The Andy Johnson House is a large, one and one-half storey plus above-ground basement wood-frame mansion on a rubble-stone granite foundation with a red terra cotta pantile roof and an octagonal corner turret. The building stands in a prominent location on a corner lot on Kingsway, one of Burnaby’s…
The Andy Johnson House is a large, one and one-half storey plus above-ground basement wood-frame mansion on a rubble-stone granite foundation with a red terra cotta pantile roof and an octagonal corner turret. The building stands in a prominent location on a corner lot on Kingsway, one of Burnaby’s main transportation and commercial corridors, and stands adjacent to the Burlington Square Development.
The Andy Johnson House 'Glenedward' is a valued representation of a prominent upper middle-class family dwelling from the pre-First World War era. Andrew M. Johnson (1861-1934), an early Vancouver pioneer, and his wife Margaret built this house in 1912, in an imposing style favoured by the newly wealthy of the prewar boom period. Born in Norway, Andrew Johnson arrived in Vancouver just months after the Great Fire of 1886 and went into partnership with J. (Ollie) Atkins in a transportation company that became the Mainland Transfer Company, eventually the largest of its kind in Vancouver. Johnson also operated Burnaby's historic Royal Oak Hotel, once located on the opposite corner from his estate.
Additionally, the Andy Johnson House is significant for the high-quality design and construction of both the house and its landscaped setting. Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the house exhibits a rare degree of opulence in building materials, including imported terra cotta roof tiles, oak and walnut interior millwork, and stained glass manufactured by the Royal City Glass Company. The rubble-stone foundations and perimeter walls were obtained from two massive granite glacial erratic boulders found on the property. The house has been relocated closer to the corner, but the encircling stone walls, the gate posts and gates manufactured by the Westminster Iron Works and some of the original plantings have been retained. A grouping of three giant Sequoias, other mature deciduous trees and massings of shrubbery indicate the type of landscape setting considered appropriate for an estate house in the early years of the twentieth century.
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Andy Johnson House include its:
- corner location on Kingsway at Royal Oak Avenue
- residential form, scale and massing as expressed by the one and one-half storey height, above-ground basement, octagonal corner turret and rectangular plan
- British Arts and Crafts details such as the use of natural indigenous materials, half-timbering in the gables and dormers, picturesque roofline, cedar shingle siding, extended eaves, native granite rubble-stone foundation with red-coloured mortar, and granite piers and chimneys
- additional exterior features such as the central front entrance, elaborate wrap-around verandah, porte-cochere and balcony at second storey lighted with original cast iron electric lanterns
- red terra cotta pantile roof cladding
- fenestration, such as double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows with stained glass and leaded lights in the upper sash
- original interior features such as fireplaces, wainscoting finished with oak and walnut millwork, and three-quarter sawn oak flooring
- associated landscape features including three giant Sequoias. granite walls, granite gate posts and wrought iron gates