The Garden City and Arts and Crafts Movements from the late 19th century influenced Powell River's planners of 1910 and as such is represented in the residential styles of the homes that are still present on the landscape today.
The movement emphasized the skills of craftsmanship which was threatened by mass production and industrialization. Some characteristics of Arts and Craft architecture are: bellcast roof lines, verandahs, porches, dormer windows, the use of natural materials, exposed beams, fireplaces with large chimneys, shingle siding, hand-crafted built in cabinetry, double hung windows etc...
Structures located on corner lots were given special attention to design, the criteria being the presence of two fronts. This feature allowed for two directions from which to orient the view. In this period the practice was described as Looking Two Ways.
The most common house style in Powell River Townsite had a two pitch roof with the ridge beam perpendicular to the street (gable roof). Triangular shaped roof brackets were more decorative than structural, giving the house a generally more robust appearance.
Another roof style used in Townsite dwellings was the square, pyramid shaped roof tapering upwards from the four corners (hip roof). The small scale of this kind of house design was further enhanced by the refrained use of decorative elements such as roof brackets and add-on structures. As well, recessed porches and boxed windows were common features.
Homes with an almost identical design to the street facing gabled structures took on a new aspect when the roof ridge was framed parallel to the street (side facing gable). This alteration to design provided a simple way to vary the appearance of the homes.
Company homes in Townsite rarely featured a second storey. Found almost exclusively on Cedar Street, two-storey structures naturally appear taller and boxier than other Townsite homes. Stairs accessed from the back door lead to the 4 rooms upstairs for tenants.
Between 1923-1930 a subset of housing was introduced into the town plan for middle management employees. Sited on larger lots these homes consistently featured Tudor Revival styling and had two storey's and full basements. Roof brackets are absent but add-on porches, street facing gables, Jurgenhead roofs, and tripled windows facing the ocean were all featured.
Click on a photo to the right for a write-up and photos of residential building built in the early part of the 1900’s.