Set back from Douglas Road, the Frederick and Edna Cunningham House is a picturesque wood-frame one and one-half storey British Arts and Crafts-style residence, clad with rough-cast stucco and featuring half-timbering in the gable ends. Set far back on a large east-sloping site in a mature landscap…
Set back from Douglas Road, the Frederick and Edna Cunningham House is a picturesque wood-frame one and one-half storey British Arts and Crafts-style residence, clad with rough-cast stucco and featuring half-timbering in the gable ends. Set far back on a large east-sloping site in a mature landscape setting, it is located in the Douglas Road neighbourhood located in the central valley of Burnaby.
Considered a landmark in the Douglas Road neighbourhood, the Cunningham House is valued as a good example of a British Arts and Crafts-style residence. The house blends into its surroundings, which are extensively landscaped with rockeries, lawns, shrubs, trees and perennial beds. The two majestic copper beech trees, over 60 years old, are among the best specimens of their type to be found in Greater Vancouver and are protected under covenant.
The Cunningham property is significant as one of the last estate homes remaining on the old Douglas Road, at one time noted for its beautiful estates set within the rural character of Burnaby’s Central Valley. Insurance agent Frederick Woodman Cunningham (1882-1963) and his wife, Edna Elizabeth Cunningham (1884-1982), built this country residence in 1923. Fred was the only son of James Cunningham, a pioneer of New Westminster who arrived in 1862 and served as the City’s Mayor from 1872 to 1874. The landmark flagpole that once stood in the garden was moved to this site when Fred Cunningham's prestigious family home in New Westminster at Third Avenue and Seventh Street was demolished in 1938. Kept within the family until 1982 and largely maintained in its original condition, the Cunningham House is an excellent example of one of Burnaby's best estate homes from the 1920s and was designated by the City of Burnaby in 1996.
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Cunningham House include its:
- location on Douglas Road, in Burnaby’s Central Valley
- views from the property to the east and towards the North Shore
- residential form, scale and massing as exemplified by its one and one-half storey height and rectangular plan
- side gabled roof with front gabled dormer and cedar shingle cladding
- British Arts and Crafts elements such as its rough-cast stucco, tapered porch columns, large eave brackets, exposed purlins and half-timbering
- irregular fenestration including double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows, multi-pane wooden-sash casement windows and multiple-assembly windows in the gable ends
- front entrance porch with shed roof
- two internal red brick chimneys
- early cedar-shingled garage at side of house
- associated landscape features, including two landmark Copper beech trees and landscaped rockeries at the front of the property