Twin 'Dorothy' houses together again after Vancouver move

The 'Dorothies,' two Vancouver west side 1930s-era heritage homes, were saved from the wrecking ball and moved two blocks Monday morning, from West 43rd Avenue to their new home on West 41st Avenue.

Twin 1930s-era heritage homes, saved from the wrecking ball, were moved together Monday

Two identical heritage homes saved by being moved down the road 1:58

The 'Dorothies,' two Vancouver west side heritage homes, were saved from the wrecking ball and successfully moved two blocks Monday morning, from West 43rd Avenue to their new home on West 41st Avenue.

The 1930s-era houses are on the City of Vancouver's 'B' heritage list, but were slated for demolition after both of their properties were recently sold.

The two Tudor-style houses were both named 'Dorothy' after the wives of their first owners, who lived in the homes on adjacent side-by-side properties beginning in the 1930s.

The  journey, which involved the dismantling of trolley wires and power lines along the route, was accomplished in only two hours, but was three months in the planning, 50 to 70 workers, and cost around $350,000.

Walter Keenlyside, the original builder's great-grandson, says watching the houses' journeys was a bit of an emotional event.

"It's actually quite moving seeing these things being moved," he said. "Quite remarkable."

Walter Keenlyside, the great-grandson of the builder of the Dorothy houses, says watching the move was a bit of an emotional event, knowing how happy his great-grandfather would be to see the homes saved. (CBC)

"I think he [my great-grandfather] would be very happy to see that they are not being torn down," Keenlyside said.

Rob Chetner with Trasolini Chetner Construction says the Dorothies were at first going to be relocated to Vancouver Island, but that plan fell through because of the cost.

Threatened once again with imminent demolition, a group of Vancouver business people saw value in their heritage designation and decided the houses might work in a nearby townhouse project, Chetner said.

The Dorothies will be now be refurbished and converted into townhomes, and will start their next chapter — side-by-side, as they ever were — in the eight-townhome complex being built at the new site.


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