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James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1

321 Queens Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/09/13

 James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1; City of New Westminster, 2008
Front elevation, 2008
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Other Name(s)

James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1
James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/04/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1 is a one-and-one-half storey, wood-frame front-gabled late Victorian-era dwelling, situated on the north side of Queens Avenue in the historic Queen's Park neighbourhood in New Westminster. The house features a full-width open verandah, shingle patterning in the gable peak and a semi-octagonal front projecting bay.

Heritage Value

The James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1 is valued for its association with the early stages of the Victorian-era development of Queen's Park. The historic character of Queen's Park is based on its consistent streetscapes of fine restored homes.

Built in 1892, the James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1 is further valued as a significant residential design by architect George William Grant (1852-1925). Grant had a prolific career in both New Westminster and Vancouver. Grant was responsible for some of the city's major landmarks, including the Queen's Hotel on Columbia Street (1887), the Masonic and Odd Fellows Halls and the spectacular mansion, Hillcroft (1886). He also contributed to a number of public structures such as major additions to the Provincial Asylum Building (1889); the first Provincial Exhibition Building in Queen's Park (1889); the Provincial Court House (1891); and the City Library (1891).

Simple in its design and scale, this house is a testament to Grant's versatility as an architect. His commissions ranged from simple cottages, to elaborate Queen Anne mansions, to large public institutions. This house was constructed by local contractor O.B. Ackerman at a cost of $3,000. The clients were James Edward Phillips (born 1860) and his wife Elizabeth Mowat Phillips (née Wilson, 1871-1962). English-born James Phillips operated a well-established Gentleman's Clothing business in New Westminster; his store was originally located on Columbia Street, but following the great fire of 1898, the business was relocated to McKenzie Street. The couple married in 1892 in Victoria, Elizabeth's home town, and this house was built at that time. They occupied this house for only a brief period before subdividing their property and building two additional houses located at 323 Queens Avenue and 319 Queens Avenue. The corner house at 323 Queens Avenue became their primary residence.

Source: City of New Westminster Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence #1 include its:
- location on the north side of Queens Avenue, across from Queen's Park
- residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its one-and-one-half storey height, full basement, front-gabled roof, full-width open verandah, semi-octagonal bay window at front elevation, and off-centre entry
- wood-frame construction, as expressed by its wooden drop siding, cedar shingles and wooden trim
- late Victorian-era detailing, such as fish-scale shingle patterning in the front gable peak and scroll-cut bargeboards
- windows, such as double-hung one-over-one and two-over-two wooden-sash windows with horns
- original front door assembly
- internal red-brick chimney



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

George William Grant


O.B. Ackerman

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of New Westminster Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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