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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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Interview with Florence Hart Godwin by Bettina Bradbury July 2, 1975 - Track 8

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory17
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to Florence (Hart) Godwin's memories of entertainment on offer during the Depression as well as her overall experience of that time, where she mentions the birth of her daughter in 1929.
Date Range
1930-1939
Length
0:05:54
  1 Audio     1 Image  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview pertains to Florence (Hart) Godwin's memories of entertainment on offer during the Depression as well as her overall experience of that time, where she mentions the birth of her daughter in 1929.
Date Range
1930-1939
Photo Info
Florence Hart Godwin on her wedding day, August 7, 1922. Item no. 477-601
Length
0:05:54
Name
Godwin, Elizabeth
Subject
Recreational Activities
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Richmond Street
Burnaby - Elwell Street
Historic Neighbourhood
Edmonds (Historic Neighbourhood)
Interviewer
Bradbury, Dr. Bettina
Interview Date
July 2, 1975
Scope and Content
Recording is a taped interview with Florence Hart Godwin by SFU (Simon Fraser University) graduate student Bettina Bradbury, July 2, 1975. Major themes discussed are: Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) and the Edmonds Historic Neighbourhood. To view "Narrow By" terms for each track expand this description and see "Notes."
Biographical Notes
Florence Hart was born in 1898 in New Westminster. Florence first saw Burnaby in April of 1905 on a trip made by horse and buggy from the family home in New Westminster where her father worked as a real estate agent. By 1911, he had built a permanent home for his family in Burnaby, building what is now known as the Hart house and is currently owned by the municipality. Frederick John “Fred” Hart married Alice Chapman in Yale BC on August 13, 1895. They had four children together; Kingsley Chapman born May 27, 1897, Florence Elizabeth born October 23, 1898, and ten years later, Edwyna and Jack. They followed their family nurse, Miss Maude Woodward to Burnaby and purchased thirteen acres of land at Deer Lake to build a summer cottage. Mrs Hill and the children spent the summer months there while Frederick continued working in New Westminster, joining his family on the weekends. Florence Hart attended Douglas Road School before boarding at Crofton House in Vancouver. Kingsley Hart had enlisted in the army on March 23, 1915 when he was only seventeen years old. He was killed in action on September 26, 1916. The Hart family then moved to Kerrisdale, Vancouver. Florence worked at the Carnegie Library. On August 7, 1922 Florence Hart married Harold “Hal” Godwin and moved back to Edmonds in Burnaby where they remained for their entire married lives. In 1929, Florence and Harold’s daughter, Elizabeth Godwin was born. Alice (Chapman) Hart died May 24, 1935 at the age of sixty-eight. Frederick John Hart died August 29, 1945 at the age of seventy-seven. Florence Hart Godwin was named Good Citizen of Burnaby in 1971 and received a life membership to the IODE (Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire) for her long tenure. Both Florence and her husband Harold were awarded life memberships from the VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) for more than half a century of service. Harold Ward Godwin died December 12, 1962 at the age of sixty-six.
Total Tracks
8
Total Length
0:47:57
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
Godwin, Florence Hart
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.
100-13-17_Track_8
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 eight of interview with Florence Hart Godwin by Bettina Bradbury

Images
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