A couple who renovated a four-storey historic home in Hammond will receive a heritage award for their efforts at today's (Tuesday's) council meeting.
The house was built in 1927 by the second doctor in Maple Ridge, and the first one in Hammond, Dr. Laurence Broe.
When Becky Robinson and Gary McNeal took possession of the house in 2008, it had a definite 1970s flavour to it, with colourful flowers painted on the kitchen walls and shag carpeting throughout the house.
The previous owner - only the third owner of the house - had put his own eccentric stamp on the house. There were five pianos and a pipe organ in one room of the house when the couple came to view it. The attic had been turned into a religious shrine, and the windows were covered in anticipation of some cataclysmic event.
The massive brick chimney was painted over and had to be sandblasted to return it to its original state.
The fir floors were restored after the shag carpet was removed, and an ensuite bathroom was added upstairs. The couple added older elements to the house, including a clawfoot bathtub and period heaters.
Needless to say, the religious shrine was removed.
The house, which is on four floors, contained some surprises, including a secret passage between floors.
Robinson and McNeal bought the house in August 2008 and it took them till December to fully renovate it, which included scraping off up to seven layers of wallpapers, refinishing the floors, and adding 5,000 linear feet of crown mouldings.
Robinson said she was "very, very excited" when she heard she was getting the awards, "and really proud of myself."
Robinson and McNeal have renovated about 10 heritage homes over the years.
The house is on the District of Maple Ridge's heritage inventory, and is a "very significant" building given the style of the home, said Lisa Zosiak, a planner with the District of Maple Ridge.
"It was quite a prosperous house for that time," she said, adding that the original owner, Dr. Broe, was a significant person in Hammond. "[The house] tells a story of what was happening in Hammond in that time."
The stucco on the exterior of the home is a later addition, Zosiak explained, but otherwise the house is substantially intact.
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