Office/Home in 1955

Our building was designed by renowned architect John DiCastri back in 1954.  The home was finished in 1955.  The significant design was a stretch in materials and engineering for that era with rounded features especially pleasing.  The home fits right into the present times as much as it did in 1955 when it was envisioned.  The optimistic flair of the design puts a smile on most folks’ faces.

The home has had few owners before us.  It was built for a family named “Smith” contracted by a company named Farbilt Homes.  Together DiCastri and Farbilt pulled out all the stops in design and technical skill to build this home.

The home was situated originally on a large acreage accessed off the old “island Hwy” via a meandering driveway.  It stood overlooking fields and the Royal Colwood Golf Course below.  Over the years the land in front was expropriated for the new Goldstream Ave and the back of the property leading to Millstream was subdivided off.  What is left is still an impressive home on ½ acre that is seen today.

The home’s previous owners included the family that owned Brown’s The Florist as well as a benevolent Social Worker.  I believe the previous owners of this property all had wonderful personalities and histories that are woven in the fabric of Victoria’s culture and business.  It is wonderful to own a home with this love, character and history.

When the home was sold to us it was overgrown and invisible from the road.  This growth was by design to enhance the privacy of the home.  With Goldstream Ave close to the front of the home privacy is “out the window” because the home has all glass windows facing the street.  The brave architecture was something hidden for decades as privacy was more of a concern for the previous owners.

When Moira and I saw the home it was love at first site.  The home’s design was overwhelming.  We immediately chose to move to this location as a home based business because of the home’s design qualities.  We believe we have honoured the design and kept it original while at the same time, we have brought the mechanicals and features into the 21st century.  The home was reduced down to the “sticks” to do this.  There is new electrical, plumbing and walls to allow comfortable living.  We did add dividing walls to the open spaces to enhance some business operations but all the walls can be quickly removed if and when we decide to convert back.  DiCastri would be pleased.

We think our attention to this home is a gift to Colwood as well since the home originally was blocked from view.  Now the home sits proud and is a feature for drivers along Goldstream.  The changes Colwood is enjoying as it grows are wonderful for our future and it is nice to keep a bit of the “old” too.  We are a block away from the premier Colwood Corners development.  We feel we are hugged by “history” and “new change” not quite like any other place in the Western Communities. 

Take a look at the history of the Pugets Sounds Agricultural Company, formerly part of the Hudson’s Bay Company and you’ll see the land we are included in goes back over 160 years.  Not far from our back yard folks have found historically significant brick and dairy farm remnants from these times.  Again we are proud to be part of this history and we feel we need to pass it on to future generations.

Darrell

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