Helen and John McGeachie. Helen and John had four children; John Aloysius “Jack”, Florence Mary, Thomas Joseph “Tom” and Roderick Noel “Rod.” In 1922 the McGeachie family moved from Vancouver to East Burnaby where the children attended Edmonds School. John Sr. became ill and died, leaving the eldest Jack as the main breadwinner of the family when he was still just a teenager. He began his working life at a chicken farm, later learning his trade while working for the Hudson Bay Company. Jack McGeachie married Burnaby Historian Doreen Pixie Johnson. He and Pixie raised their children Kathi (Dunlop) and David McGeachie in the house the couple built themselves in 1947. John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie died October 12, 1981 at the age of sixty-seven. Doreen "Pixie" (Johnson) McGeachie died August 14, 2010 at the age of eighty-nine.
Total Tracks
8
Total Length
0:51:13
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
McGeachie, John Aloysius "Jack"
Interview Location
Rosewood
Interviewer Bio
Bettina Bradbury teaches history and women's studies at York University. She is the author of Wife to Widow. Lives, Laws and Politics in Nineteenth-century Montreal. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, June 2011), 520p; Working Families. Age, Gender and Daily Survival in Industrializing Montreal. (Toronto: Canadian Social History Series, McClelland and Stewart, 1993); (Republished Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1996) (3rd edition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). These interviews were undertaken after she completed her MA at Simon Fraser University in 1975 with the support of an LIP grant.
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Historical Society Community Archives collection
Series
Oral History series
Item No.
100-13-10_Track_1
Transcript Available
None
Media Type
Sound Recording
Web Notes
Interview was digitized in 2010 allowing it to be accessible on Heritage Burnaby. The digitization project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council and the BC History Digitization Program of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. It was recognized by the Heritage Society of BC with an award in 2012.
Audio Tracks

Track one of interview with Jack McGeachie

Images
Less detail

Interview with Jack McGeachie June 18, 1975 - Track 2

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory36
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie's teen years including the early passing of his father.
Date Range
1927-1930
Length
0:08:22
  1 Audio     1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie's teen years including the early passing of his father.
Date Range
1927-1930
Photo Info
McGeachie family; John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie is the eldest child, standing second from the right, 1925 (date of original). Item no. 204-464
Length
0:08:22
Subject
Geographic Features - Gardens
Buildings - Residences - Houses
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Formby Street
Historic Neighbourhood
Edmonds (Historic Neighbourhood)
Planning Study Area
Richmond Park Area
Interviewer
Bradbury, Dr. Bettina
Interview Date
June 18, 1975
Scope and Content
Recording is a taped interview with John A."Jack" McGeachie by SFU (Simon Fraser University) graduate student Bettina Bradbury June 18, 1975. Major themes discussed are: the Depression, the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation) and farming in Burnaby. To view "Narrow By" terms for each track expand this description and see "Notes".
Biographical Notes
John Aloysius “Jack” McGeachie was born January 14, 1914 in Little Mountain, Vancouver to Helen and John McGeachie. Helen and John had four children; John Aloysius “Jack”, Florence Mary, Thomas Joseph “Tom” and Roderick Noel “Rod.” In 1922 the McGeachie family moved from Vancouver to East Burnaby where the children attended Edmonds School. John Sr. became ill and died, leaving the eldest Jack as the main breadwinner of the family when he was still just a teenager. He began his working life at a chicken farm, later learning his trade while working for the Hudson Bay Company. Jack McGeachie married Burnaby Historian Doreen Pixie Johnson. He and Pixie raised their children Kathi (Dunlop) and David McGeachie in the house the couple built themselves in 1947. John Aloysius "Jack" McGeachie died October 12, 1981 at the age of sixty-seven. Doreen "Pixie" (Johnson) McGeachie died August 14, 2010 at the age of eighty-nine.
Total Tracks
8
Total Length
0:51:13
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
McGeachie, John Aloysius "Jack"
Interview Location
Rosewood
Interviewer Bio
Bettina Bradbury teaches history and women's studies at York University. She is the author of Wife to Widow. Lives, Laws and Politics in Nineteenth-century Montreal. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, June 2011), 520p; Working Families. Age, Gender and Daily Survival in Industrializing Montreal. (Toronto: Canadian Social History Series, McClelland and Stewart, 1993); (Republished Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1996) (3rd edition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). These interviews were undertaken after she completed her MA at Simon Fraser University in 1975 with the support of an LIP grant.
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Historical Society Community Archives collection
Series
Oral History series
Item No.
100-13-10_Track_2
Transcript Available
None
Media Type
Sound Recording
Web Notes
Interview was digitized in 2010 allowing it to be accessible on Heritage Burnaby. The digitization project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council and the BC History Digitization Program of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. It was recognized by the Heritage Society of BC with an award in 2012.
Audio Tracks

Track one of interview with Jack McGeachie

Images
Less detail

Interview with W.H. O'Brien July / August 1975 - Track 6

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory23
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to W.H. "Harry" O'Brien's involvement with the Army of the Common Good Cooperative stores and their beginnings. Harry mentions the Credit Union.
Date Range
1932-1938
Length
0:09:14
  1 Audio     1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to W.H. "Harry" O'Brien's involvement with the Army of the Common Good Cooperative stores and their beginnings. Harry mentions the Credit Union.
Date Range
1932-1938
Photo Info
Harry and Gertrude (Crossan) O'Brien on their wedding day, October 12, 1940. Item no. 315-005
Length
0:09:14
Subject
Organizations
Persons - Volunteers
Geographic Access
Burnaby - McKay Avenue
Historic Neighbourhood
Central Park (Historic Neighbourhood)
Interviewer
Bradbury, Dr. Bettina
Interview Date
July / August 1975
Scope and Content
Recording is a taped interview with W.H. "Harry" O'Brien by SFU (Simon Fraser University) graduate student Bettina Bradbury. Major themes discussed are: the Army of the Common Good, the Union of the Unemployed and the Common Good Credit Union (now the South Burnaby Credit Union). To view "Narrow By" terms for each track expand this description and see "Notes".
Biographical Notes
W.H. “Harry” O’Brien was born in the coal mining town of Nanaimo, British Columbia on October 20, 1914. He came to Burnaby with his parents and five siblings in 1927. Harry’s mother, a school teacher, wanted her children to live closer to school in order to obtain a better education, so the O’Brien family settled at Inman Avenue, Burnaby. Harry left school in June of 1929. Harry’s father worked as the caretaker at Central Park around this time and Harry helped him to clear brush, plant trees and enforce the land clearing and wood cutting permit regulations held by men who were on script. Although too young to vote by just over a week, Harry O'Brien worked as a scrutineer for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) during the 1935 Federal Election. On October 12, 1940 Harry O'Brien married Gertrude Crossan at St. John the Divine in Burnaby. The Crossan family came to Burnaby from Winnipeg in 1933 and settled at Nelson Avenue. Gertrude's mother, Mary Anne Crossan, was Gilmore Avenue School's first teacher. Harry began his involvement with the Unemployment Organization in Burnaby by participating in an organised protest against the municipality for homeowner evictions brought on by unpaid taxes. The South Burnaby Union of the Unemployed organised in order to protest rules around receiving Relief. Harry became involved, eventually becoming one of the spearheads of the organization, taking over as secretary by 1936. Harry was an original member of the Army of the Common Good, helping to produce over one hundred and twenty-five tons of vegetables from its own gardens to feed Burnaby citizens suffering from the lack of resources during the Depression years. The members of the Army of the Common Good who cut wood for consumption or worked in the gardens were given credit for their work through LU (Labour Units) which they could then use to buy groceries and that at the Army's Cooperative stores, one of which was at McKay Avenue, where Harry began working as Manager of Groceries in 1937. The Credit Union movement of British Columbia was also organized by Harry O'Brien and his fellow Army of the Common Good members. W.H. "Harry" O'Brien died July 1, 1992.
Total Tracks
9
Total Length
1:17:56
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
O'Brien, Harry
Interviewer Bio
Bettina Bradbury teaches history and women's studies at York University. She is the author of Wife to Widow. Lives, Laws and Politics in Nineteenth-century Montreal. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, June 2011), 520p; Working Families. Age, Gender and Daily Survival in Industrializing Montreal. (Toronto: Canadian Social History Series, McClelland and Stewart, 1993); (Republished Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1996) (3rd edition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). These interviews were undertaken after she completed her MA at Simon Fraser University in 1975 with the support of an LIP grant.
Collection/Fonds
Burnaby Historical Society Community Archives collection
Series
Oral History series
Item No.
100-13-25_Track_6
Transcript Available
None
Media Type
Sound Recording
Web Notes
Interview was digitized in 2010 allowing it to be accessible on Heritage Burnaby. The digitization project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council and the BC History Digitization Program of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. It was recognized by the Heritage Society of BC with an award in 2012.
Audio Tracks

Track six of interview with W.H.

Images
Less detail

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