Owners of the Skelton House have voluntarily applied to City of Chilliwack for official heritage designation.
A heritage designation bylaw for the home at 45483 Spadina was given first and second reading by city council on Tuesday afternoon.
The house was constructed in 1913 in the elaborate Craftsman style, measuring 1.5 storeys high.
A statement of significance (SoS) was prepared for the house, and contained in the March 6 staff report stating: “the house represents the residential and commercial development and expansion of Chilliwack in the years prior to World War 1.”
The large home sits across from the old fairgrounds on Spadina, now known as the Landing site, and features a full, open veranda, recessed second balcony, gable roof and dormer windows.
“It’s very exciting to see this because it shows what is possible in terms of protecting heritage values,” said Laura Reid, president of Heritage Chilliwack.
The Skelton house will be one of several homes on Heritage Chilliwack’s Fall Home Tour on Sept. 29. Any Chilliwack home owners interested in voluntary heritage designation can apply for funding assistance for the heritage designation process. Email Reid at email@example.com
Municipal heritage bylaws offer legal protection for homes with heritage value or character, regulating any changes made to the exterior, but not the interior features. Council has a policy of supporting and recognizing heritage homes.
The house is considered important due in part to its connections to the Skeltons, Robert B. and Susan Skelton, the original occupants, according to the SoS document submitted by a consultant. The Skeltons were well-known entrepreneurial family active in Chilliwack society, who lived in the house from 1914 to 1940.
Traces of family history can still be seen around town, such as the store, R.G. Skelton and Sons Men’s Wear, which still exists today on Wellington Avenue. Skelton Park, opposite Chilliwack City Hall, was named for Norman Alfred Skelton.
The staff report substantiation for heritage designation points out it will “protect a valued heritage resource” which is in keeping with the OCP’s heritage policies.
The public hearing for the Skelton House heritage designation bylaw is set for March 20 at city hall.