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The Better Housing Scheme bungalow in 1920 Vancouver: wedding economy and aesthetics in the Craftsman… Tyner, Janna Nadine 1995

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THE BETTER HOUSING SCHEME BUNGALOW IN 1920 VANCOUVER: WEDDING ECONOMY AND AESTHETICS IN THE CRAFTSMAN MODEL by r J A N N A N A D I N E T Y N E R B . A . , The University of British Columbia, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER IN ADVANCED STUDIES IN ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Architecture) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1995 © J a n n a N a d i n e T y n e r , 1 9 9 5 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of GcWOOI-Of ARCH \ -V£Wfc& The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date OttOftpR {Q \°)<?)<C? A B S T R A C T 11. In 1919, the federal government initiated a housing scheme to finance and construct war veterans' and low-cost homes during a period of severe housing shortages and economic recession immediately following the First World War. The Province of British Columbia participated extensively in the program under the auspices of the Better Housing Scheme Act. In Vancouver, the majority of the one hundred and fifty-three houses built under this initiative were modestly priced examples of the Craftsman bungalow. Although the federal housing guidelines defined the scheme's objectives as providing housing to those in greatest need, the choice of the Craftsman bungalow typology for the Vancouver model suggests otherwise. The Craftsman bungalow was appropriated for the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme for economic and ideological purposes, wedding economy and aesthetics with the government's desire to bring morality and family values to all classes through domestic architecture. The Scheme solicited the Arts and Crafts bungalow as its primary model in part because of its adaptability of materials: the Craftsman aesthetic emphasizing natural wood fit well into British Columbia's thriving lumber economy. Moreover, the modest, detached home set on a single lot interspersed in one of Vancouver's existing neighbourhoods bolstered the sagging real estate market, which had stagnated during the First World War, and ensured economic renewal. The Arts and Crafts inspired bungalow addressed notions of the traditional nuclear family with the husband and father as sole wage earner and the wife and mother as housekeeper. Through its plan and design and through its comprehensive marketing strategy, the bungalow reaffirmed the accepted roles of family members during the post-war period of economic recession, instability, and uncertainty with the past and the future. Through the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme, its proponents attempted to establish the detached, single family home as a national goal for everyone which would promote long term social stability and economic growth and recovery from the post-war depression. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Page Abstract ii List of Tables iv List of Figures v Acknowledgement vii Chapter I Introduction 1 Chapter II Events Presaging the Housing Scheme: The Post-war Climate in Vancouver & Canada 6 Chapter III Economic Interests Leading to the Adoption of the Bungalow in the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme 23 Chapter IV Precedents Leading to the Better Housing Scheme 40 Chapter V The Arts & Crafts Tradition in Vancouver 54 Chapter V I Ideological Interests Leading to the Adoption of the Bungalow in the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme 63 i. The home as a national goal 63 ii . The Better Housing Scheme bungalow and questions of domesticity 69 iii. The creation of a modest house type 77 Chapter VII Summary & Conclusions 87 Bibliography 92 Appendix I: Recipients of Loans 101 LIST OF TABLES iv. Page Table 1 Summary of building permits for all new construction in Vancouver, 1902-24 24 V . LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 2978 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $4,500 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995) 1 The eastern alternative to the Craftsman bungalow, this group of three brick houses was designed for the Ottawa Housing Scheme by the Federal Housing Committee in 1919 (Town planning & conservation of life, 5:13, July 1919, p. 51) 13 3478 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $3,300 in 1920. This bungalow has been raised since its construction to make room for a basement suite, and the facade sided with vinyl. (Jana Tyner, 1995) 21 1987 West 37th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $4,665 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995) 29 Plans for "A Popular Six Room Bungalow" (Western lumberman, 17, April 1920, p. 55) 32 The lumber industry encouraged home building through patriotic measures following the Great War (Western lumberman, 16, June 1919, p. 28) 34 Advertisement for the "Own Your Own Home" campaign, published in journals and newspapers throughout the country (Western lumberman, 16, July 1919, p. 25) Aladdin homes advertisement for readi-cut homes (Sunset magazine, 46:3, March 1921, p. 69) 3250 (dark brown, shingled facade) and 3254 (re-stuccoed facade) West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme in 1919 (Jana Tyner, 1995) .35 .38 .53 vi. Figure 10 Plans for a modest bungalow, which were typical of the layout for Better Housing Scheme bungalows (Sunset magazine, 45:6, December 1920, p. 70) 55 Figure 11 A rendering and plan of a "Small Home of Unusual Merit", showing a simplified main floor plan with combined living and dining area, also typical of the Better Housing Scheme bungalows ( M . D . Klein, The home plan book. Toronto: Home Builders' Service Bureau, 1924, p. 10, 11) 59 Figure 12 2071 West 44th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $4,905 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995) 61 Figure 13 "Build Your Own Home" advertisement (Western lumberman, 16, July 1919, p. 26) 68 Figure 14 A n advertisement in Sunset magazine for white enamel paint, illustrating the new image of the woman in the kitchen (Sunset magazine, 44:5, May 1920, p. 90) 71 Figure 15 A rendering and plan typical of a pre-1915 bungalow, with separate breakfast room and library. The library was often replaced by a den or music room in plans of a similar period ( H . L . Wilson, The bungalow book. Chicago: Henry L . Wilson, 1910, p. 90) 81 Figure 16 1152 East 54th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $3,350 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995) 83 Figure 17 1258 East 25th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $2,475 in 1922 (Jana Tyner, 1995) 85 Figure 18 775 East 33rd Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $2,662 in 1922 (Jana Tyner, 1995) 90 vu. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT It is my pleasure to thank my two supervisors, Deborah Weiner and Sherry M c K a y , for their thoughtful and wise comments on my paper, and for their support and patience when I was slow. Thanks, too, to Robert McDonald for serving on my thesis committee and for his insight, advice and enthusiasm. I would also like to acknowledge Jill Wade, not only for her initial research from which stemmed my own thesis, but for her assistance and encouragement throughout. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Figure 1 2978 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $4,500 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995). In 1920, Ernest Glenesk hired carpenter Andrew Yates to build his $4,500 bungalow at 2978 West 5th Avenue in Vancouver's burgeoning suburb of Kitsilano. 1 The bungalow was one of the first of one hundred and fifty-three to be built as part of Vancouver's Better Housing Scheme, a component of the Canadian government's program initiated to finance and construct veterans' and low cost homes during a period of severe housing shortages and economic recession immediately following the First World War. The modest one and a half storey bungalow was built in the Craftsman aesthetic, with shingle siding, uneven brick support work and chimney, wide eaves with exposed timber rafters, a simple gable roof and a wide veranda. Its simplified plan combined a 1 City of Vancouver Archives, Council Minutes, 1920 [13-E-6]; and Finance Department, Better Housing Scheme Ledger Account 1920-1925 [113-A-15]; and Better Housing Scheme Ledger 1920 [117-F-2]. unified living and dining area and adjoining kitchen, with the private enclave of the bedrooms separated from the public area by a narrow corridor. Through its design, this bungalow evoked associations of sheltered domesticity, artistic sensibility, practical simplicity, efficiency, and craftsmanship. Although part of a broader federal housing initiative, Vancouver's Better Housing Scheme is distinctive within Canada in a number of ways: homes were integrated into the existing real estate market, rather than located in a community plan setting; the adoption of the Anglo-American Craftsman bungalow, in combination with its ideological associations, as its model; and the role played by the provincial lumber industry in influencing this choice of an Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Like those of other federal housing scheme participants, Vancouver's program adopted the contemporary rhetoric regarding the importance of a home-owning population to the economic and social stability of the nation, and the renewed emphasis on domesticity and the nuclear family following the First World War. While not all of the one hundred and fifty-three homes constructed under the Vancouver scheme are identical to the bungalow located on West 5th Avenue, there is an underlying pattern to them. The study that follows will show that these Better Housing Scheme bungalows are vanishing documents of how various discourses - legal, political, economic and familial - functioned together in post-World War One Vancouver to support a move towards a more modest house type and to maintain the existing system of land ownership. The economic and cultural developments that form the context of this development were not unique to Canada: similar developments occurred in the United States and Great Britain and were adopted in Canada. 2 How, then, did the bungalow find its way to a lower middle-class suburb For a history of the move towards a modern house type in America, see Gwendolyn Wright, Building the dream: a social history of housing in America (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981) and Moralism and the model home: domestic architecture and cultural conflict in Chicago, 1873-1913 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); Anthony King, The bungalow: the production of a global culture (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984); and 3. in Vancouver, and how did it come to be adopted as the model for a civic housing program? In the Craftsman style bungalow of the post-war years, housing form connects with economic and cultural changes in Vancouver and serves as an indicator of the broader social forces behind these changes. The home came to be a major symbol of respectability in the twentieth century: embodying and representing the individual's taste; dedication to family; and adherence to the values of domesticity, liberalism, and capitalism. The complexity and breadth of the relationships inherent to this building type reflect its modernity in a changing urban environment; the thesis will examine this fluctuating state through a consideration of several distinct but not unrelated aspects of the bungalow. The economic forces that contributed to the adoption of the Craftsman model for the Better Housing Scheme were tied to Vancouver's real estate market and lumber industries, making up the better part of the city's overall economy. Economic interests combined with ideological ones - the single family home presented as the national goal, the changing role of women in the domestic environment, the Arts and Crafts tradition in Vancouver and its relation to the rhetoric of economy and efficiency - to establish the Better Housing Scheme bungalow as a document of post-war Vancouver. The coming together of these seemingly disparate elements can be understood in relation to Michel Foucault's argument that social reality is constituted in and through historically specific languages and forms of knowledge, and that these discourses are not independent of one another but take on meaning only in so far as they are inscribed in material practices and institutions.3 Dolores Hayden, Redesigning the American dream: the future of housing, work and family life (New York: W . W . Norton & Company, 1984). M y approach has been informed by a general reading of Michel Foucault, principally his chapters on "Unities of discourse", "Discursive formations" and "What is an author" in The archaeology of knowledge (trans A . Sheridan Smith) (New York: Harper & Row, 1969); Madness and civilization: a history of insanity in the age of reason (trans R. Howard) (New 4. Underlying this study of the Better Housing Scheme bungalow is the assumption that space is not neutral, but is actively produced, culturally constructed and given meaning through a combination of lived realities, which can include laws, myths, and traditions. 4 Taking this particular set of relationships as an example, it is relatively easy to infer that space is gendered: western laws, myths and traditions all play into the construction of a patriarchal space. Geographer David Harvey asserts that "the assignment of place within a socio-spatial structure indicates distinctive roles, capacities for action, and access to power within social order" 5, which suggests that roles are defined and controlled within these gendered spaces. Architectural spaces are even more deliberately constructed to define societal roles, particularly in light of the fact that the building and design professions have been dominated by men throughout history. Through the distribution of rooms, their position, their dimensions, and their function, the architect or developer orders space to regulate social relationships. And despite women's perceived control over the home, as evidenced by the profusion of popular home decorating and improvement magazines in the 1920s explicitly directed at women, journals like the Ladies home journal and the Canadian home journal which circulated widely in Canada, continued to be edited by middle class men. 6 York: Vintage Books, 1971); and Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison (inns A.. Sheridan) (London: 1977). See Gillian Rose, Feminism and geography (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1993) and Beatriz Colomina, ed., Sexuality & space (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992). David Harvey as quoted by Rose, Feminism and geography, p. 18. Mary Vipond, "The image of women in Canadian mass circulation magazines in the 1920s" Modernist studies 1:3 (1974/75), p. 6. Vipond has calculated that the Ladies home journal, an American publication, had a circulation of 152,011 in Canada as of June 30 1926, while Canadian home journal had a circulation of 68,013 as of December 31 1925. 5. This thesis attempts to explore the way in which architecture functions as an indicator of society through the example of a specific historical moment: the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme. Chapter II introduces the social, economic and political environment of early twentieth century Vancouver in which the Better Housing Scheme bungalow is situated. The scheme itself is also defined within its provincial and federal context. This overview introduces themes that are picked up in subsequent chapters. Chapters III through V I discuss reasons for the adoption of the Craftsman bungalow in the Better Housing Scheme: Chapter III considers economic factors; Chapter IV considers precedents to the scheme; Chapter V considers the Arts and Crafts tradition in history and its appearance in Vancouver; and Chapter VI considers ideological interests. The conclusion summarizes the accomplishments and failings of the Better Housing Scheme, both as an attempt to provide housing to Vancouver's poor, and more significantly as a means of transmitting and reinforcing a specific building typology: the Craftsman bungalow. 6. C H A P T E R II E V E N T S PRESAGING T H E HOUSING S C H E M E : T H E POST-WAR C L I M A T E IN V A N C O U V E R & C A N A D A What was the state of housing in Vancouver immediately following the First World War that led to the implementation of a government-supported housing scheme in 1919? During the early years of the twentieth century, British Columbia witnessed a dramatic increase in population and urban development due to the arrival of the first Canadian Pacific Railway train in 1887 and an expanding lumber economy. Rapid population growth in Vancouver immediately following the First World War coupled with post-war material shortages resulted in a severe housing crisis during the 1920s. Vancouver's serious housing congestion was characterized by rising rents and diminishing vacancies: between 1916 and 1918, building costs rose an average of 48 percent, and rents increased 50 percent across Canada. 7 In October 1919, the Vancouver sun reported that "Vancouver has more families than there is living room for. Many of these groups are jammed in with friends or relatives and all are at the mercy of the landlords . . . Every apartment house is filled and many have long 'waiting lists'. Medium sized, and priced, houses are greatly in demand". 8 Historical geographer Deryk Holdsworth describes early Vancouver as a "city of single family homes peacefully situated on a peninsula on the edge of the Pacific and at the foot of coastal mountains". He states that "home ownership levels were [uniquely] high" in Vancouver compared with eastern Canadian cities, with detached homes Macdonald, Vancouver, p. 36-41; Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement, p. 95. "Housing problem presages progress", Vancouver sun (October 26 1919), p. 8. 7. making up the majority of the housing market. However, the 1921 Census of Canada reveals that Vancouver was a city of renters. 1 0 The Census confirms that 88.7 percent of Vancouver's 21,489 residences were detached homes, with apartments, row houses, and semi-detached units comprising the remaining 11.3 percent. This figure compares to 93.7 percent in Victoria, 95.5 percent in Edmonton, and 89 percent in Winnipeg, suggesting that Vancouver was not exceptional in its high percentage of detached homes. Significantly, 65.5 percent of Vancouver's families rented, compared to 53.1 percent in Toronto and 57.4 percent in Winnipeg. Thus, Vancouver's overall landscape of detached houses did not equate with a particularly high percentage of home ownership. Vancouver's employment situation following the Great War similarly had an impact on the government's decision to intervene in housing construction. The city experienced regular bouts of unemployment during this period due to the intermittent influx of seasonal workers from the canneries, forests, mines, and farms. Strikes were common, with labour unrest culminating in August 1918 with Canada's first twenty-four-hour general strike, instigated in protest over the murder of labour activist Ginger Goodwin by a Dominion police officer. 1 1 Vancouver workers participated in a second general strike in support of the June 1919 Winnipeg general strike, which sought to enforce adequate employment and collective bargaining power. The Labour gazette reported that thirty-two strikes, involving 22,788 employees, commenced in June 1919 across Deryck Holdsworth, "House and home in Vancouver: the emergence of a west coast urban landscape 1886-1929" unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1981, p. 2, 33. These figures are taken from the 1921 Census of Canada, as quoted in Houses for all: the struggle for social housing in Vancouver, 1919-50, J i l l Wade (Vancouver: U B C Press, 1994), pp. 8-16. Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", p. 114. 8. Canada, and that at some time during the month eighty strikes, involving about 87,917 workers, were underway. 1 2 Following the devastation and demoralization of World War One, Canadians felt a strong desire to return to "normalcy" and "traditional" ways of life typical of pre-war times. Women who had become active in the workforce during the war were expected to return to their role as wives and mothers, relinquishing their jobs to the remrning soldiers. It is generally accepted that while the First World War did not precipitate women entering the workforce, it dramatically accelerated the process. A temporary influx of women into almost every trade resulted. 1 3 Beginning in 1916, women worked regularly in traditionally male-dominated jobs as engineers, clerks, managers, and inspectors in the railway, steel, and cement industries. In 1916, to encourage women into this area of manufacturing, the Imperial Munitions Board published an illustrated pamphlet entitled "Women in the production of munitions in Canada". 1 4 Yet by 1920, the mood had changed. In Vancouver, returning soldiers pushed the unemployment rate to 22 percent, 1 5 resulting in increased pressure on women to leave 12 13 14 15 Labour gazette (July 1919), p. 792. For information on women in the workforce during World War One, see Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, "Women during the Great War" in Women at work: Ontario, 1850-1930, Janice Acton, Penny Goldsmith & Bonnie Shepard, eds. (Toronto: Canadian Women's Educational Press, 1974); Barbara Riley, "Six saucepans to one: domestic science vs. the home in British Columbia, 1900-1930" in British Columbia reconsidered, Gillian Creese & Veronica Strong-Boag, eds. (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1992); Graham S. Lowe, "Women, work, and the office: the feminization of clerical occupations in Canada, 1901-1931" in Rethinking Canada: the promise of women's history, Anita C. Fellman & Veronica Strong-Boag, eds. (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd. , 1991); Vipond, "The image of women in Canadian mass circulation magazines in the 1920s"; Barbara Latham & Roberta J. Pazdro, eds., Not just pin money: selected essays on the history of women's work in British Columbia (Victoria: Camosun College, 1984); Veronica Strong-Boag, The new day recalled: lives of girls and women in English Canada, 1919-1939 (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1988). Ramkhalawansingh, "Women during the Great War", p. 274. Macdonald, Vancouver, p. 40. 9. their jobs in the city and return home to their families. Veronica Strong-Boag suggests that the vehemence with which women were made scapegoats for the jobs that men lost following World War One reveals how committed Canadians were to the values of family, home and women's place therein. 1 6 In 1918, the Canadian Civi l Service Commission began determining job competitions on the basis of sex so male veterans no longer had to compete with women for jobs . 1 7 A propaganda bulletin circulated by the Canadian Department of Labour in 1919 stated: To women workers: Are you working for love or for money? Are you holding a job you do not need? Perhaps you have a husband well able to support you and a comfortable home? You took a job during the war to help meet the shortage of labour. You have 'made good' and you want to go on working. But the war is over and conditions have changed. There is no longer a shortage of labour. On the contrary [the country] is faced by a serious situation due to the number of men unemployed. This number is being increased daily by returning soldiers. They must have work. The pains and dangers they have endured in our defence give them the right to expect it. Do you feel justified in holding a job which could be filled by a man who has not only himself to support, but a wife and family as well? Think it over.18 It is at this moment that the federal Unionist government under Prime Minister Borden acted by implementing a housing scheme designed to alleviate the immediate housing shortages throughout Canada's large cities and to provide the "comfortable home" alluded to by the Department of L a b o u r . 1 9 On December 3, 1918, the Committee of the Privy Council approved the recommendation put forth by the Minister of Finance to Strong-Boag, The new day recalled, p. 47. Strong-Boag, The new day recalled, p. 62. Ramkhalawansingh, "Women during the Great War", p. 288. For a study of the Federal Housing Scheme, see Andrew Eric Jones, The beginnings of Canadian government housing policy, 1918-1924 (Ottawa: Centre for Social Welfare Studies, Carleton University, 1978); for a detailed study of British Columbia's participation in the scheme, see Ji l l Wade, "The 'sting' of Vancouver's Better Housing 'Spree', 1919-1949" Urban history review 21:2 (March 1993), pp. 92-103 and Houses for all; for a study of the housing scheme in Ottawa, see Ji l l Delaney, "The garden suburb of Lindenlea, Ottawa: a model project for the first federal housing policy, 1918-24" Urban history review 19:3 (February 1991), pp. 151-165. 10. loan monies to the provincial governments to create better housing for returning soldiers and for the industrial population of Canada's larger cities. The Minister observed that "there is at present a great scarcity of housing accommodation in most of our cities", that touches "vitally the health, morals and general well being of the entire community and its relation to the welfare of returned soldiers and their families". 2 0 Due to the apparent urgency of the housing situation, the Order-in-Council was authorized under the provisions of the War Measures Act, therefore requiring no debate or legislation in the House of Commons. In so doing, the Government labelled the scheme as a temporary, expedient measure to address an emergency situation rather than as a long-term plan for affordable housing in Canada. The Order-in-Council provided $25 million to the provincial governments, to be loaned over a twenty-year period at a deflated interest rate of five percent. The provinces would lend this money to Municipalities, who would then make repayable loans to individuals satisfying the requirements of the housing scheme to build their own homes. The Housing Committee of the Privy Council, chaired by Liberal Unionist Newton W . Rowell, was subsequently appointed to formulate the general principles and regulations to be followed in any housing scheme developed by the provincial governments. Rowell, President of the Privy Council, was the primary supporter of the housing scheme in the Cabinet and a strong advocate of a progressive policy of social reform. This policy included better housing for all Canadians, workmen's compensation, factory laws, and prohibition of child labour. 2 1 In addition to Rowell, the Committee 2 0 Canada gazette. 1918:2. P. 1880 (P.C. 2997). Andrew Jones cites Rowell's resignation from Cabinet in 1920 as a key reason for the discontinuation of the federal housing scheme. In his letter of resignation to Conservative-Unionist Prime Minister Borden, Rowell states: "You know from our many conversations on social and economic questions ... that I believe in much more radical policies than are likely to be adopted by a Government depending for its support upon the Conservative forces of this nation". See Jones, The beginnings of Canadian government housing policy, pp. 40-41. For a profile of Newton Rowell, see Margaret Prang, N.W. Rowell, Ontario nationalist (Toronto, 11. consisted of Gideon D . Robertson, the Minister of Labour, Alexander K . Maclean, Vice Chairman of the Reconstruction and Development Committee of Canada, and Thomas A . Crerar, Minister of Agriculture, with Thomas Adams serving as Advisor to the Committee. 2 2 The federal government had brought Adams from England in 1909 to serve as the key planner for the newly established Commission of Conservation, and his presence on the Housing Committee assured a continued British influence in Canadian housing policy, as will be developed later. 2 3 In their report of February 18, 1919, the Committee identified the objectives of the proposed scheme: a. to promote the erection of dwelling houses of modern character to relieve congestion of population in cities and towns; b. to put within the reach of all working men, particularly returned soldiers, the opportunity of acquiring their own homes at actual cost of the building and land acquired at a fair value, thus eliminating the profits of the speculator; c. to contribute to the general health and well-being of the community by encouraging suitable town planning and housing schemes. The report further outlined the conditions on which loans would be granted but emphasized that it would be the responsibility of the provincial governments to draft their own agreements with the federal government regarding the specifics of a housing scheme. In addition to numerous suggestions regarding siting, location, and size of dwellings, the report identified minimum and maximum standards to be followed by the provincial governments in the construction of homes. In keeping with Adams' Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1975); and B . M . Greene, ed., Who's who in Canada (Toronto: International Press Limited, 1922). 2 2 Wade, "The 'sting' of Vancouver's Better Housing 'Spree', 1919-1949", p. 92. For a discussion of Thomas Adams, see Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modem planning movement. 2 4 From the "Report of the Housing Committee of the Dominion Government", Labour gazette (April 1919), p. 447. 12. preference for Garden City planning, the report encouraged municipalities to acquire large areas of land with convenient access to places of employment: "To facilitate proper planning and to secure economy in connection with housing schemes comparatively large sites should be chosen so as to permit of comprehensive treatment". 2 5 Alfred Buckley, a member of the Town Planning Division of the Commission of Conservation, reported in the Labour gazette that large tracts of land were to be purchased "so that those principles of town-planning may be applied which have received world-wide recognition as not only the most radical means of preventing slum development, but as the best and most economical means of providing working families with living conditions - gardens, open spaces, playgrounds for children and sun-lit rooms - such as have hitherto been usually the privilege of the rich. " 2 6 Significantly, Vancouver rejected this recommendation in favour of separate lots interspersed within existing neighbourhoods, which bolstered the sagging real estate market. Although the minutes of the Vancouver City Council do not record the debate surrounding this decision, the Chair of the city's Better Housing Committee submitted to the Mayor in his report of March 1919 that: "This Committee strongly advocates the obtaining of building lots in the different residential sections of this City - of which there is an ample supply available - such plan ensuring more desirable results than would be obtainable should the Community plan be adopted." 2 7 The fact that Vancouver City Council chose a building program that maintained the current land ownership system is a significant point and will be developed further. Labour gazette (April 1919), pp. 447-450. Labour gazette (April 1919), p. 444. City of Vancouver Archives, City Clerk's Records, file [entitled] Housing Committee, 1919, Elkins to Gale, 21 March 1919 [13-E-4]. 13. The report defined a maximum cost per dwelling and an income limit in order to meet the federal government's objective of "facilitat[ing] the erection of dwellings at a modest cost suitable for working men, particularly returned soldiers". 2 8 The Committee made no allowance for rental units, and specified only detached or semi-detached homes as the model. Despite the fact that Vancouver was predominantly a city of renters, the Better Housing Scheme advocated the detached single family home and individual ownership as its standard. It also adopted the Craftsman bungalow as the model. In choosing this Arts and Crafts model, Vancouver differentiated itself from its counterparts in eastern Canada where scheme participants typically favoured the two-storey, brick neo-Edwardian or Georgian example. FKLTT FLOOL, PUN LHIUG omci or .OUJI«I: . . 0 <o." « . .« . ' .0 io.uct. Og,OUP OF THg.EE J U M L HOUSES TYPED 64262—21 Figure 2 The eastern alternative to the Craftsman bungalow, this group of three brick houses was designed for the Ottawa Housing Scheme by the Federal Housing Committee in 1919 (Town planning and conservation of life, 5:13, July 1919, p. 51). Labour gazette (April 1919), p. 448. 14. Debate within the House of Commons reveals the extent to which the government housing initiative reflected the country's overall sentiment towards the provision of adequate housing for veterans and the working class. The decisions of the Housing Committee were presented in the House of Commons in May 1919. The major criticism of the scheme was that it did not go far enough in alleviating the housing shortages in Canada's major cities. One Liberal member of the opposition referred to it as a "tardy and small housing scheme". 2 9 Liberal members also objected to the fact that recipients had to earn less than $3,000 per year to be eligible for participation in the scheme; Hugh Morphy noted that "the working man who earns $3,000 a year is able to get his own home without asking the Government [for a loan] . . . It seems to me that the scheme should be limited to the class of working men earning from $1,200 to $1,500. Those men would no doubt need help . . . But to say that a man in receipt of an income of $3,000 should be eligible would probably leave the Act open to a rush of that class". 3 0 Although the working classes who collected on average less than half the wage limit would obviously meet these requirements, members were concerned that the $3,000 limit would allow too many middle class citizens to participate in the scheme. While the Act stated as its objective the provision of housing for those in the lower income bracket, in reality it catered to the middle class and better-off members of the working class who could well afford to build homes without government loans. 3 1 Sir Herbert Ames, who published a thorough investigation of living conditions in 1890s Montrea l , 3 2 indicated his concern that the scheme was to provide single family homes 2 9 House of Commons, Debates (May 16 1919), p. 2541. 3 0 House of Commons, Debates (May 16 1919), p. 2544. •31 Wade, Houses for all, Chapter 1. 3 2 Herbert Ames, a businessman, published The city below the hill in 1897, a statistical analysis of social conditions in Montreal. See Paul Rutherford, "Tomorrow's metropolis: the urban reform movement in Canada, 1880-1920" in The Canadian city: essays in urban and social history, 15. in suburban neighbourhoods rather than apartments in the inner-city. Ames believed that apartments would improve living conditions in working class s lums. 3 3 The Government's decision not to include rental housing under the terms of the scheme again reflected its inclination towards housing the middle class, emphasizing the right of private ownership over the right to adequate housing and reflecting the marketplace ethos. Only one member, Daniel McKenzie, directly opposed the housing scheme during the May 16 debates. He objected to the manner in which the scheme was introduced and expressed serious reservations about the Government embarking on any large financial project that would require borrowing money and increasing the federal debt. He recommended instead that private industry take responsibility for housing the working class, and suggested that the federal government legislate large employers to provide homes for its employees. Further opposition to the housing scheme may have been precluded by the fact that the government planned only to loan money to the provincial governments rather than fund housing forthright. 3 4 British Columbia participated extensively in the Federal Housing Scheme, being the only province to exhaust its allocation. In the spring of 1919, the federal government agreed to loan $1.5 million to the province, a figure which was eventually increased to $1,701,500. Vancouver, South Vancouver, and Point Grey received approximately $500,000 of this amount. 3 5 British Columbia followed the overall regulations of the Alan Artibise & Gilbert A . Stelter, eds. (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1984), pp. 435-455. John Bacher, Keeping to the marketplace: the evolution of Canadian housing policy (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993), p. 4. 3 4 House of Commons, Debates (May 16 1919), p. 2556. 3 5 Statues of British Columbia. 1919 Chapter 8 (Victoria: King's Printers), pp. 27-31. 16. federal scheme by making the housing program general in nature. Municipalities were expected to draft more specific agreements. Unlike certain provinces that granted loans to working and middle class citizens regardless of their participation in the Great War, British Columbia's housing scheme gave preference to returned soldiers. Veterans' organizations were extremely active in Vancouver following the war, and government attempted to respond to their demands in various areas, including housing. 3 6 In the early stages, war veterans and war widows were identified as the only recipients of government loans. Conversely, Quebec made no provisions at all for returned soldiers but administered funds solely on the basis of financial need. Ontario's scheme acknowledged both groups, providing loans to those "who have been on active service during the present war with the Naval or Military Forces of Great Britain or Her Allies and who are residents of Ontario and workingmen and workingwomen of moderate means". 3 7 Winnipeg provided low-interest house loans to help people who already owned a lot, thereby ensuring that the majority of money went to middle class, white-collar citizens. The policy effectively excluded the working class from the scheme. 3 8 Neither Alberta nor Saskatchewan participated in the federal housing scheme; Saskatchewan became mired by disputes regarding loans, and Alberta did not submit a plan at a l l . 3 9 The provincial government under Liberal John Oliver also initiated a soldier settlement scheme on Vancouver Island and in the interior of British Columbia to finance farm land for veterans. This program was later taken over by the federal government and applied throughout Canada. For information on this program, see Paul M . Koroscil, "Soldiers, settlement and development in British Columbia, 1915-1930", B.C. studies (Summer 1982), pp. 63-87; and Elizabeth Lees, "Problems of pacification, veterans' groups in Vancouver, 1919-1922", Masters thesis, Simon Fraser University, 1983. The Ontario Housing Act, section 11 quoted in The beginnings of Canadian government housing policy, 1918-1924, Andrew Eric Jones, p. 24. Bacher, Keeping to the marketplace, p. 62. Bacher argues that the project in Winnipeg was arguably the most successful in Canada because "its creators had no illusions about building housing for industrial workers". Jones, The beginnings of Canadian government housing policy, p. 23. 17. In May 1919, the Vancouver City Council contracted an agreement with the Province of British Columbia to borrow $300,000 to build soldiers' housing, the money to be paid back over twenty years at five percent interest. South Vancouver and Point Grey, which would be incorporated into the City of Vancouver in 1929, borrowed $90,000 and $94,000 respectively. 4 0 Like the British Columbia initiative, Vancouver's Better Housing Scheme gave preference to returned soldiers and their families earning less than $3,000 per annum; other workingmen and women were eligible for loans only after all veterans had been considered. The policy provided loans for detached dwellings costing a maximum of $3,000 for four to five rooms, or $4,500 for six to seven rooms, to be built of frame, stucco on frame, or brick veneer in compliance with the City Building B y - L a w s . 4 1 In his report to Mayor Gale, Alderman Elkins further recommended obtaining "building lots in the different residential sections of this City" rather than a large tract of land suitable for a planned community initiative, as was suggested in the federal housing scheme guidelines. 4 2 Vancouver's reaction to the housing program reveals societal opinions regarding subsidized housing. The process leading up to approval of the Vancouver scheme in May 1919 was marked by heated debate. In an early meeting of the Vancouver City Council, Mayor Gale recommended that the City approve the spending of $300,000 on veterans' housing to relieve the housing shortage and stimulate the economy through construction-related employment. Members of the City Council responded to the proposal with concerns similar to those of Members of Parliament. Alderman Elkins B.C. Sessional Papers. G12:1921, p. 1921; Wade, "The 'sting' of Vancouver's Better Housing 'Spree', 1919-1949", p. 94. City of Vancouver Archives, City Clerk's Records, file [entitled] Soldiers, 1919, Memorandum of Agreement [13-E-5]. City of Vancouver Archives, City Clerk's Records, file [entitled] Housing Committee, 1919, Elkins to Gale, 21 March 1919 [13-E-4]. 18. said the scheme was not in the best interests of the soldiers since building costs were highly inflated in post-war Vancouver and would probably decrease by 25 percent in two years time. He added that to execute the scheme properly the City would need one to two million dollars, and recommended instead that war veterans receive a monthly or cash sum rather than a housing loan. Based on the opinions of the majority of Councillors, Mayor Gale withdrew the resolution to approve the spending, fearing that negative publicity would arise if the motion were defeated in C o u n c i l . 4 3 It was not until the Provincial Cabinet approved the Better Housing Act on May 1, 1919 that the City of Vancouver agreed to adopt the scheme. Reaction to the municipal housing program in Vancouver newspapers was similarly mixed, though overall sentiment tended towards acceptance. The proposed housing scheme was a critical issue to Vancouverites at the time, with articles focussing on the scheme appearing at least weekly in the Vancouver sun and Daily province in the months leading up to and immediately following the implementation of the housing scheme. Women's groups were particularly vocal in the debate. The Western woman's weekly, a British Columbia publication with high circulation in Vancouver, published regular editorials regarding the "housing problem" and urged that "steps be taken at once to build homes planned specifically for children". The Liberal government of British Columbia published campaign advertisements for the December 1920 provincial election in the Western woman's weekly headlining the Better Housing Act as one of its major and most favorable pieces of legislation. One ad stated that "the Legislation Vancouver sun (March 15 1919), p. 13; (March 25 1919), p. 1, 9. 19. Passed by the [John] Oliver Government for the benefit of Veterans" would directly affect "the Wives, Mothers, and Sisters of Returned M e n " . 4 4 The Vancouver sun reported that the Women's Reconstruction League, which was formed at the end of World War One to facilitate post-war recovery, encouraged its members to oppose the municipal housing proposal on the basis that high interest rates and a 10 percent administration fee levied on all loans would result in over-priced homes. One member advised: "For goodness sake, let us not, as women, sit back and allow the government to hand the soldiers a lump of lead for a gold br ick" . 4 5 Similarly, the Women's Auxiliary League proposed that regulations requiring a deposit be revised, since many returning soldiers had no savings and would therefore be ineligible for the loan. The resolution was fully endorsed by the Vancouver Local Council of W o m e n . 4 6 The Vancouver Council of Women, established in 1894 as a chapter of the National Council of Women, had taken an interest in housing issues prior to World War One as well. Like the Women's Reconstruction League, the Vancouver Council of Women held that the prosperity and stability of the family and the nation were inextricably linked, which provided their rationale for participating in both public and private realms of activity, including housing. In 1913, the Council had urged the city to resolve housing problems before they escalated, and had addressed a resolution to the provincial government and the civic health committee calling for "residential design that would incorporate sufficient light and surrounding space". 4 7 Significantly, 4 4 Western women's weekly (November 13 1920), p. 49. 4 5 Vancouver sun (February 20 1919), p. 4. 4 6 Vancouver sun (November 4 1919), p. 4. 4 7 From the Minutes of the Vancouver Council of Women, as cited in Wade, Houses for all, p. 27. For the history of the Vancouver Council of Women, see Gillian Weiss, '"As Women and as Citizens': clubwomen in Vancouver, 1910-1928" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of British Columbia, 1984); and Ramona Marie Rose, '"Keepers of morale': The Vancouver Council of Women, 1939-1945" (Masters thesis, University of British Columbia, 1990). 20. the typical member of the Vancouver Council of Women at this time was married, of British origin, middle-aged, middle-class, and without employment. While the Council supported women's employment and lobbied in 1915 for better working hours for women and girls in factories and stores, its overall mandate espoused the virtues of the woman's maternal and domestic skills over all others. Like the Members of Parliament, many of Vancouver's journalists and reformers expressed concern that the scheme was not going far enough to address the critical need for housing amongst the working class. Once construction had begun on the first Better Housing Scheme home, a columnist in the Vancouver sun asked "how much has been accomplished under the federal law loaning money to the provinces for the encouragement of house construction? Not enough, but something". The author went on to stress the need for further cooperation between government and the individual, underlining the connection between social stability and national security and home ownership: "there would be little, if any, likelihood of serious social upheaval in a community where every family owned the quarters in which they l ive" . 4 8 In her study of Vancouver's Better Housing Scheme, Jill Wade notes that the program did not achieve a planned or garden community, as the federal government had recommended in its 1919 report. Rather, the homes built under the scheme consisted of "detached dwellings on city lots, and conformed to the city's unplanned suburban development patterns and to its predilection for bungalow styles". The homes were erected throughout the Greater Vancouver area, distributed about 60 percent on the east side and 40 percent on the west side, and were most concentrated in the developing residential suburbs of Kitsilano, Grandview, and South Vancouver. Although the city Vancouver sun (July 31 1920), p. 6. 21. council did not specify a plan or style that the Better Housing Scheme home should follow, the majority of the one hundred and fifty-three houses built under the initiative were modestly priced examples of the Craftsman bungalow.49 Figure 3 3478 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $3,300 in 1920. This bungalow has been raised since its construction to make room for a basement suite, and the facade sided with vinyl (Jana Tyner, 1995). 49 These figures are calculated by Jill Wade from data found in City of Vancouver Archives, Records of the Finance Department, Better Housing Scheme Ledger Account, 1924-25 [97-D-3]; Better Housing Scheme Ledger Account, 1920-1923 [113-A-15]; and Soldiers' Housing Accounts, 1920 [115-E-2], as cited in Wade, Houses for all, pp. 32-37. Unfortunately, the Better Housing Scheme dwellings were not visually documented at the time of their construction, and many of the homes are no longer standing. It is therefore very difficult to determine the style of all 153 homes. Over half of the homes are still extant, many having been modified over the years. The great majority of these existing dwellings are modest, one-storey examples of the Craftsman bungalow. There is one example on Windsor Street of a two-storey Dutch-Colonial home, and it is probable that others in the adjoining block were of similar style. 22. The state of housing in Vancouver following World War One was characterized by low vacancies and high rents. Combined with high unemployment and vocal veterans' groups, the federal and municipal governments were motivated to respond to this crisis with Canada's first government-subsidized housing program. Yet in spite of statistics suggesting Vancouver's tendency to renting, the city's Better Housing Scheme encouraged home ownership by providing single-family, detached homes integrated within the suburbs that were affordable primarily by middle and respectable working class citizens. The interests that motivated these decisions will be addressed in the proceeding chapters. 23. C H A P T E R III E C O N O M I C INTERESTS L E A D I N G T O T H E ADOPTION O F T H E B U N G A L O W IN T H E V A N C O U V E R B E T T E R HOUSING S C H E M E As outlined earlier, Vancouver City Council, which was responsible for the municipal housing scheme, rejected the Garden City or community plan model recommended by the federal housing scheme guidelines in favour of single, detached bungalows located on lots integrated within the city's existing urban and suburban neighbourhoods. Vancouver's perception of itself as a "frontier" town, a young society with a strong liberal, laissez-faire attitude, doubtless had an impact on this decision. Although seriously weakened by the post-war depression, Vancouver's economy continued to be influenced by the forest industry and real estate speculation, two aspects that had brought prosperity to the boom city in its early history. These were to be important again in the years following the Great War. In the early years of the twentieth century, as today, real estate was Vancouver's most important commodity, linked closely with building materials. Property was seen as the key to social and economic expansion and would serve, in addition, as insurance against social unrest. Fuelled by the lumber industry, Vancouver's building industry similarly prospered, with one third of the top level of businessmen in the city working as entrepreneurs involved with real estate from 1910 to 1912. 5 0 The yearly value of building permits issued in Vancouver rose to $18.5 million in 1911, a figure which dropped below $1 million during World War One and which would not be equalled again until 1929 (see Table 1 for numbers of permits issued). 5 1 The frenzied pace of 5 0 Bruce Macdonald, Vancouver: a visual history (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1992), p. 36. 5 1 Macdonald, Vancouver, p. 37-41. 24. land development led Thomas Adams, the Canadian Town Planning Advisor, to comment during one of his early visits to Vancouver that the city "suffered from haphazard growth and speculation in real estate"52; Vancouver City Council ignored Adams' urgings to abandon the geometrical grid system of land division which had been adopted because of the ease with which plots could later be subdivided and sold. A n early twentieth century British Columbia magazine article entitled "Vancouver, a city of beautiful homes" links B . C . ' s resources with the real estate market in Vancouver, the author noting that "[British Columbia's] forests are fast being converted into lumber, and in their place, homes, unique and beautiful, are springing up . . . Vancouver may well be proud of her beautiful homes, and of her great industries that are directly concerned with their promotion". 5 3 Table 1 Summary of building permits for all new construction in Vancouver, 1902-24 Year Permits Year Permits 1902 417 1914 1,314 1903 580 1915 615 1904 836 1916 444 1905 940 1917 561 1906 1,006 1918 829 1907 1,772 1919 1,233 1908 1,697 1920* 1,767 (338 dwellings) 1909 2,052 1921 2,451 (639 dwellings) 1910 2,260 1922 2,520 (644 dwellings) 1911 2,775 1923 2,183 (407 dwellings) 1912 3,221 1924 2,628 (639 dwellings) 1913 2,020 In 1920, the City began to summarize the number of permits issued for new dwellings. Source J i l l Wade, Houses for all (Vancouver: U B C Press, 1994), p. 24 as calculated from City of Vancouver, Financial statements and annual reports, 1924. 52 53 Graeme Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver" in Vancouver and its region, Graeme Wynn & Timothy Oke, eds. (Vancouver: U B C Press, 1992), p. 122. Adams visited Vancouver throughout his term as Town Planning Advisor from 1914 to 1921. "Vancouver, a city of beautiful homes" British Columbia magazine 12 (December 1911), p. 1313. 25. From 1913 through the end of the Great War, however, Vancouver's economic and demographic growth virtually ceased. The number of new construction starts in the city reflects this sharp downturn. As World War One was drawing to a close in 1918 and 1919, the city's businessmen looked again to real estate and the lumber industry, which had brought such prosperity from 1900 to 1913, as a means of reviving the weak economy. In 1918 Vancouver realtors advocated a property-owning democracy as a guarantee of social stability, claiming that "selling houses on a monthly plan encourages the thrifty and the industrious". 5 4 Vancouver City Council continued to be influenced by lumber and real estate speculation; the city's Mayor from 1918 to 1921, Harry Gale, was a prominent real estate promoter. The forest industry similarly expanded. With the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, lumber exports from Vancouver to South America, Africa, Australia, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States increased dramatically. Annual lumber exports from British Columbia increased by 294 percent from 49,964,000 feet just prior to the war to 146,623,000 feet in 1920, and is reflected in the construction of new port facilities like Ballantyne Pier and Piers B , C and D along the shores of Burrard Inlet. 5 5 The pervasive force of Vancouver's lumber economy could be seen in the numerous saw, shingle, sash and door mills that operated along False Creek during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Clearly, Vancouver's post-war growth was closely linked with lumber and real estate. The decision to build detached homes on city lots as part of the Better Housing Scheme in part reflected the desire of City Council to preserve the status quo of the real estate 5 4 Michael Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement: Britain, Canada and the United States, 1900-1940 (London: Alexandrine Press, 1985), p. 95. 5 5 Western lumberman 18 (January 1921), p. 20. 26. market, and further revealed the degree to which Vancouver's urban development was molded by banks, investors, developers, and speculators. The role of these agents in the history of land ownership prior to the Better Housing Scheme has been traced by Graeme Wynn in his examination of District Lot 301 located in the False Creek area, which he cites as typical of Vancouver's development. 5 6 In the early years of the city's history, large tracts of land were dispersed and purchased amongst a very few owners, including individuals, corporations, and the City of Vancouver itself. Following Vancouver's incorporation in 1886 and the subsequent rise in population, these owners began selling multi-lot areas to smaller developers, banks and mortgage companies, who then sold individual lots to private owners. Over a twenty-five year period of subdivision and sale, the original large blocks of undeveloped land became space for thousands of individual households. Wynn notes that significantly, 40 percent of the household owners in D . L . 301 were absentee, which suggests that a great many individuals were purchasing land on a speculative basis, to rent or resell at a later date for profit. Moreover, many of the initial and secondary owners held positions in civic or provincial government as well as with the Canadian Pacific Railway. This implies that the pattern of development in Vancouver was not neutral, but driven by private interests who had vested interests in the results and who were in influential positions to manipulate urban expansion. The resulting landscape was one of haphazardly-arranged single family lots, loosely based on a grid system of land division which was chosen to facilitate subsequent subdivision and resale. The activities of major corporations like the Canadian Pacific Railway and British Columbia Electric in relation to Vancouver's urban growth exemplify this preferential development. Following their successful lobbying to build the Granville Bridge linking 5 6 Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", pp. 90-93. 27. the central railway terminus to False Creek in 1909, C P R surveyors established the east-west street system and adjoining cross streets stretching from False Creek to the Fraser River, opening lots for settlement along the way. The B C E streetcar line, begun in 1890, opened up the city's forests and permitted the growth of new residential neighbourhoods like Grandview and Kitsilano. The extension of the rail and streetcar system permitted workers to own their homes in these burgeoning, less expensive suburbs and commute to their jobs in the city centre or the False Creek industrial area. Vancouver's urban expansion was shaped by this technology of transportation: by 1929, fourteen of every fifteen residences in Vancouver, Point Grey, South Vancouver, New Westminster and Burnaby were situated within forty metres of the streetcar or interurban routes. 5 7 It is not surprising, then, that the greatest concentration of Better Housing Scheme homes were erected in Kitsilano, Grandview and South Vancouver, where lots were still available at reasonable prices since roads and street railway tracks penetrated these neighbourhoods only after 1905. 5 8 At this point in the city's urban development, Vancouver City Council may have felt that given Vancouver's existing real estate market, to purchase, develop and make accessible a large area of land for a community-planned housing scheme would have been too expensive; housing objectives had to be legitimated with the economics of the marketplace. In his report to the Mayor as Secretary of the Vancouver Housing Committee, Alderman Elkins wrote: "This Committee strongly advocate[s] the obtaining of building lots in the different residential sections of this City of which there is an ample supply available - such plan ensuring more desirable results than would be obtainable should the Community plan Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", p. 87. Macdonald, Vancouver, p. 30. 28. be adopted". The Committee further recommended that "no house shall be built upon a Lot or parcel of Land containing less than 2,400 square feet. The location of the house upon each lot shall be indicated on the plans", thereby ensuring a detached, single family home surrounded by a private garden for the Better Housing Scheme m o d e l . 6 0 Vancouver City Council thus excluded the more cost-effective solution of semi-detached townhomes or rowhouses, set on a single or slightly larger city lot, that was recommended by the federal Town Planning Advisor, Thomas Adams, in his designs for the federal housing scheme. These designs had been published in the Canadian journal, Town planning and conservation of life, and circulated widely to provincial and municipal governments (see Figure 2 ) . 6 1 Although semi-detached homes were not prevalent in Vancouver at this time, information on eastern Canadian and British examples was widely accessible to members of the City Council. Journals including the Labour gazette, Contract record and engineering review and Town planning and conservation of life, in addition to local newspapers, published articles during the 1910s on the economic and social benefits of grouped semi-detached housing, often with specific reference to how Vancouver could benefit from such attempts. 6 2 Given the city's relatively young urban history, a more forward-thinking Vancouver City Council could easily have swayed from the prevailing landscape of single-family detached homes in favour of the more efficient semi-detached rowhouses when defining their Better Housing Scheme. 59 60 62 City of Vancouver Archives, City Clerk's Records, Housing Committee file, 1919, Letter to Mayor Gale from Alderman Elkins re: Better Housing Bi l l [13-E-4]. City of Vancouver Archives, City Clerk's Records, Soldier Settlement file, 1919, Memorandum of agreement re: Better Housing Act [13-E-5]. 6 1 Thomas Adams, "Canada's post-war housing progress", Town planning and conservation of life 6 (1919) pp. 50-56. See for example Contract record and engineering review, 28 (1914), pp. 887-888 and 1276-1278; Labour gazette (April 1919), p. 445; and Town planning and conservation of life, 6 (1919), pp. 50-56. 29. Figure 4 1987 West 37th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $4,665 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995). Real estate advertisements published in Vancouver's daily newspapers attest to the fact that Better Housing Scheme bungalows were not exceptional, but rather accorded with the city's existing real estate market. On any given day from 1919 to 1921, the real estate pages offered homes comparable in price and appearance to the average housing scheme dwelling. A "classy six room bungalow" in Mount Pleasant was offered for $3,150 in February 1919, compared to a Better Housing Scheme home at East 11th Avenue and Prince Edward Street built for $3,500. A "modern five room bungalow" in West Point Grey was offered for $3,700 in October 1920, compared to a similar sized housing scheme bungalow built at West 10th Avenue and Bayswater Street for 30. $3,500. 6 3 It is also significant that Better Housing Scheme homes blended into the streetscape. A n observer would find it difficult to differentiate between the program house and the neighbouring speculative, developer-built pattern-book homes on any given street (see Figure 1). In the years immediately following World War One, the Vancouver Real Estate Exchange administered a home-ownership campaign through popular journals and newspapers, which claimed that home-ownership "teaches thrift and sobriety; it makes better and more contented citizens and eliminates that prey of unrest and radicalism -discontented rent-payers". 6 4 While the real estate brokers seized on the same rhetoric as that used in the Report of the Federal Housing Committee and in House of Commons debates surrounding the scheme, they did so for somewhat different reasons. The real estate industry was motivated solely by economic factors in much the same manner as the lumber industry in taking up a similar campaign: that is, to encourage Vancouverites to buy into and maintain the real estate market, which was suffering a post-war slump. The use of the Craftsman aesthetic for the Better Housing Scheme was further supported by those connected with British Columbia's substantial lumber industry. The Craftsman-style bungalow was not only constructed of wood, as most residential buildings were at this time, but also finished with cedar shingles and siding and detailed with exposed beams, dentils, and brackets. During the early 1920s, the use of wood as a decorative finish for residential designs was being progressively overshadowed by the 6 3 Vancouver sun (February 20 1919, October 29 1920), p. 11, 11. The figures for the Better Housing Scheme dwellings were taken from the City of Vancouver Archives, Records from City Comptroller, 1919 [13-E-2]; Council Minutes, 1920 [13-E-6]; Finance Department Records, Better Housing Scheme Ledger Account 1921-1925 [113-A-15]. 6 4 "Housing shortage boosts home ownership plan", British Columbia record (February 23 1921), p. 1. 31. use of other finishes, which included stone, precast concrete blocks and full stucco. The bungalow became the ideal tool of lumber manufacturers to promote their product and was often offered as a prize at building trades exhibitions. The Shingle Association of B . C . raffled a $5,000 bungalow at their 1921 Building Show, while another Western Home Building Exposition offered a "modern" $4,000 bungalow, described as "electrically heated, and painted an ivory colour with buff trimmings, while the shingles are stained a light red. The interior finish shows oak, hemlocks, birch, pine and maple, all of which woods were used in construction". 6 5 B . C . Red Cedar Shingles Company offered a miniature bungalow to school children as a prize for the best essay on "Why B . C . Red Cedar Shingles should be used for Roof and Siding". The winning essay outlined durability, economy, adaptability, and appearance in support of shingles, finishing with the assertion that "Bungalows look particularly artistic and cosy when shingles are used on the outside walls as well as on the roof. 'It pays to use them!"' . 6 6 The Western lumberman, a monthly journal published from Vancouver and "representing the lumbering and woodworking interests of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba", similarly promoted the construction of homes in Vancouver and looked forward to the building boom that many believed would follow World War One. In May 1919, the journal noted in reference to the Better Housing Scheme that "if the plans of the Vancouver City Council work out right, the housing scheme, which will mean much to the lumber industry, will be under full swing within a short time . . . The scarcity of houses in the city of Vancouver alone is such that it has become a serious factor in the economic life of the community". 6 7 The Western lumberman advised its readers to prepare for this anticipated building boom by ensuring 6 5 "Winnipeg holds home building exposition", Western lumberman 18 (May 1921), p. 44. 6 6 " B . C . shingles featured building show" Western lumberman 18 (June 1921), p. 28. 6 7 Western lumberman 16 (May 1919), p. 23. 32. adequate supplies of building materials, and by branching out into areas of housewares, decorative trims, plumbing, and furniture. 6 8 WRSTKKN I.UMHF.HMAN A Popular Six Room Bungalow OMUMd bribe Western llmril i • ' AindltlMt.'Winnipitil) IX April >« ill.' nr. I ln<sin» lu -Iran .-uinc -.IRH. "I drying nfl.r ll.r ilMivini; of >.nr u'imtiV HIB* -\ HIB.IV. lliv |K»«h- t.i ihli W'ulrni r ry invariably turn ll.i-ir il»..iuhl- K. nnll.1-An imprest'ilriiictl deitwnJ fur h ..f Itvnlih: il .>,!,,< I.,.. ,1.. I Rulail Luiiilli-rm.1l - As.-oo;iliim. "I Win ban jnM iMiiol a iinv nilraclivr |>l»n IM-U iniitlv.l. "Beiii-t l»K«." wliMk c.uiiam- .eli-clii.il ..I acilisl i.ln.lnsjfniill. and I' • I i.iulilni;'- Miiiahlr i.n Wrultni Canada. IliiMiliiiM. on IK- "LUurr BniUi.ii.-i" in :i varioiy ..I ..-..VH. on Iir ""BtiHrr" in c>.lcri..r anni-ami..1.-. in mini mil kin. in il irniuRciiwHi. HIBI "Will''" in il>. Vain iliinc- ihai make (ut en i.u iv ni inner aii.l tt-i.iu.mv uf laW arumul ill,- liwn., "llniirr !«(!>" ixrvil mil n.-<•.—:. rill ni.' .-...' ,'MH.n.ii.i linildi.iu'.. riiC([icl ill .villl.lfiii.liii* lllv .di-mm r illu.imiiuii -.Imivii hi-rrwiiti RIV.'. il mil liillipiii.n IU.I 'I ill mccl ill' rii-i il. nf .ill nrdillnry r Inn lirrr llirvr lat*r living rm.in- and ihrer In-diiim ». batli. in.idc- el"«l, ihr Uii.-he. .mlly a Untmi: wi lirinj; progm*.' if flyIr ul .-Kicriur ilc-..I ijii- li.uiir. Iiuwcvaf, v nivnt. Thv indi.-i.i-III! vxiL-rior an-I imprest, m rt-One i> iabrlli-d a. Iinvlnj! ty.nl tswlr r mdiffrrrnl: a* IH-IIIB w.mli «'bil* nr vay with rX|H»ll j .villi .. vnlilnl. ciHuliliiint without n linnr-nlmv duJBtt mierially Wr ilwiriln' hcroviih a mai nii.l nnpulsr -K nnim HlM ii«ii> till* plan boob. The qin.-siii.il to In: derided l.y ill.' iniviitliiiK much I. -.'. •. -i the " . l i t -' Figure 5 Plans for " A Popular Six Room Bungalow" (Western lumberman, 17, Apri l 1920, p. 55). The relationship between lumber manufacturers and mail order companies like Aladdin homes was a contested issue. In June 1919, the Western lumberman began publishing house plans with accompanying promotional text, including many for Craftsman style "homey looking" bungalows. These plans were to be provided free of charge to the buyer by the lumber yard with the purchase of lumber and were intended to close the Western lumberman 16 (January to March 1919). 33. gap in the advances made by the mail-order industry in home sales. Mail-order homes had gained in popularity following the First World War when housing materials were in short supply. The designs, generally simple in plan with five to six rooms arranged on one to two stories, were compiled and issued to customers by the Western Retail Lumberman's Association in a catalogue entitled "Better Buildings". "Better Buildings" were described as 'Better' in exterior appearance, in construction, in interior arrangement, and 'better' in the little things that make for comfort, convenience and economy of labour around the house. 'Better Buildings' need not necessarily mean more expensive buildings.69 The emphasis on economy in the promotional text exhibits the extent to which the rhetoric of mail-order companies influenced the building and lumber industry. The article goes on to outline the importance of the exterior appearance of the modest home, adopting a detailed rendering and plan of a typical Craftsman-style bungalow to illustrate the point. The text reads: "The individual's standing in the community is influenced by the exterior appearance and surroundings of his home. The first impression received is usually a lasting one. One is labelled as having good taste or bad; as being progressive or indifferent; as being worth while or the reverse; through the appearance of his home". The bungalow model, then, is posited as the ideal home for the broad-minded, artistic, refined yet thrifty individual. The Western lumberman encouraged retailers to promote lumber through the new "Own Your Own Home" campaign, with a patriotic plea to potential buyers: Don't risk your money on doubtful investments. Put it into something permanent and sure. 'Build a Home First'. That's what the Government wants you to do because a revival of Western lumberman 17 (April 1920), p. 55. 34. building activity will help the nation back to a peace basis quicker than any other thing. You did your part to help to win the war - now do all you can to help us get back to a peace basis. Come in and talk it over with us - Retail Lumberman. Figure 6 The lumber industry encouraged home building through patriotic measures following the Great War (Western lumberman, 16, June 1919, p. 28). The National Lumber Manufacturers' Association published an article in the Western lumberman, stating that "Owning a home should be the aim of every man in Western Canada, and to boost a campaign 'Own Your Home' there is nobody better placed than the retail lumber dealers. They can increase their sales considerably by planning live campaigns, and by the use of a plan service create a demand for modern homes". 7 1 The "Own Your Own Home" campaign, taken up by Vancouver advertisers, journals, and newspapers, was promoted extensively by the Western lumberman which perceived it as a vehicle to increase lumber sales. From the early months of 1919 forward, each monthly issue of the journal contained comprehensive articles on the promotional campaign, generally accompanied by engaging illustrations of quaint houses, family 7 0 Western lumberman 16 (June 1919), p. 28. 71 Western lumberman 16 (August 1919), p. 38. 35. scenes, and playful children. Headlines asked, "What Sort of a Chap is He: Does He Own a Home? Dealers Should Point Out to Prospective Home Builders That the Family Owning a Home Has Twice as Much Standing in the Community as One Who Merely Rents - Home Owners Command Responsible Positions - A Big Selling Lever for Yard Managers". In addition to house plans, articles provided advice on securing loans and mortgages from banks, private investors, and insurance companies, noting that making monthly house payments encourages the beneficial habits of economy and thrift. During a period of high unemployment, housing shortages, and acute inflation, lumber manufacturers and suppliers encouraged men to buy into the real estate market as a means of assuring a job ("business positions are two to one in favor of the man who owns a home"), and a stable future for their family. Figure 7 Advertisement for the "Own Your Own Home" campaign, published in journals and newspapers throughout the country {Western lumberman, 16, July 1919, p. 25). 36. The "Own Your Own Home" campaign was frequently directed to potential women customers as well. In an article entitled "Own Your Own Home and be Free!: Our home builder's club", the author, presumably a young wife, speaks of the importance and potential enjoyment associated with building and owning a home. The article is written in a colloquial, friendly tone, with the author describing a "club" of young married couples who forfeited dining out and new clothes in favour of saving for their own homes. The process of planning and building the home is explained in a conversational manner, interspersed with frequent references to the role of the lumberyard: "We had, all of us, from the very first, decided that we should build our houses of wood, and one of the most profitable evenings we had, was the night our local lumber dealer came and showed us what a variety of striking exteriors can be made by using shingles and different widths of siding".7 2 The article is framed by a delicate etching of a husband and wife standing on the steps of their "artistic" Craftsman-style home, finished with Tudor beams, a shingled gabled roof, wide porch, and rough brick support work. The bungalow was frequently represented in the Western lumberman as the most appealing house type to female customers, and by extension the most potentially lucrative to the lumberyard owner. The article "Bungalow lumber yard: a story which tells the building material merchant how to enlist the interest of women" describes the story of Jake, the owner of a neighbourhood lumber yard, who builds a model bungalow on his lot to encourage customers to invest in a home rather than just lumber. The author, Bernice Harrison, describes the interior of the bungalow: "I had walked into what appeared to be a real cozy 'front room,' with fireplace, tile mantel and all. Western lumberman 16 (July 1919), p. 25. 37. In one comer stood a large sectional bookcase, filled with books -1 didn't notice their titles at the time. A built-in seat under the wide front window was fitted comfortably with cushions". 7 3 The "homey bungalow" becomes the location for talks on home building and home making for the local women, with Jake providing simple architectural drawings and plans as examples. Jake ends his eulogy on the benefits of his bungalow lumber yard by exclaiming that his competition '"sells lumber,' while I ' S E L L H O U S E S ' " . Like the Western lumberman, West Coast and British Columbia-based sawmills similarly encouraged home building and ownership and the Craftsman aesthetic through the publication of books of house plans and ready-cut homes. Twentieth century mill cut houses, B.C. Mills, timber & trading company, and Prudential Builders Limited sold plans and pre-cut materials for bungalows adapted to the B . C . climate to home buyers in the 1900s and 1910s from their Vancouver offices, with other sawmills continuing a similar marketing formula into the 1920s. 7 4 Promotional material by American builders and designers like Seattle-based Jud Yoho's pamphlet of Craftsman bungalows and Aladdin's advertisements circulated in Vancouver, transmitting the Arts and Crafts aesthetic to British Columbia. This promotional material further linked the bungalow to B . C . ' s lumber economy, with direct references to the province as a major supplier of lumber to their American-based companies. Bungalows figured prominently in these catalogues and brochures, in part because of their efficient use of space and economic plan compared to their Victorian counterparts. Aladdin homes were produced by contract lumber mills located in the United States, as well as in 73 Bernice Harrison, "Bungalow lumber yard: a story which tells the building material merchant how to enlist the interest of women" Western lumberman 17 (May 1920), p. 58. 7 4 For a history of prefabricated housing in British Columbia, see G .E . Mil ls & D . W . Holdsworth, "The B . C . Mil ls prefabricated system: the emergence of ready-made buildings in Western Canada" in Canadian historic sites: occasional papers in archaeology and history 14 (1975), pp. 127-170. 38. Vancouver and Toronto. Their advertisements most often depicted charming renderings of Arts and Crafts-influenced bungalows, while their catalogues regularly contained sections with titles like "Bungalowville". 7 5 Figure 8 Aladdin homes advertisement for readi-cut homes (Sunset magazine, 46:3, March 1921). Unlike Aladdin which supplied all the necessary lumber and supplies for building, Jud Yoho, the self-titled "Bungalow Man", provided only the plans for his "Craftsman homes", accompanied by approximate costs for building. This type of catalogue was readily available by mail or through local lumber dealers. Prices for the models ranged from $1,300 for the most simple plan, to $6,000 for a 44 by 60 foot bungalow, with 75 Robert Schweitzer & Michael Davis, America's favorite homes: mail-order catalogues as a guide to popular early 20th century houses (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990), p. 160. 39. the bulk of the designs costing $3,500 to $3,700 for a 28 by 38 foot plan. One $2,400 design boasted the caption: "Here is a bungalow bargain that has been built many times by speculative builders everywhere". 7 6 Such an argument probably guaranteed the appearance of bungalows in Vancouver neighbourhoods. The adoption of the Craftsman-style bungalow set on a separate lot for the Better Housing Scheme was rooted in Vancouver's real estate and lumber economy. Popular literature encouraged this connection, with an advertisement for a major west coast lumber manufacturer and supplier in a popular lumbering journal exclaiming in 1920: "Every Real Estate M a n is Selling Houses!" It advised lumberyards to stock up on raw lumber in anticipation of home building, thereby linking the two industries as mutually supporting. 7 7 During the post-war period when unemployment was high and the real estate market was depressed, the Better Housing Scheme bungalows built on city lots strengthened the lumber industry, the construction industry, and the real estate industry, thereby ensuring economic and social stability in Vancouver. Jud Yoho, Craftsman bungalows (Seattle: Jud Yoho & Merritt, 1920), p. 105. Western lumberman 17 (February 1920), p. 11. CHAPTER IV PRECEDENTS LEADING TO THE BETTER HOUSING SCHEME 40. The path of development taken in Vancouver's housing program was influenced by reformist planning and housing principles that were prevalent in Canada before the Great War. The tenets of the Social Gospel and the Garden City, City Beautiful and City Scientific Movements circulated widely throughout the country, inspiring the work of architects, designers, planners and government officials alike. That the Vancouver City Council rejected many of the specific planning guidelines recommended by the federal government in drawing up its Better Housing Scheme cannot be denied. Yet in spite of this, the design, plan and marketing of the typical Better Housing Scheme bungalow were affected by these principles in subtle and sometimes obvious ways. The implementation of the 1919 Federal Housing Scheme, and thus the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme, can be understood within the context of the Social Gospel and progressivism, which peaked in Canada during World War One. Beginning in the 1890s, the Social Gospel movement emerged in Canada from its American origins as a force committed to solving the social problems inherent to an industrializing nation through individual efforts and individual wi l l s . 7 8 While rooted in Christian revivalism, the ideals of the Social Gospel broadened to include secular intellectuals, reformers, and charitable organizations in addition to religious advocates among its promoters, and came to be equated with a more general spirit of progressivism. 7 8 For the Social Gospel in Canada, see Richard Allen, ed., The social gospel in Canada (Ottawa: National Museum of Man Series, 1973) and The social passion: religion and social reform in Canada 1914-28 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971). For urban reform in Canada, see Rutherford, "Tomorrow's metropolis: the urban reform movement in Canada, 1880-1920" and Walter Van Nus, "The fate of City Beautiful thought in Canada, 1893-1930" in The Canadian city: essays in urban and social history. 41. City planning became an integral component to achieving the aims of the Social Gospel and progressive movements, as unregulated urban growth was by this time generally considered a serious menace to the future of the nation. During the early years of the twentieth century, demographic and industrial expansion combined with a growing number of people moving from rural areas to large cities to make slum conditions in Canadian urban centres more visible and therefore more menacing than they had been decades before. Urban reformers focussed their attention on this aspect of the city, concentrating on improving sanitation, overcrowding and poor construction of dwellings. Reformers believed that city planning held the potential to mold the physical character of cities, and thereby positively influence psychological behaviour. The provision of adequate housing for all classes became closely linked with moral improvement. As one planner expressed it in the Canadian municipal journal: Magnificent avenues, leading to grand buildings, are desirable. Lovely and artistic parks should be in every city. But the dwellings in which those live who cannot get away from their homes the whole year long, really decide whether any city is to be healthy, moral and progressive. The common people are in the great majority; their proper accommodation is the greatest problem. As the end of the Great War approached, critics were agreed in their opinion that the provision of decent housing for all citizens, particularly returning soldiers, should be the first priority of Canadian planning. In attempting to respond to this need, government officials responsible for drafting the Federal Housing Scheme looked for guidance to various city planning models prevalent in England and the United States. Perhaps the most influential of these movements in Canada, the Garden City Movement, was closely linked to the Federal Housing Scheme through the involvement Canadian municipal journal 7:6 (June 1911), p. 213. 42. of Thomas Adams and the Committee of Conservation, a federal-provincial advisory body established in 1909. 8 0 The Garden City movement emerged first in England in the late nineteenth century and had as its objective to effect social change through the transformation of housing and the environment. 8 1 In his work Tomorrow: a peaceful path to real reform from 1898, Ebenezer Howard proposed the vision of a new kind of town, located in the countryside away from the overcrowded cities, to counter the negative effects of urbanization and rural depression. This garden city was conceptualized as an economically self-sufficient medium-sized town, with a civic centre, factory district, and single family homes with gardens, encompassing the advantages of the town and country. It was to provide respectable housing for both the middle and working classes who would benefit from one another's presence by working and living together harmoniously. Influenced in part by Utopian reformers like Edward Bellamy, Howard's ideal proposal received wide appeal in early twentieth century England as an antidote to the poverty and decay of the large urban centres that had resulted from rapid industrialization. It was also to provide a solution to the growing unrest of the working class. Despite its objective to create a community in which middle and working class people lived together As noted previously, Thomas Adams worked with Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin on Garden City planning in England. While Adams was doubtlessly influenced by the Garden City movement, he tended to be more pragmatic in his methods. Once in Canada, Adams modified the Garden City model to make it more palatable to a post-war, economically recessed society. As wi l l be taken up later, Adams advocated a more scientific, efficient approach to planning which would appeal to reformers and business people alike. For the Garden City movement in England and Canada, see Ebenezer Howard, Tomorrow: a peaceful path to real reform (London: Swan, Sonnenschein, 1898) (reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of tomorrow); Raymond Unwin, The art of building a home (London: Longmans, Green, 1901); William Morris, News from nowhere (London: Reeves & Turner, 1891); Raymond Unwin & Barry Parker, Cottage plans and common sense (London: The Fabian Society, 1902); Raymond Unwin, Town planning in practice; an introduction to the art of designing cities and suburbs (London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1932); Walter L . Creese, The search for environment: the Garden City before and after (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966). 43. compatibly, the garden city never really succeeded in providing low-cost housing; rather, it catered to those "in a position to help themselves". 8 2 Three strands of development are generally associated with the Garden City movement in England: the model village; the garden city; and the garden suburb. A l l of them stemmed from the common belief that the life of the individual could be improved by a transformation of the environment which leaves the place of work untouched. 8 3 The model village consisted of workers' housing and a town infrastructure based around a single factory. A n example is the soap factory at the Lever Brothers' Port Sunlight, which opened in 1887. This model was designed to create a productive working class who would be content with the status quo. For this reason, the garden city model was readily accepted by many capitalists. The garden city model, which was realized in 1898 in the town of Letchworth, closely followed Howard's principles of a self-contained town in a semi-rural setting. The garden suburb, which was viewed as more economically feasible than the garden city, provided only housing for its inhabitants who continued to work in and rely on the city and its infrastructure. The Garden City movement was closely linked to the Arts and Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century. William Morris, similarly inspired by Bellamy's Looking backward?4 presaged the garden city in his descriptions of Utopian, imaginary communities in News from nowhere, published in the 1890s. In the tradition of John Ruskin, Morris believed that economic, social and moral betterment, particularly of the working class, were inextricably linked to an improvement in the physical environment. Morris in turn influenced Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker, the reformers most on Mark Swenarton, Homes fit for heroes (London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1981), p. 11. Swenarton, Homes fit for heroes, p. 6. 84 Creese, The search for environment, p. 147. 44. closely associated with the architecture of the Garden City movement. Like Morris, Unwin and Parker sought to recreate in a contemporary setting a quality of life evocative of Medieval English society. It would be characterized by a communal spirit and close family life in a natural setting. Howard chose Parker and Unwin as architects for the garden city of Letchworth (1898) and the Hampstead Garden Suburb (1906), in part on the basis of their adherence to the Ruskinian social ideal of architecture as an environmental precondition for mental well-being. In regards to domestic architecture, Unwin observed in 1902 that "the majority of men would accept M r . Ruskin's ideal of a house: 'Not a compartment of a model lodging house, not the number so and so of Paradise Row, but a cottage all of our own, with its little garden, its healthy air, its clean kitchen, parlour and bedrooms'". 8 5 Unwin here emphasizes the importance of a clean, healthy environment to the happiness of the individual, defining it in terms of the ownership of a detached home. This ideal would be taken up in the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme two decades later. The notion of the integrity of the family was central to the design of Parker and Unwin. In his book The art of building a home from 1901, Unwin states that "if necessary, let the rest of the walls go untouched in all the rich variety of colour and tone, of light and shade, of the naked brickwork. Let the floor go uncarpeted, and the wood unpainted, that we may have time to think, and money with which to educate our children to think also". 8 6 Here, Unwin proposes sacrificing ornamentation for the inherent beauty of natural, unpolished materials, for the ethical motive of strengthening familial ties. The central hearth dominates the living spaces designed by Parker and Unwin for practical Raymond Unwin in Creese, The search for environment, p. 276. 8 6 Raymond Unwin in Creese, The search for environment, p 282. 45. reasons of heating, in addition to nostalgic, emotional ones. The architects perceived the fire place as a space to encourage family unity, with members grouped around the central, prominent architectural feature. The interior plans of their designs further privileged the notion of family intimacy in their focus on the open living space, with the interconnected dining and living areas comprising approximately half of the main floor. Unwin states that "just as in the middle ages the great hall was in the centre of the house, all the other chambers clustering round and being subordinate to it; so in the modern middle class house a good living room is the first essential, and all the other rooms should be considered in relation to i t" . 8 7 The open plan also facilitated adequate ventilation and sunlight to enter even the most modest home, characteristics that were highly regarded during this period of increasing concern for the physical health and hygiene of the individual. Unfortunately, Unwin's desire for a "decent home and garden for every family" 8 8 resulted in homes intended for the working class that were beyond their financial means. In the case of Letchworth and Hampstead, Parker and Unwin fought relentlessly with Thomas Adams, who was later appointed Canada's Town Planning Advisor and overseer of the 1919 housing scheme, to build aesthetically pleasing, "artistic" workers' cottages. In order to make homes affordable to the working class, Adams advocated standardization and simplification of design and building techniques. While Unwin and Parker acknowledged the advantages of simplicity to design, they refused to create any building that was purely utilitarian and lacking in "beauty", and as a result often ran over budget. 8 9 87 88 89 Raymond Unwin in Creese, The search for environment, p. 295. Raymond Unwin in Creese, The search for environment, p 292. Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement, pp. 18-2146. By the 1920s, the tenets of the Garden City movement were widely circulated and generally understood in Canada. Thomas Adams, who would be appointed Town Planning Advisor to the Canadian Commission of Conservation in 1914, served as Secretary of the Garden City Association in England from 1901 to 1906. O n coming to Canada in 1914, he brought with him strong opinions regarding the importance of town planning to the future success of a city. Prior to his appointment as Advisor, Adams made numerous trips to Canada on the request of the federal government as guest lecturer. Henry Vivian, Thomas Mawson, Barry Parker, and Raymond Unwin were among other speakers invited to Canada to lecture on town planning. 9 0 Despite Adams' endorsement of the garden city model for Canada, insufficient financial support from the federal government due to a severely recessed economy resulted in limited experiments in garden city planning. Between 1914 and 1921, the Canadian Commission of Conservation published Town planning and conservation of life, a quarterly journal devoted to planning, health and housing in Canada. Circulated throughout Canada at no cost, the journal published regular articles on the garden city and planning: "The Garden City: its origins and purpose"; "Garden Cities (illustrated)"; "Town planning and housing in Canada"; and "Town planning of Greater Vancouver" (submitted by Thomas Adams) . 9 1 In a 1915 article entitled "Garden Cities", the author asks "Could a Garden City be created in Canada? . . . No doubt it could. What has been done in England in this connection should be more easily and more profoundly done in Canada". 9 2 In "The Garden City: Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement, p. 74; William Creese notes that Raymond Unwin was granted an honourary degree from the University of Toronto, p. 158. Canada, Commission of Conservation, Town planning and conservation of life 1:1-4 (1914-1915). Canada, Commission of Conservation, Town planning and conservation of life 1:3 (1915), p. 64. 47. its origins and purpose", the author acknowledges differences between Canada and England, noting that "In Canada, we have somewhat less need for Garden Cities than has England . . . We have, however, a great need of wise planning for the future growth of our younger towns". 9 3 Throughout the journal, attention is drawn to the dangers of overcrowding in cities and the resultant slums, with specific recommendations to provide adequate housing for all classes of society. The Garden City movement was further promoted in Canada through the weekly journal Contract record and engineering review, published in Toronto with offices in Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, New York, Chicago and London, England. Its regular articles on town planning spoke of the benefits of the garden city model, praising "towns such as Hampstead and Port Sunlight in England [which] have met with much success in securing the maximum of air space and avoiding the evil of tenement houses" and recognizing Canada's Commission of Conservation as moving in this direction. 9 4 A subsequent issue published a paper read by Raymond Unwin in Scotland entitled "A town planning scheme: its effect on housing and architecture", in which Unwin speaks directly of the benefits of the Garden City mode l . 9 5 While the Garden City model in its entirety was rejected by Vancouver planners in the 1919 housing program, specific ideological objectives of the movement appear to be incorporated into the design of the Better Housing Scheme bungalow, in particular its emphasis on the importance of the family. Moreover, it did provide a model for the provisions of Ontario's Federal Housing Scheme policy. The garden suburb of 9 3 Canada, Commission of Conservation, Town planning and conservation of life 1:2 (1914), p. 33. 9 4 Contract record and engineering review 28:28 (1914), p. 887. 9 5 Contract record and engineering review 28:29 (1914), p. 923. 48. Lindenlea in Ottawa most closely approximated Thomas Adams' goals of garden city community planning as set out in the introduction to the Federal Housing Scheme Report: ... [IJt is recommended that, where possible, comparatively large sites should be acquired, by the method of expropriation, if necessary, so that those principles of town-planning may be applied which have received world-wide recognition as not only the most radical means of preventing slum development, but as the best and most economical means of providing working families with living conditions - gardens, open spaces, playgrounds for children and sun-lit rooms - such as have hitherto been usually the privilege of the rich.96 Adams was largely responsible for the design of Lindenlea, which consisted of twenty-two acres of land parcelled into 168 detached homes on separate lots. As the first housing development constructed under the 1918 Federal Housing Scheme, Lindenlea was to serve as a model design to be emulated by municipalities throughout Canada . 9 7 Building costs were kept down by allowing buyers to choose from a limited number of house plans, thereby standardizing design and construction while still offering residents the semblance of individuality. Facades were generally finished in stucco with modest Tudor half timbering, evoking a relationship to the Arts and Crafts style typical of Unwin and Parker's garden cities and suburbs, while stylistic elements like the front gambrel roof that was popular in late nineteenth century Ontario suggested an adherence to tradition. Significantly only detached homes were built at Lindenlea, despite Adams' original suggestion for the inclusion of some grouped homes and the successful precedent of 9 6 Labour gazette (April 1919), p. 444. 9 7 For a description of Lindenlea, see Delaney, "The garden suburb of Lindenlea, Ottawa: a model project for the first federal housing policy, 1918-24", pp. 151-165. 49. grouped housing set by the Toronto Housing Company in 1913. The Toronto Housing Company, a philanthropic organization comprised of the Toronto Civic Guild and the Ontario Housing Commission, constructed two clusters of cottage flats in the centre of Toronto in 1913. This limited dividend housing scheme was guaranteed by the Ontario government and provided housing for low-income renters, designed to "make for better citizenship by the cultivation of the two most vital factors - Self-Reliance and Individualism". 9 8 The decision to build only detached homes at Lindenlea despite the previous success of the Toronto Housing Company suggests that the reformers of the former scheme were intent on providing a middle class environment for the working class. Linked to the Garden City Movement, the City Beautiful movement similarly emerged during this era of reform and was promoted by Canadian architects, engineers, and civic reformers from the 1890s through the First World War. The City Beautiful movement, which emphasized civic grandeur and dignity through Renaissance planning ideals, emerged in the United States and gained widespread exposure and popularity following its application by designer Daniel Burnham at the 1893 Chicago Exposit ion. 9 9 As with other city planning concepts, advocates of the City Beautiful firmly believed that the beautification of a city would be socially and morally beneficial to all of its citizens. The City Beautiful program was typified by wide streets opening to panoramic views framed by monumental architecture, Renaissance-inspired notions of order, symmetry, harmony and coherence, and the regimented insertion of nature into the urban fabric. 9 8 Bacher, Keeping to the marketplace, p. 37; Delaney, "The garden suburb of Lindenlea, Ottawa: a model project for the first federal housing policy, 1918-24", p. 163; Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement, p. 75. 9 9 Rutherford, "Tomorrow's metropolis: the urban reform movement in Canada, 1880-1920". 50. Contemporary journals like the Canadian municipal journal and the Canadian architect and builder fostered support for these features, advocating wide, curving avenues instead of the monotonous gridded street systems that characterized most cities in the early 1910s. Urban planning programs were drawn up for major cities across the country, recommending "pleasant irregularities, striking building sites, small open spaces, places for monuments, fountains, and seats under trees" in line with City Beautiful concepts. Vancouver's proposed city plan of the late 1920s, executed by the American firm of Harland Bartholomew, advocated the elimination of the grid system. It promoted instead wide thoroughfares, tree-lined streets, and scenic views to encourage "just riding, riding for pleasure. There is fascination in a changing picture such as one gets from the window of a smooth running motor c a r " . 1 0 0 In 1912, the Local Council of Women in Vancouver formed the City Beautiful Association with the intention of developing a city centre. 1 0 1 Yet despite its initial popularity, few City Beautiful planning concepts were implemented in Canada, in large part because they were too costly during a period of severe economic depression. In the years immediately following the Great War, which were characterized by high unemployment and severe housing shortages, the movement became associated with extravagant and wasteful planning programs and was rejected in favour of more economical and practical planning strategies. The City Scientific, or efficiency, movement reflected the trend towards the reordering of planning priorities to "health, economics and beautification in that order", as British ideals of health and housing came to Canada from 1910 forwards . 1 0 2 The City 1 0 0 From the Harland Bartholomew plan, as quoted in Van Nus, "The fate of City Beautiful thought in Canada, 1893-1930", p. 173. 1 0 1 Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", pp. 120-121. 1 0 2 For a discussion of the City Scientific movement in Canada, see Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement; and Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver". 51. Scientific movement was posited in opposition to the City Beautiful model, which had come to be equated with decadence in planning. Thomas Adams, Town Planning Advisor to the Canadian government's Commission of Conservation, was the chief proponent of this emphasis on efficiency and health, joined by successive Canadian Governor Generals who sponsored tours of Canada by major British planners. According to Adams, successful planning required that all land "be developed for efficiency, convenience, health and amenity" and was best accomplished by experts who could apply "sound economic principles . . . to the administration of civic business". 1 0 3 Geographer Graeme Wynn traces the development of planning legislation in Vancouver through the influence of the City Scientific movement. 1 0 4 He suggests that urban planning in Vancouver was rooted in capitalism, noting that Adams' planning principles were first taken up in Vancouver by local businessmen who established the Civic Improvement League in 1916 and the Civic Bureau within the Board of Trade in 1917 as mechanisms to streamline civic bureaucracy and render civic administration more businesslike. Although their initial attempts at forming a Town Planning Act were largely unsuccessful, later efforts in the early 1920s resulted in the establishment of a Vancouver branch of the Town Planning Institute of Canada and the Town Planning Act of British Columbia in 1925. Vancouver became the first major Canadian city to adopt comprehensive zoning laws, which included the establishment of housing densities, the regulation of noxious industries, and the designation of areas for 1 0 3 Thomas Adams, as quoted by Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", p. 122. 1 0 4 Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", pp. 122-129. For an evolution of town planning in Vancouver, see also John Bottomley, "Ideology, planning and the landscape: the business community, urban reform and the establishment of town planning in Vancouver, British Columbia 1900-1940", Ph.D. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1977; and John Weaver, "The property industry and land use controls: the Vancouver experience, 1910-1945" in British Columbia: historical readings, W. Peter Ward & Robert A . J . McDonald, eds. (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre Ltd. , 1981). 52. residential, commercial or industrial use. ^ This legislated zoning represented a by-product of both the City Beautiful and City Scientific movements, incorporating conventions of visual symmetry and efficiency. While the Town Planning Institute identified its chief benefits as "the preservation of property values and economic efficiency", 1 0 6 zoning advocates also adopted City Beautiful rhetoric, emphasizing the ordered symmetry of streetscapes created through standardized lots and city setback bylaws. Neighbourhoods became more homogeneous, both aesthetically and socially, with standardized front yards and residents with similar incomes. In addition to their visual consequences, these zoning laws held social implications for the City of Vancouver, resulting in a clear division between work and home. Industry became concentrated around wharfs and rail yards, commerce and business relocated to the city centre and west end, and residential moved to the developing suburbs via planned traffic routes. The family home became geographically isolated from the work realm, which further distinguished and distanced the traditional roles of men as providers and women as homemakers, a process which had begun during pre-war suburbanization. The typical Better Housing Scheme bungalow, itself a modest modification of the Craftsman home, reflected the influence of the City Scientific movement during the late 1910s and early 1920s. The bungalow embodied the underlying concepts of City Scientific thought through its emphasis on simplicity, cleanliness and efficiency. The pattern-book repetition of form evoked the ethos of standardization and efficiency. Despite their haphazard growth on lots within existing neighbourhoods of Vancouver, the Better Housing Scheme bungalows became part of the coherence of the street, with porches aligned with their neighbours' and pathways at right angles to the city sidewalk. When two occur adjacent to one another, as on the 3200 and 3400 blocks of 1 0 5 Weaver, "The property industry and land use controls", p. 428. 1 0 6 As quoted in Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", p. 122. 53. West 6th Avenue, the bungalows create a unified, visual representation of the power of mass production and standardization typical of the period, their identicalness tempered only by the reversal of the floor plan and subtle differences in facade treatment. Figure 9 3250 (dark brown, shingled facade) and 3254 (re-stuccoed facade) West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme in 1919 (Jana Tyner, 1995). Clearly, the aforementioned planning and housing initiatives had an impact on Vancouver's choice of the bungalow for the Better Housing Scheme. In addition to their connections to the efficiency of the City Scientific movement, the bungalow plan, design and ideological associations echoed the rhetoric of the Garden City movement, as mentioned earlier. The "cottage all of our own with its little garden, its healthy air, its clean kitchen" that Unwin spoke of in 1902 manifested itself in the typical Better Housing Scheme bungalow in 1920 Vancouver. CHAPTER V THE ARTS & CRAFTS TRADITION IN VANCOUVER 54. The Craftsman bungalow was favoured for the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme when major eastern Canadian cities built two-storey, semi-detached homes as part of their respective components of the federal housing program. What specific conditions extant in 1919 Vancouver made the Arts and Crafts-inspired bungalow a more appropriate model compared to its eastern counterparts? A n examination of the bungalow's history in relation to Vancouver society during the 1910s and 1920s reveals some of the answers to this question, and elucidates why the Craftsman bungalow was particularly appealing in a city infused with the aesthetic tradition of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. While the bungalow has been defined in conjunction with the skyscraper as "one of the characteristic building types of democratic [North] A m e r i c a " 1 0 7 , its origins are in vernacular Indian architecture, being derived from the traditional one storey, open-planned bangala. In late nineteenth century England, the upper middle class had appropriated this house form, with dramatic modifications, as a temporary rural residence, in opposition to the more hectic, industrial life of the urban centres. From its Indian prototype, the English bungalow retained only the sweeping verandah and the single-floor plan, both appropriate to the heat of the Indian climate. Its design features - English translations of Indian forms - were associated with a simpler time, echoing the seeming simplicity of a rural, exotic life. By the end of the century, the bungalow was accepted as a retirement home for the middle class, and soon after, filtered 1 0 7 Clay Lancaster, The American bungalow, 1880-1930 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1985), p. 18. 55. downwards to the lower middle classes in a mass-produced form to represent an affordable, detached family home particularly suited to young married couples, "a democratization of ownership previously confined to the few". 1 0 8 Anthony King notes that the bungalow was always considered non-urban, regardless of its proximity to the city. With increased transportation routes into the North American city, families were able to afford the less expensive plots of land offered by the developing suburbs while maintaining work in the city, and the mass-produced bungalow represented the most economical and efficient means of housing. Through magazines, newspapers, and mail order catalogues, the bungalow and the ideal, semi-rural life it symbolized were disseminated throughout society, offering an affordable, safe haven in the suburbs for the single family, physically distanced from the threats and pressures of the industrial city. SUNSET, tiie Pacific Monthly Pl.n ol llUiHr 1° ihc lift red hriek in thu terriers. While. Thin bun-galow is built on I tot hiving cm Hide rah In slope, which undoubtedly assisted thu architect in bin successful attainment (rf "tying" tone-ther thu house and the grounds.rhesame design would lie very at-tractive r>n a level hit ha vine: a definite rise from the street. A study of1 the flour plan reveals the carefulness with which waste Bpacr bun bivn avoided .1 rid the wisdom "f securing an much sunlight and vunrilnrion M IMIMIII There are six rooms, besides a breakfast alcove and screened |iorch. Thu Honrs are hardwood throughout, with rliisexception of tile in the bathroom. The interior trim is cnninrled. A furnace is li>-cated in the baMinant which has an out-side entrance. A driveway lead* tn thu garage adjoining the house. liooling in of composition, pitched very low, sn as not tnbe noticed from the street. The sucond bmifinlow represents an afford the a d W g t i penetration of light so ardently ' ' ' desired by modem sun-worshipers, and and which is ;i desirable feature omitted thu dense ftilings (if plants and trues tends often. The dining-room lim four COIM still fiirther toward seclusion, line these china closet*., one in each corner, givioa. shaded I ionics have a mysterious attrac- the room a slightly octagonal appearance, tion all their own to die passerby as well French wimlowt provide light and da as to their satisfied owners. same type of windows open into the Ii*' Perhaps rbu type of "modest" home room. There ;-. a stairway to the , most often si-i'ii in this liuinjalnwed hind whichalfordsample storage space. A is the one in the third illustration. With air furnace is located in s small cclj»i hooded garde roof of green shingles, copying the space h pergula over rhe driveway, I _ pnrch partly shaded with a pergola, and red brick trim in strong contrast with light-colored stucco .uid paint, it is a hllll-jjulow utwhtrh many .in apartment dweller might look with envy. Among the good points of rhetnici-Kir arrangement are a hat and cont closet opening nlf the living-room L F . Tkc Breakfast Alcove Figure 10 Plans for a modest bungalow, which were typical of the layout for Better Housing Scheme bungalows (Sunset magazine, 45:6, December 1920, p. 70). 108 Anthony King, The bungalow: the production of a global culture (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), p. 18 56. By the early years of the twentieth century, the bungalow was generally associated with the aesthetics and social tenets of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Established in England in the 1860s and 1870s by William Morris and inspired by John Ruskin, the movement devoted itself to the crusade against what was perceived as the evils of Victorian industrial life. Their objective was to counteract mass produced, cheap goods by promoting design based on the intrinsic qualities of materials, structure and craftsmanship, and to integrate art into every aspect of society. 1 0 9 The popularization of the tenets of the English Arts and Crafts Movement were transmitted to Canada by way of the United States through publications like Gustav Stickley's The craftsman or Sunset magazine, and through British Columbian interpretations of this literature. Transported to a new set of historical circumstances in North America, the movement was adapted to fulfill a different set of needs and functions. Whereas Morris conceived of the Arts and Crafts Movement as a means of improving the lives of the working class, the North American counterpart was most readily embraced by the middle class, who viewed it as the antidote to their highly urbanized world. Yet despite these differences, the Arts and Crafts Movement in North America maintained its concern with the artistic and the rational. With its emphasis on unity with nature, simplicity, and natural materials, the Craftsman bungalow was seen to embody the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement. In pre- and post-World War One North America, when it saw its most rapid growth in popularity, the bungalow had come to represent the traditional values of the blissful, 1 0 9 For a history of the bungalow and its connections with the Arts and Crafts Movement, see King, The bungalow: the production of a global culture; David Shi, The simple life: plain living and high thinking in American culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985); Robert Stacey, The earthly paradise: arts and crafts by William Morris and his circle (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1993); Robert Winter, The California bungalow (Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1980); Florence Boos, ed., Socialism and the literary artistry of William Morris (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1990); Eileen Boris, Art and labour: Ruskin, Morris and the craftsman ideal in America (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986). 57. nuclear family, with the husband and father as master of the h o m e . 1 1 0 These values are illustrated by this ode to a bungalow from 1915: Here neighborly spirits shine clearly And family life is implied From the smoke of the brick built Dutch chimney To the billowy curtains inside. Here the home of American manhood Independent and true in his life With a welcome for friends and for neighbours To share with his children and wife.11" The Arts and Crafts Movement was readily embraced in British Columbia, where the British umbilicum continued to play a major role in political and cultural life. In 1900, Robert M c K a y Fripp, an architect trained in England, established the Arts and Crafts Association of Vancouver. The Association consisted of a dozen members who met regularly, attended weekly classes in painting, drawing, modelling, design and execution of furniture, architectural history and drawing and held annual public exhibitions displaying their products. The aims of the Association included the encouragement of individual effort in the practice of the Arts and Crafts and the "encouragement of artistic feeling and knowledge, to bring the designer and the workman or craftsman into closer relationship". 1 1 2 For a history of the bungalow in Vancouver, see Deryck Holdsworth, "House and home in Vancouver"; "House and home in Vancouver: images of west coast urbanism, 1886-1929" in The Canadian city: essays in urban and social history, Alan Artibise & Gilbert Stelter, eds.; "Cottages and castles for Vancouver home-seekers" in Vancouver past: essays in social history, Robert A . J . McDonald & Jean Barman, eds. From Keith's magazine on Home Building, 1915 as quoted in Winter, The California bungalow, p. 18. City of Vancouver Archives, Arts & Crafts Association of Vancouver 1900-01, Minute Book [AddMss 142]. 58. Popular literature similarly promoted the aims of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Vancouver. Beginning in 1910, E . Stanley Mitton, a Vancouver architect and businessman, joined with the Society of the Master Builders to publish the Mitton home builder. The journal, modelled loosely on Stickley's The craftsman magazine and Henry Wilson's Bungalow magazine, contained articles on planning a bungalow, advertisements for Vancouver craftsmen and designers, and house plans for purchase. Articles emphasized the beauty of homes built of natural materials like wood and stone, quoting John Ruskin as further endorsement of the Arts and Crafts aesthetic. In the tradition of Stickley's maxims endorsing a simple way of life that were included on the verso of each issue of the The craftsman, Mitton inscribed similar pronouncements: "I believe in the religion of the family. I believe that the roof tree is sacred, from the smallest fibre held in the soft, moist clutch of earth, to the smallest blossom on the topmost bough that gives its fragrance to the happy air. The family where virtue dwells with love is like a lily with a heart of fire - the faintest flower in all the w o r l d " . 1 1 3 The Arts and Crafts ethos, which in England had found expression in the Garden City Movement, was absorbed by Vancouver planners in the Better Housing Scheme bungalow. The Better Housing Scheme bungalow was most often a simplified version of the California or Craftsman bungalow, itself an interpretation of the lavish and sophisticated bungalows of the Pasadena architectural firm of Greene and Greene. Only the top of the bungalow market required an architect, exemplified in Vancouver by the Shaughnessy Heights models, while the remainder of the bungalow market originated from pattern-books or developers. The modest Craftsman bungalow generally combined shingles, beams, and wooden siding with stone, brick and stucco Mitton home builder 1:1 (March 1910). 59. finishes to create a rustic, natural effect. Despite variations in exterior detailing, these homes by the 1920s shared an overall simplified open floor plan, extensive use of large expanses of windows and a significant verandah or porch, both of which permitted an interrelationship between the interior spaces and the out of doors. The latter two features further relate to the new emphasis on the science of health and hygiene, as will be developed later. Figure 11 A rendering and plan of a "Small Home of Unusual Merit", showing a simplified main floor plan with combined living and dining area, also typical of the Better Housing Scheme bungalows ( M . D . Klein, The home plan book. Toronto: Home Builders' Service Bureau, 1924, p. 10, 11). The exterior form and materials of the Craftsman bungalow suggested a private, wooded retreat for the single family. Roughly finished wood, stained in browns and dark greens, covered the typical facade, and the bungalow was almost always surrounded by a private garden. The Vancouver interpretation of the Craftsman bungalow was "adapted to the cooler climate of the Northwest" by a raised basement to 60. house a heating system and to prevent seepage of ground water. Craftsman homes, a Seattle-based bungalow pattern-book that circulated widely in Vancouver, boasted that of their many designs, "none of them is subject to the handicaps found in the California types, which make no provisions for basements, heating plants, and other necessary utilities without which a Northern home is a fa i lure". 1 1 4 The fireplace played a central role in Vancouver's "Northern" plans, not only for symbolic value but for warmth as well: "The design of the large fireplace is one that assumes a maximum of heat in the room with no smoke". 1 1 5 In their plans the Craftsman bungalow privileged the values of the nuclear family, with an emphasis on the living room and its central hearth as a space for family intimacy. The interconnected dining and living areas comprised approximately half of the main floor, forming the prominent space of the home, with the front door often opening directly into the living room. These low-density, detached bungalows set in semi-rural settings that characterized Vancouver's developing suburbs evoked associations of a "traditional" nuclear family, which appealed to an urban society who feared the loss of this traditional institution. Popular literature reflected this fear, with numerous articles in newspapers and magazines underlining the "proper" place for men and women. Criticism directed at working women, particularly married ones, remained widespread throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In a typical article entitled "The event of the month: of interest to women concerning a career" published in Canadian home journal, the author considers the pros and cons surrounding a married woman's choice of a career outside the home. Directed to the magazine's primarily female audience, the author concludes that "most of us cling to the old ideal of the home: the mother caring for household and children 1 1 4 Yoho, Craftsman bungalows, p. i . 1 1 5 "'Sun' home beautiful series, No. 27", Vancouver sun (October 11 1912), p. 10; Yoho, Craftsman bungalows, p. 88. 61. within, the father facing the world without, and providing for the material needs of his little family. That still seems to be the way of a safe and sane community". Referring to women who have been forced into the workplace because of necessity, she notes: "The husband who has become an invalid and is obliged to remain at home and let his wife become the breadwinner has a humiliating lot; and, if he is a true man, he makes haste to recover. . . . Look at the derivation of the word, 'husband', and you will find the name of the bread-winner: - and the derivation of the word 'lady' - and you will discern the woman's career". 1 1 6 Canadian home journal (May 1928), p. 19. 62. The Craftsman style bungalow was adopted for the Better Housing Scheme in part because of its associations with the aesthetics and social tenets of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which had become firmly entrenched in Vancouver's social and urban fabric by the 1920s. Fitting into the suburban landscape of detached family homes, the Better Housing Scheme bungalow reinforced the acceptance of established stylistic tastes in the city that appealed to a largely British immigrant population. 1 1 7 1931 census data states that 77.1 % of Vancouver's population was of British ethnic origin, with the highest percentages concentrated in suburbs like Point Grey and Kitsilano. For these and other figures on the birthplace and ethic origin of Vancouverites in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, see Jean Barman, "Neighbourhood and community in interwar Vancouver: residential differentiation and civic voting behaviour" in Vancouver past, pp. 97-141. 63. C H A P T E R VI I D E O L O G I C A L INTERESTS L E A D I N G T O T H E ADOPTION O F T H E B U N G A L O W IN T H E V A N C O U V E R B E T T E R HOUSING S C H E M E In examining Vancouver's response to the federal housing program initiatives, it becomes clear that a myriad of private and public interests influenced the design of the Better Housing Scheme. Thus, to understand Vancouver's solutions to providing veterans' housing, it is necessary to look at the social, in addition to the economic and political, environment that existed in the city during the first quarter of the twentieth century. What ideological motives were at work in shaping the decisions of Vancouverites to prompt them to adopt the Craftsman bungalow as the model for the Better Housing Scheme? The section that follows attempts to identify these interests, and pays particular attention to the way in which ideologies that circulated widely throughout Canada were reinterpreted and highlighted in Vancouver society to meet the city's own objectives. i . The home as a national goal The formulation of the Canadian housing scheme in 1919 was couched in rhetoric emphasizing the importance of the home to the family and the family to the stability of the country. Newton Rowell, the Chair of the Privy Council and primary advocate of the scheme, asserted in the House of Commons that We all recognize that the home is the unit of the nation, and that it is in the national interest that a man may have opportunity to rear his family in a comfortable house of his own, equipped with modern sanitary conveniences. The fact that a man owns his own home undoubtedly 64. induces him to take a more practical interest in the affairs of the country and thus tends to the strength and stability of our national life.118 By providing low-rate mortgages and loans to expand home ownership across classes, the Canadian government promoted the privately owned, detached family home as a national goal, reinforcing at the same time the system of private capital through banks and the construction industry. 1 1 9 The ideal of the detached home and the family structure it supported became defined as normal by government, popular literature, and advertising, thereby establishing the home as the major economic and symbolic goal for the middle and working classes alike. Robert McDonald attributes this in part to the major role played by real estate speculation in Vancouver's development as an urban centre, with all classes aspiring to participate to some degree in land ownership, having been drawn in by the promise of instant wealth and status. 1 2 0 Unlike its East Coast counterparts, this mentality was particularly strong in West Coast Vancouver due to its relative youth as a metropolis, and the accompanying association with the "frontier". These factors led one observer to comment that the expectation that "riches could be had quickly through the buying and selling off land" had produced "in British Columbia, as in no other part of Canada . . . a culture based on flamboyant paganism, the worship of the almighty dol lar ." 1 2 1 House of Commons, Debates (May 16 1919), pp. 2532-33. For the history of the naturalization of property ownership as a right, see Kamal S. Sayegh, Housing: a Canadian perspective (Ottawa: Academy Book, 1987). R . A . J . McDonald, Making Vancouver: class, status, and the construction of social boundaries, 1883-1913 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, forthcoming), Chapter 5. See also Holdsworth, "House and home in Vancouver"; and Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", p. 144. Reverend R.J . Wilson, "British Columbia - Her opportunity and responsibility", Westminster Hall magazine 1:6 (November 1911), p. 24, as quoted in McDonald, Making Vancouver, Chapter 5. 65. The private home was consciously positioned in opposition to the rental apartment. Beginning in the early years of the twentieth century in Vancouver, rapid population growth and housing shortages resulted in the construction of large apartment dwellings and the renovation of single family homes into multi-unit dwellings. From 1913 to 1921, the number of apartments and blocks listed in Henderson's Greater Vancouver directory nearly quadrupled. 1 2 2 Many reformers, professionals, government administrators and private citizens met rental apartments with great resistance. American architects, reflecting the general professional mood in the United States and Canada, denounced the apartment as "unaesthetic and unsanitary", as a "demoralizer of the women of the community, leading them into idleness and frivolity", and potentially destroying the f a m i l y . 1 2 3 Racial prejudice in Vancouver found expression in the denunciation of apartments; when an Italian contractor purchased land for apartment construction in suburban Kitsilano, residents were "afraid that if buildings are permitted, we shall have in our midst a colony of Italians or other undesirable people". 1 2 4 Moreover, given the volatility of labour following World War One as evidenced by Vancouver's 1919 general strike, many labelled the apartment as "communistic", fearing it would encourage socialism and revolt amongst its geographically and economically close-knit tenants. Popular literature frequently posited the home against the apartment, with the former encouraging economic and social stability and the latter provoking unrest, as this boosterish article from the British Columbia magazine suggests: 122 Henderson's Greater Vancouver directory, (Vancouver: Henderson Directory Company, 1913-1921). The 1913 Directory listed two columns of apartments blocks and buildings, while the 1921 listed seven and a half columns of apartment blocks and buildings. 1 2 3 Ethel Glover Halfield, "Flatland", House beautiful 12 (August 1902), p. 189. 124 From City of Vancouver Archives, RG9-A1, volume 106, Petitions file, Robert Wetmore Hannington, Assistant Regional Counsel, Canadian National Railways, to Mayor and Council, July 21, 1925, as quoted in Weaver, "The property industry and land use controls", p. 432. 66. The measure of a city's stability, financial soundness and attractiveness to the newcomer is not to be found in its palatial hotels, skyscraper office buildings and apartment houses. The dweller in flats is an uncertain and unsettled quantity. The man in an office may be afoot-loose adventurer. Homes alone indicate the extent and quality of citizenship. It is in them that patriotism is developed and cherished. The home is the heart, the life and the index of a city.125 In preparing his 1918 report for the Federal Housing Scheme, Thomas Adams remarked that the owner-occupied principle "has become so ingrained in Canada that it is best to encourage it in preference to renting". 1 2 6 The ideal of the privately owned home protected from the outside world as the preferred setting for family life was encouraged in Vancouver through popular literature. In 1920, the Vancouver sun devoted a full page to John Ruskin's "views on women" taken from his Sesames and lilies, with the Editor's comments supported by quotations from the 1867 work. The Editor writes: The word 'home' is a much abused noun in the English language. It may mean a preposterous pile of brick and iron built by some profiteer, or a wretched dwelling, both alike in that there is nothing of a 'home' in them. This is Ruskin's definition of home: 'It is the place of peace; the shelter, not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt and division. In so far as it is not this, it is not home; so far as the anxieties of the outer life penetrate into it, and the inconsistently minded, unknown, unloved, or hostile society of the outer world is allowed by either husband or wife to cross the threshold, it ceases to be home; it is then only a part of that outer world which you have roofed over, and lighted fire in'.121 "Vancouver, a city of beautiful homes" in British Columbia magazine 12 (December 1911), p. 1313. Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement, p. 85. Vancouver sun (July 25 1920), p. 40. 67. The "Own Your Own Home" campaign, advertised extensively in the Vancouver sun, the Vancouver daily province and the Western lumberman, further promoted the privately owned home as a patriotic issue. The campaign was initiated in 1919 as a means of reviving the poor Canadian economy following the devastation of World War One, but was taken up by advocates of varying causes, including Vancouver city planners and the National Lumber Association. The campaign advanced the benefits of home ownership, emphasizing the inherent moral superiority of home owners over renters, even going so far as to claim that "[your friends] who own their homes have a different look on their faces than the fellows who don't", with more "spring to their step when returning home from work at six o 'c lock". 1 2 8 For the self-respecting citizen, owning a home became a biological necessity, one that would result in increased happiness and status, as depicted in this advertisement from the Vancouver daily province. Here, the home owner and citizen is explicitly defined as a man, with the woman presumably excluded from both roles: The desire to own a home is one of the natural primal instincts of every real man and woman ...No family can acquire that deep-seated heartfelt affection for a rented house that it naturally develops toward a home which it owns ... The gratifying of this deep seated desire to own a home, and the toil and sacrifice and self-denial by which it is won, refines and elevates and ennobles men. It instills in them a self-respect, and instills in others a respect for them that makes them better men and citizens, better husbands and fathers, gives them a standing and position and influence in the community as free-holders or householders that can never be attained by mere renters or tenants.129 In choosing the detached, single family bungalow as the model for their housing program, the Vancouver City Council echoed contemporary sentiments regarding the ideal of home and home ownership expressed across Canadian society and reinforced Western lumberman 16 (August 1919), p. 38. Vancouver daily province (March 5 1921), p. 4. 68. by popular literature. The Better Housing Scheme bungalow represented a promise of social stability for its owners during a post-war period characterized by unemployment, labour unrest, and economic insecurity. Y o u a s k e d h e r t o s h a r e YOUR H O M E b u t y o u ' v e g i v e n h e r a Rented House Remember with what joy you and your sweetheart talked over plans for a home ? You had great hopes then, and of course you wanted a HOME OF YOUR OWN. But you've put it off and gone on from day to day in a rented house. Your wife isn't satisfied, and neither are you. Do it today The longer you put it off the harder it will be. Own a home now while your family is with you and you can enjoy it together. Make up your mind to give your wife her heart's desire. Of course she wants a home ! We will help you If you need help of ANY KIND, financial or otherwise, our bureau is prepared to give it to you. Come in and talk it over. Our Services are Free ILLUSTRATION No. HS Price of Cut, JI. Price of Matrix, 30 cents {Order a mntrii if your newspaper cnn use it.) Send orders to Notionot Lumber Manufact-urers' Assn.. Lumber E-tciinnRe BidChicago. Figure 13 "Build Your Own Home" advertisement (Western lumberman, 16, July 1919, p. 26). 69. i i . The Better Housing Scheme bungalow and questions of domesticity The image of women and their role within the home during the 1910s and 1920s had a major impact on the conception of appropriate house form for the Better Housing Scheme. During this period, North American society experienced a dramatic shift from nineteenth century Victorian sentiments that saw the family as totally isolated, with the "ethereal woman's influence" at its heart, to the family as a "social product" encompassing modern considerations of cleanliness and professional organization. Domestic architecture responded to this new emphasis through a simplification and rationalization of house plans, epitomized by the modern, efficient bungalow. But as Gwendolyn Wright asserts, this "scientific imagery did not disrupt either the nuclear family or the housewife's role: it only made them seem more modern" . 1 3 0 It is significant to note that the need to simplify, to reduce excess space, and to eliminate ornament only became an issue in domestic architecture with the middle class; the working class lacked this luxury as their living space already was simple due to economic necessity. The move towards the modern, efficient bungalow plan coincided with the growth of the home economics movement in North America. Based on Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch's experiments in bacteriology and the "germ theory" in the late nineteenth century, domestic science sought to redefine the woman's domestic sphere through the application of scientific and economic principles to home management. 1 3 1 The home economics movement gained acceptance in British Columbia in the early years of the twentieth century, being implemented in elementary classrooms in 1903 and tacitly W r i g h t , Moralism and the model home, p p . 2 5 4 , 2 5 5 . W r i g h t , Moralism and the model home, p . 1 1 7 . 70. approved as a separate department at the University of British Columbia in 1913/14. 1 3 2 Articles promoting the benefits of domestic science appeared regularly in Western women's weekly, the Vancouver daily province and the Vancouver sun, with advertisers like Royal Standard Flour praising "the food laboratory - ally of the housewife". Conservative and reform-minded advocates alike argued that women needed training in home economics not for employment outside the home, but for their duties within it. In a survey of British Columbia schools conducted immediately following World War One, the researcher for the Local Council of Women claimed that "we believe that the home is the natural and rightful domain of women, and therefore that home economics, the science of the home, is pre-eminently the proper and logical study for womankind". 1 3 3 This scientific approach to homemaking held that everything could be broken down to its component parts and measured in terms of their efficiency. The efficient housewife became the scientific manager, working in her food laboratory; bungalow plans touted the kitchen as "designed purely for business purposes". 1 3 4 Within the home economics discipline, household subjects were given a more modern connotation by referring to them according to their scientific counterparts: biology and zoology replaced cooking; chemistry, cleaning; physics, heating; and physiology, clothing. The Department of Home Economics did not officially open at U . B . C . until 1943, due in part to the lack of support from influential male advocates. For a history of home economics at U . B . C . , see Lee Stewart, 'It's up to you': women at UBC in the early years (Vancouver: U B C Press, 1990), pp. 43-65. For a history of home economics in British Columbia, see Riley, "Six saucepans to one". Riley, "Six saucepans to one", p. 123. Yoho, Craftsman bungalows, p. 31. Your kitchen is your workshop -puis which ii B> dinWuli to rwrmm. C i v - r, i. n, ti.-r. -,ui •. • I i DIM 1. 11,. of A,n ,. Q, v Win!•• 1 .• L. : ..I,.; LH111  din tuul ... i... conunwn* will iiul lm*l Wflcomr. Korplfti rruitlrr don not dint, lo 1  aurtacr of A.'iii- - Quoin V White Komliul, Ii i'i •urlocr Ihul v. Mi l ) clnmrd •mdmiiulyliiqit ebanru- ll nlwprov-idrmu!>ri«hl,ch»«ry•tmotipharra hir your workshop which irmpi. you 10 muV. irnnpnn*. dlihc*. ir :\,.-r,-\ u lurtiuii lo bn palntoil, imimH'liHl, uMllhnl. vurnwhi-d or ilnlnhed In any wny 11 >. r."n in Acnwi Quality Kind to hi iho purpose. Sav- thm .• und you nil. WMEWIun P A I N T S (S FINISHES Acme W h i t e . . cnu nnu . o i o r m o m / ^ ^ . ^ d Culur W rks Figure 14 A n advertisement in Sunset magazine for white enamel paint, illustrating the new image of the woman in the kitchen (Sunset magazine, 44:5, May 1920, p. 90). The popularity of the scientific, "modern" bungalow in the 1910s and 1920s also coincided with the decline of servants in middle class homes. By 1920, only the upper classes of Vancouver's elite Shaughnessy Heights district were able to afford the space and luxury of domestic service, which was composed primarily of Chinese l a b o u r . 1 3 5 The bungalow's design responded to the needs of the servantless middle class housewife by ensuring that "each foot of space serves a purpose . . . there is no waste of space in the floor plan of the house". 1 3 6 Interconnecting and multipurpose spaces with "no long, weary flights of stairs to climb" facilitated the functioning of households in which women were expected to perform the duties of domestics as well as hostesses, cooks as well as companions, and nannies as well as mothers. Moreover, the values 135 The City of Vancouver Archives holds architectural plans from the 1910s and 1920s drawn by Samuel Maclure and Ross Lort for stately Shaughnessy homes that included a room in the basement designated 'Chinaman', referring generally to the servant's room. For the Chinese presence in Vancouver, see also Wynn, "The rise of Vancouver", pp. 135-143. Lillian Ferguson, "Variety in bungalows", Sunset magazine 45 (December 1920), p. 68. 72. privileged in these modern notions of space planning that were taken up in the Better Housing Scheme bungalows related to the middle class ideal of the housewife and mother, rather than the working class reality of the woman working outside of the home. The kitchen became the focus of the bungalow and was designed as a modern efficient factory, taking up the minimum amount of space and accommodating only a single person. Unlike the living area that flowed together to encourage family unity, the kitchen was physically separate, thus isolating the woman in her traditional domain. One of the many slogans interspersed with house plans in Jud Yoho's Seattle-based Craftsman bungalows catalogue recommends: "Have the housewife's workshop complete (it improves the cooking)". The kitchen was equipped with built-in cupboards and drawers, with mechanical gadgets like vacuums and stoves that were all intended to liberate the woman from mundane drudgery and to ensure that everything in the kitchen is "kept out of sight and spotlessly c lean". 1 3 7 Walls were enamelled or plastered and tiled for easy cleaning, and were painted white or pale green to convey cheeriness as well as hospital cleanliness. In "The bungalow home", Mitton describes the kitchen as "so sensibly planned, so economically arranged with regard to using every foot of space to the best advantage, that the painful drudgery of 'keeping house' is transformed into light, healthy, pleasant exercise. The old saying that 'woman's work is never done' is no longer applicable. Now she has a distinct advantage over mere man, forced to toil 'from sun to s u n ' " . 1 3 8 The connection between the home economics movement and the efficient bungalow kitchen is interestingly made in the 1920 article, "Bungalow lumber yard: a story i 'in Yoho, Craftsman bungalows, p. 39, 49. 1 3 8 Mitton home builder 1:1 (March 1910), p. 2. 73. which tells the building material merchant how to enlist the interest of women", published in the Western lumberman. In it, the author describes a probably fictitious owner of a lumber yard who, to improve business, built a "show" bungalow to encourage potential customers to buy a home instead of merely buying lumber. The owner enthusiastically tells the author: 'That kitchen - come on out and see it. Look here. There is real flour in that built-in kitchen cabinet, and other things as well. I get the domestic science teacher from the high school to come down here every Saturday afternoon and give free cooking lessons to the women in town. They learn how to fix up and serve a meal, too. And once a month they give a regular supper here. Every registered member of the cooking class can bring her husband and I pay for the fuel, the linens, and other expenses, they chip in and pay for the food ...It has made a big hit with them'.139 The bungalow here becomes a training centre for modern women to learn the skills of hostessing and housekeeping in the proper environment, a mock classroom modelled on those built in elementary and high schools of the same period. Like home economics, electricity became a requirement for the management of the modern, scientific household, with 70 percent of Canadian homes equipped with electricity by the end of the 1920s. 1 4 0 Electric appliances were touted as the woman's servant, promising to liberate the housewife from her daily drudgery. As Stanley Mitton had predicted ten years earlier, Elaine Hollis proposed in her article "Electrifying the home" that "The couplet hitherto so truthfully quoted, 'Man's work is from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done' is apparently destined to the discard, unless paraphrased to read, 'woman's work is electrically done'" . 1 4 1 A n Harrison, "Bungalow lumber yard: a story which tells the building material merchant how to enlist the interest of women" Western lumberman 17 (May 1920), pp. 57-58. Macdonald, Vancouver, p. 40. Sunset magazine 45 (October 1920), p. 70. 74. article from The B.C. Electric employees' magazine from 1922 advertised "Vancouver's electrical home", equipped with 197 electrical outlets. This show-home in Shaughnessy attracted nearly 18,000 visitors in less than one month, and was so successful that a song entitled "The electrical home" was written as a tribute: The Electrical Home in the West Is the one that my wife would love best. So spotlessly clean, And work a 'has been,' In this brightly lit haven of rest. We've no coal to carry upstairs, No chores and no worries, no cares; Oh, it's fine to get home To the radiophone In the Electrical Home in the West. The Electrical Home in the West Gives housekeeping pleasure and zest. The washing's a joke, We cook without smoke, The dishwasher works by request. In each room and cupboard or stair There are outlets and lights everywhere. Oh, it's the only life For a man and his wife In the Electrical Home in the West.142 Although contemporary magazines and newspapers advertised electrical appliances as freeing to women, the prescribed place for the woman remained in the home with her role being widened to include consumer. This role as consumer in relation to household matters, while not entirely new, gained dramatically in scope during the early twentieth century with the growth of consumer products (coincident with the advent of electricity to most homes) and their corresponding advertising. Contemporary magazines like Sunset magazine and Ladies' home journal gratuitously published builders' house plans in order to attract advertising from companies dealing in household goods, particularly those relating to the modern streamlined kitchen. In 1 4 2 J .M.S . , B.C. Electric employees' magazine 5:8 (November 1922), p. 17. 75. 1920, Westinghouse asked the housewife "Wouldn't you rather be motoring, golfing, playing bridge or reading a good book . . . than standing over a hot stove in a hot kitchen?" With the Westinghouse Automatic Electric Range, the housewife replied from behind the wheel of a car, "I go anywhere - I've an Automatic cook". The housewife was now able to tend to her home and family and still be allowed to pursue cultural and leisure activities outside the home. Yet this new leisure time was moderated by the fact that women were now expected to purchase and use a host of modern appliances; one article boasted of a modest bungalow home equipped with a range, samovar, sewing machine, vacuum cleaner, vibrator, washing machine, chafing dish, milk warmer, ironing machine, flat-iron, curling iron, plate warmer, dish washer, refrigerator, and percolator. 1 4 3 The bungalow living space, in opposition to the kitchen, was designed and decorated as a safe retreat for the male worker after a stressful day in the factory or the office, where his physical and emotional maintenance would be the duty of his wife, thus setting the stage for an effective gender division of labour. This area was typically decorated in natural materials, coloured in greenish browns and ochres with roughly hewn Mission-style furniture, exposed wooden beams, and weathered oak walls, to replicate a wooded hunting or fishing lodge and to provide the working man a restful space and withdrawal from his chaotic world in the city. In certain instances, murals or stained glass windows depicted images of fish and wild animals in natural settings, further heightening this allusion. This distinction between the private space of the home and the public world of urban life reinforced and maintained the separation of the sexes and their roles. Men were free to move between the two spheres of the public and the private, while women were associated only with the private domain of the Elaine Hollis, "Electrifying the home", Sunset magazine 45 (October 1920), p. 70. 76. home. Although this precept did not always accord with reality, the notion of public and private spaces and its relation to gender was a persuasive force in popular culture. While working class women were compelled by financial necessity to work outside of the home, the rhetoric of advertising and prevailing literature continued to convey the often unattainable ideal of the nuclear family model with husband as sole bread-winner The 1910s and 1920s witnessed the initiation of many changes for Canadian women, with the franchise granted in 1916 and an increasing visibility in the paid workforce. 1 4 ' Women who had worked in factories and offices during the war were chastised for not relinquishing their jobs to returning veterans. The choice of the Craftsman bungalow as the model for the Better Housing Scheme was not indiscriminate. During a period when the appropriate nature of the respectable woman was in the process of reformulating and defining itself, the bungalow reaffirmed the nuclear family with the woman as wife and mother through its spatial layout, its geographic position within Vancouver's burgeoning suburbs, and its portrayal in popular literature. In The new day recalled, Veronica Strong-Boag describes the condition of Canadian women during the interwar years. While she emphasizes that the move towards equality in the post-suffrage years was not nearly as rapid as feminists and reformers had hoped, or conservatives had feared, women were nonetheless exposed to new opportunities. These opportunities included an increased access to paid employment, university education, childcare, politics, and female associations and networks. 77. i i i . The creation of a modest house type Reasons for selecting the Craftsman-style bungalow for the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme can be found in an examination of aesthetics, and how they were translated in architecture. Beginning in the last decade of the nineteenth century and carrying into the 1910s and 1920s, North Americans veered away from Victorian standards of taste which privileged opulence and abundance. During this period which was characterized by heightened mass-production and accumulation of luxury goods, the decadence of the wealthy home was condemned with as much vehemence as the decay of the working class slum. The discourse of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which emphasized simplicity, convenience, efficiency, and taste, was embraced as somewhere between these two extremes and an antidote to Victorian extravagance. Popular literature promoted the move towards economy and simplification through this discourse of aesthetics. Vancouver's E . Stanley Mitton, who frequently alluded to Ruskin and Morris as experts in design, advised readers in 1910 that Whatever the material of which your bungalow is composed remember that boldness and simplicity of outline is the goal you must strive to reach. There is no element of character we admire in men and women so much as the quality of simplicity - nothing more to be abhorred than trickery or deceit, and as with people so with houses, for every dwelling is in a great measure the visible expression of the mental and moral standing of its occupants.145 Several years later in the 1916 edition of The craftsman, Gustav Stickley similarly took up the rhetoric of economy in an article entitled "The craze for the simple house: how it is built and decorated": Mitton home builder 1:1 (March 1910), p. 2. 78. The trend of architectural progress during the past year has been markedly toward a more dignified simplicity in exteriors and a greater refinement of details in interiors. This is noticeable ... in our own country, in Great Britain, and Canada ... The war has forced radical changes, cramping architectural progress in one direction, liberating it in others. The exigencies of business have made builders consider the cost more carefully than formerly, to weigh the desire for 'gingerbread' with that for better materials and workmanship. Always the decision has been for stronger and better foundations, for materials that last, for simpler form of construction rather than for extravagant ornament. Limitation of means, therefore, has, as it were, winnowed the chaff from the wheat, has shown men how to treasure the good and discard the worthless, has taught people to discriminate between essentials and non-essentials. 1 4 6 Stickley maintains that this new aesthetic was not only morally superior to the Queen Anne "gingerbread" style of Victorian times, but also structurally superior in its construction techniques and building materials. Pragmatism had resulted in the simple, "honest" domestic architecture of the bungalow. The rhetoric of simplicity became even more important in the post-war years when economy was a necessity, as it permitted the middle class to represent itself as at once cultivated, artistic, and economical. Terms like simple, efficient, artistic, crafted, and tasteful were typical of contemporary descriptions of the modest bungalow, which allowed those of moderate means to build and decorate their homes according to the "modern" standards of taste. As in pre-war times, popular literature capitalized on this current of thought. Advertisers emphasized the bungalow's efficiency primarily, and its artistic qualities secondarily. The Bass-Heuter Paint Company promised "Skyscraper or bungalow - both are improved in appearance and years of life added to them by the application of good paints and varnishes. Bass-Heuter painting is, in fact, an economy. A well-preserved building is readily sold or rented". 1 4 7 If readers were 1 4 6 The craftsman 13:2 (1916), p. 166. 1 4 7 Sunset magazine 45 (December 1920), p. 67. 79. not convinced to paint their homes for aesthetic reasons, they were convinced to do so for economical ones, as a financial investment. Woodward's Department Store in Vancouver advertised the "Women's Bungalow Apron" for the thrifty housewife as "stylishly designed at a price lower than the cost of materials", evoking the artistically designed yet economical Craftsman-style bungalow. 1 4 8 Aladdin homes advertised its economical bungalows in Vancouver-circulating journals like Sunset magazine, Ladies' home journal, the Saturday evening post and in Vancouver daily newspapers. It also boasted offices in Portland, Toronto, Bay City, and V a n c o u v e r . 1 4 9 Full-page advertisements from the early 1920s pictured quaint drawings of Craftsman-style bungalows interspersed with glowing testimonials from satisfied customers which emphasized the economical aspect of Aladdin homes: "Building cost cut $1,000", "Built for $1,000 less. 30% saved on labor - 18% saved on lumber". The very success of Aladdin homes as a manufacturer of mass-produced, cheap homes attests to the new emphasis on economy. While pre-war Aladdin advertisements also included economy as one feature of their homes, the earlier ads emphasized quality, attention to detail, style and permanence over savings; ads boasted "Aladdin quality excels" and "Integrity is the Aladdin policy. Integrity means moral soundness; it means honesty". One 1914 advertisement proposed "Eat Thanksgiving Dinner in Your New Aladdin", appealing to a specific image of the traditional family home. By the 1920s, these allusions to quality and craftsmanship had all but disappeared in lieu of savings on building materia l . 1 5 0 Vancouver sun (August 8 1920), p. 8. For a discussion of Aladdin Homes and other mail order home companies, see Schweitzer & Davis, America's favorite homes. These advertisements were drawn from Sunset magazine and the Saturday evening post, in addition to descriptions from Schweitzer & Davis, America's favorite homes. 80. These literary allusions to simplicity, economy, and efficiency were reflected in Vancouver real estate from the 1920s. Vancouver's middle and respectable working classes were searching for an appropriate house form somewhere between the opulent Shaughnessy Heights mansions and the unwholesome apartments and rooming houses of the city core. Shaughnessy Heights, planned as an exclusive residential neighbourhood, was home to barristers, doctors, managers, and company directors, many of whom had only recently made their fortunes in Vancouver . 1 5 1 These residents commissioned American- and English-trained architects like Samuel Maclure and Robert M c K a y Fripp (an early founder of the Vancouver Arts and Crafts Association) to design stately homes based on English antecedents. The British Arts and Crafts style served as the model for many of these estates, evoking a connection to the Imperial land and a sense of tradition suggestive of privileged ancestry, established lineage and Tudor England. The generous use of native woods, including fir, cedar, and spruce, half-timbering details, low, overhanging eaves, and leaded and stained glass windows contributed to this Craftsman aesthetic, as did the landscape of dense, protective trees and shrubs. In contrast to the Shaughnessy manors, the ideal house for the middle and respectable working class was smaller, more compact, and less detailed. Although this simplification of design and plan was clearly a means of reducing building costs, it gained a certain prestige because of its association with the renewed emphasis on economy, which was characteristic of a post-war depression. Like the rest of Canada, Vancouver experienced a severe depression which affected real estate and the economy immediately following the Great War. Wartime rhetoric emphasizing economy and efficiency continued through these early years of the 1920s, which also accorded with the modern notions of scientific planning and home economics. Occupations from Henderson's Greater Vancouver directory; 1910 to 1915. 81. No. 632. A very pleasing bungalow is shown in (his view. Cobblestones and clinker brick are used with good result for porch and chimney. The principal and subordinate gable scheme is introduced with an effect that is gratifying 10 the ap-preciative bungalow connoiscnr. Shingles are used for the gable walls. Resawed siding covers the main walls of the exterior. This view does not convey any ade-quate impression of the beauty of the other side of this bungalow, with its terrace, pergola, and ga-bled bay window. The interior arrangement is good. The breakfast room is located close to the kitchen and could be adapted to use as a screen sleep-ing-room. The estimated cost of this bungalow is $1,900. Its total di-mensions, exclusive of porches, 28'AxiS feet. Complete plans and specifica-tions of this house, with all neces-sary details, either as shown on this page or reversed, will be fur-nished for $10.00. Figure 15 A rendering and plan typical of a pre-1915 bungalow, with separate breakfast room and library. The library was often replaced by a den or music room in plans of a similar period (H.L. Wilson, The bungalow book. Chicago: Henry L . Wilson, 1910, p. 90). The Better Housing Scheme bungalow represented a consolidation of the discourse of simplicity. A comparison of a pre-war bungalow with a typical Better Housing Scheme home reveals the gradual advancement towards a further simplified house type. The pre-World War I bungalow preserved the divided spatial layout reminiscent of its Victorian antecedents' propensity for strict separation of functions and family members. The music room, library, pantry, sewing room, den and parlour occurred frequently in pattern book plans, as in Henry Wilson's The bungalow book from 1910 and early editions of the B . C . Mills Timber & Trading Company catalogues. The den, really a modernization of the nineteenth century smoking room, was deemed a necessity in 82. every bungalow as a place where the man of the house could retreat from office and family life and "rest amid a pile of cushions surrounded by curios and mementoes which accumulate in every family, each reminiscent of good times gone b y " . 1 5 2 By the end of the war, however, this room was subsumed by the combined living and dining space. Similarly in the post-war bungalow the pantry, formerly located adjacent to the kitchen and occupying up to half the space devoted to a typical bedroom, was reduced to a built-in cupboard. The Better Housing Scheme bungalows tended to be much smaller than their pre-war counterparts with more simplified plans and details . 1 5 3 Entering through the front door from the porch, one stepped into a small entry hall bounded by an alcove with coat rack. From here, one had the option of entering straight into the first bedroom through one door, or into the living and dining area through another, thereby clearly defining the division of public and private spaces. A bungalow builder advises that "emphasis should be given to the rooms that are lived in, making them as large as possible and reducing to a minimum space used for halls, stairs and passages . . . The flexibility of a small house is much increased by throwing the living rooms together". 1 5 4 This public space comprising the interconnected living and dining rooms was granted the most detail and design, with a crossbeamed ceiling, panelled walls, built-in buffet and plate rails, and brick fireplace, all of which alluded to its Craftsman roots. Floors in the public area, including the entry hall, were hardwood with decorative inlay, while the private domain of the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen were floored in wider, less expensive fir stripping. This differentiation in material similarly suggested a hierarchy 1 5 2 Henry L . Wilson, The bungalow book (Chicago: Henry L . Wilson, 1910), pp. 4-5. 1 The following description of the interior of a Better Housing Scheme bungalow is based on detailed observations of scheme houses, neighbouring homes, and brief conversations with occupants of scheme houses. 1 5 4 "Expert advice on planning the new home" Western lumberman 17 (May 1920), p. 55. 83. of spaces, with the public deemed as more important visually than the private. The difference suggests the increased importance of home entertaining. Figure 16 1152 East 54th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $3,350 in 1920 (Jana Tyner, 1995). From the living and dining area, one could continue through a closed door into the kitchen, located at the rear of the house, or through a second door to a hallway leading to the second bedroom and bathroom. The kitchen's compact plan provided space for a fridge, stove, sink, built-in cupboards and countertop, as well as an eating nook jutting out from the rear of the bungalow. The eating nook replaced the larger breakfast room often included in the pre-war bungalows, a sign of increased efficiency in space. The two bedrooms and bathroom, accessible through the dining area, comprised the private space of the home. The division of functions within the bungalow - dining, 84. sleeping, entertaining - was strictly maintained without the panoply of space associated with a larger home, through efficient spatial planning and design. Closets in each of the bedrooms and a built-in linen cupboard in the hallway eliminated the need for bulky wardrobes and additional furniture. The bathroom was equipped with a sink, tub and toilet of white porcelain, with walls surfaced with easy to clean tile or plaster. Significantly, the bathroom window was identical in size and shape to those in the two bedrooms, suggesting economy through mass production and repetition. Moreover, its relatively large size, characteristic of all of the windows in the bungalow, provided maximum natural light and fresh air which were considered increasingly important with the new emphasis on the science of health and hygiene. The Better Housing Scheme bungalow was a reduction of the high end Craftsman bungalow to an affordable minimum, with its simplified floor plan allowing for the essentials of middle-class life on a reduced budget. The exterior facade of the Better Housing Scheme bungalow also reflected this new emphasis on economy and efficiency. The grand wrap-around verandah and enclosed sleeping porch were replaced by a simplified verandah which often sweeps only the front half of the house, serving more as a stoop connecting doorway to stairs. Complicated projections and bay windows were flattened to large picture frame windows, while intricate wood work and decorative detailing along rooflines continued, but reduced to classic dentil designs and simple cross beams. River rock structural porch supports, chimneys and fireplaces were replaced by brick or even stucco finishes. Although stucco began appearing with more frequency during this period, shingles persisted as the preferred siding, often limited to the basement storey with rough-cast stucco applied to the first storey. Although tempered, the Craftsman aesthetic privileging rusticity prevails in the simplified Better Housing Scheme bungalows, with 85. irregular brick work on the porch supports and chimney, unfinished cedar shingles on the lower storey, and rough beams on the pediment (see Figures 1, 3, 4, 9, and 12). Further stratification in design and detail existed within the Better Housing Scheme itself, due primarily to the amount of money spent on building. Approximately 75 percent of the homes located on Vancouver's east side were built for under $3,000, while building costs for 75 percent of west side homes exceeded $3,000. Unfortunately, because of modifications to and demolition of many of these homes, it is difficult to generalize about east-west stylistic variations. Some of the most notable extant examples of the Craftsman aesthetic, however, are located in the more elite areas of Kitsilano and Kerrisdale (compare Figures 1, 4 and 12 with Figures 16, 17, and 18) Figure 17 1258 East 25th Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $2,475 in 1922 (Jana Tyner, 1995). 86. In its simplified plan and austere details, the Craftsman-style Better Housing Scheme bungalow epitomized the modern, efficient house type appropriate for the middle and respectable working class citizen. This new house type reflected the contemporary, Arts and Crafts-inspired rhetoric emphasizing the benefits of science, simplicity, and convenience, which were transmitted throughout Vancouver society via the popular presses and reformist literature. Through the modest bungalow of the 1920s, the middle and respectable working classes were able to emulate the aesthetic associated with the upper class while emphasizing modern notions of efficiency and economy. C H A P T E R V I I S U M M A R Y & C O N C L U S I O N S 87. Numerous critics have concluded that Canada's first housing scheme failed to provide adequate housing for low-income earners in the greatest n e e d . 1 5 5 The federal housing I scheme operated from 1919 to 1923 and resulted in the construction of 6,244 homes; most of Vancouver's one hundred and fifty-three Better Housing Scheme homes were erected between 1919 and 1920. In May 1921, once Vancouver's portion of funding had been allotted and dispersed, the Vancouver Branch of the Great War Veterans Association of Canada wrote a letter to the City Council urging that, in light of the continued high unemployment and lack of adequate housing, further funds be made available to continue the housing scheme. No further funds were allocated municipally or federally in response to this or similar appeals . 1 5 6 In his biography of Thomas Adams, Michael Simpson described the federal housing scheme's own objectives as essentially negative: a short-term, market-oriented "programme at negligible cost which would avert serious discontent, offer a modicum of stimulation to the private sector and the labour market and avoid the taint of collectivism". 1 5 7 The federal government's interest in a housing scheme dwindled as the threat of social disorder subsided. 1 5 5 For an evaluation of the federal housing scheme, see Jones, The beginnings of Canadian government housing policy, 1918-1924; Wade, Houses for all; Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement; Michael Doucet & John Weaver, Housing the North American city (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991); John C. Bacher, "Canadian housing 'policy' in perspective" Urban history review X V : 1 (June 1986), pp. 3-18. City of Vancouver Archives, City Clerk's Records, City Comptroller file, 1921, Letter dated May 14 1921 from the Great War Veterans Association to the City Clerk [13-E-3]. Simpson, Thomas Adams and the modern planning movement, pp. 106-107. 156 157 88. More significantly, Vancouver's Better Housing Scheme failed to provide housing for those of lowest income in greatest need: an examination of the rental market in post-World War One Vancouver reveals this major shortfall in its directives. Accepting that Vancouver was primarily a city of renters immediately following the war, the 1921 Census of Canada reported the average monthly rent in Vancouver as $34.77, while 818 families paid a monthly rent of under $9. Given the $10 deposit and substantial downpayment required of all Better Housing Scheme participants and the resulting monthly payments averaging $20 to $40 depending on the size of the loan, the Better Housing Scheme homes were generally well beyond the reach of the below-average income earner, to whom they were initially directed. Moreover, the average annual earnings of $1,161 for a Vancouver male wage-earner between the ages of twenty-five and forty-nine in 1921 were well below the $3,000 requirement set by the Vancouver Housing Committee. Better Housing Scheme loans were not, therefore, directed to those of the greatest need, but rather favoured those who were most capable of repaying the loans, that is members of the middle and respectable working classes. Jill Wade has calculated that 80 percent of Better Housing Scheme mortgagors consisted of blue and white collar workers, including firemen, electricians, carpenters, labourers, clerks, book-keepers, and salespersons. Professionals, business people, and agricultural workers, including barristers, physicians, and engineers, made up the remaining 20 percent (see Appendix I). Significantly, only one home was built in the city centre where those of the lowest income bracket (the poor, the elderly, the seasonally or fully unemployed) resided in over-crowded and unsanitary conditions. The remainder were located in Vancouver's suburbs of Kitsilano, Grandview, and South Vancouver, with approximately 60 percent on the east side and 40 percent on the west s i d e . 1 5 8 1 5 8 Census figures from the 792/ & 1931 Census of Canada, as quoted in Wade, Houses for all, p. 179; and in Wade, "The 'sting' of Vancouver's Better Housing 'Spree'", p. 101 & 102. 89. That the Better Housing Scheme was devised to curb social unrest and unemployment and to bolster private interests in the real estate market rather than to supply adequate housing for the working class was evidenced by the choice of the Craftsman bungalow typology as its model. The Craftsman bungalow was appropriated for the Vancouver Better Housing Scheme for economic and ideological purposes, wedding economy and aesthetics with the government's desire to bring morality and family values to all classes through domestic architecture. Through the Housing Scheme, its proponents attempted to establish the detached, single family home as a national goal for everyone which would promote long term stability and economic growth and recovery from the post-war depression. As the author of a 1919 Vancouver sun article reported in outlining the municipal housing scheme: The writer was privileged to visit one of these [soldier settlement scheme] bungalows, the first to be completed, and found there the dependents of a former soldier. Fully modern in every respect, the new home assured the family of the comfort that is rightly theirs ... Protected against the menace of soaring rentals and safe in the knowledge that every dollar paid is that much nearer sole ownership, the dependents of he who died in the service of the Empire are enabled to meet the future with greater confidence than if they were at the mercy of an uncertain fate.159 The author here links the modern family home as seen in the Better Housing Scheme bungalow to safety, thrift and the stability of the Empire. The Arts and Crafts inspired bungalow addressed notions of the traditional nuclear family with the husband and father as sole wage earner and the wife and mother as housekeeper. Through its plan and design and through its comprehensive marketing strategy, the bungalow reaffirmed the accepted roles of family members during the post-war period of economic recession, instability, and uncertainty with the past and the future. "Housing problem presages progress" Vancouver sun (October 26 1919), p. 8. 90. Figure 18 775 East 33rd Avenue, Vancouver, built as part of the Better Housing Scheme for $2,662 in 1922 (Jana Tyner, 1995). The Scheme solicited the Arts and Crafts bungalow as its primary model in part because of its adaptability of materials: the Craftsman aesthetic emphasizing natural wood fit well into British Columbia's thriving lumber economy. Moreover, the modest, detached home set on a single lot interspersed in one of Vancouver's existing neighbourhoods bolstered the sagging real estate market, which had stagnated during the First World War, and ensured economic and social stability in the post-war city. In putting this research together, it becomes clear that the working class to which the Better Housing Scheme homes were ostensibly directed was not the primary motivator for Vancouver administrators. Instead, the housing scheme was imbued by middle class values and ideals, which were translated through the rhetoric of real estate 91. companies, the lumber industry, town and residential planners, and popular literature. Although census data suggests that Vancouver's working poor may have been better served through the provision of rental or smaller-scale units, the housing scheme provided only single family detached homes at a price unaffordable to low income earners, thereby preserving the middle class order in the transitional post-war period. While the elements constituting this study may have initially appeared somewhat disconnected, by considering these discourses as simultaneously functioning in relation to one another, and by linking them with the notion of space as socially constructed, with architecture as one such aspect, they unite to convey an impression of Vancouver society in the 1920s. BIBLIOGRAPHY 92. P R I M A R Y SOURCES Directories Greene, B . M . , ed. Who's who in Canada. Toronto: International Press Limited, 1922. Henderson's Vancouver directory. Vancouver: Henderson Directory Company, 1905-40. Wrigley 's British Columbia directory•. Vancouver: Wrigley Directories Limited, 1921-1935. Government Publications British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. Sessional papers. 1920-21. Canada. Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Seventh Census of Canada, 1931. Ottawa: King's Printer, 1941. Canada. Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Sixth Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa: King's Printer, 1927. Canada. 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