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One fascinating (and yet often overlooked by visitors) piece of architecture in Victoria is the Emily Carr House. Interesting for both its architectural and historical importance, this house of the significant Canadian writer and painter has been carefully kept and maintained, and now provides tourists and locals alike with a beautiful monument to Carr’s life and legacy.
What makes the architecture unique is, in large part, the way in which the house holds its own and stands out against other buildings in Victoria. Built in the 1860s in an “Italianate” style, which was one of the most popular styles for houses at the time, the house looks almost as though it could belong to a doll, with its ornate cut-out outer décor. Favored as an architectural style because of the variety of (relatively inexpensive) elements used, Italianate style usually includes several stories, a square cupola at its top, extremely ornamental eaves, long windows, and arches.
The house’s symmetry also stands out, with matching windows on each side, and even two identical chimneys. This is another common feature of architecture in this style. But the pretty, balanced, feminine-looking outside of the home should not detract from the important historically relevant art that can be found within. Visitors to the house can see many of Carr’s (and her family’s) possessions, including much of her work.
Another interesting feature of the house is its use as a gallery showcasing work of local Canadians.
Admire the Emily Carr House for its attractive and unique architecture, but also take a moment to recognize its place as a monument to art history in British Columbia.
[Here is a photo of the house from Parks Canada]
More Info/Contact Info:
Emily Carr House
207 Government Street
B.C. V8V 2K3
Telephone: (250) 383-5843
For more information on the architectural highlights of Victoria, check out Exploring Victoria's Architecture, by Martin Segger and Douglas Franklin, which you can get at Munro's Books, 1108 Government St., 250-382-2464.