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Maria Keary Cottage

305 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/05/26

Exterior view of Maria Keary Cottage after amalgamation with 307 Carnarvon Street, 2010; City of New Westminster, 2010
Maria Keary Cottage, 2010
Exterior view of Maria Keary Cottage 1, 2004, prior to amalgamation with 307 Carnarvon Street; City of New Westminster, 2004
Front elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Maria Keary Cottage
The Keary House
Maria Keary Cottage 1

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Maria Keary Cottage is a one and one-half storey (plus basement) wood-frame building with two projecting bays at the front and a covered verandah on the east side. Originally two separate houses, the two buildings were joined together and a rear addition was constructed as part of a Heritage Revitalization Agreement in 2010. The building is located in the Albert Crescent area of the Downtown neighbourhood of New Westminster, British Columbia.

Heritage Value

Constructed in 1887, the Maria Keary Cottage is highly valued as one of the oldest residential structures in the City of New Westminster, and for its aesthetic, historic and social significance; in particular as the earliest extant example of purpose-built rental housing that was one of the first designs by the new architectural partnership of Samuel Maclure and Charles Clow.

The building has aesthetic value due to its Queen Ann Revival style, especially for its facade articulation and its exterior decorative elements. Rehabilitation has exposed the original wood siding and restored the wood-sash windows, projecting bay window, hipped roof corner verandah, and such decorative elements as scroll-cut bargeboards, projecting brackets and spindle work on the verandah, square chamfered columns and decorative millwork.

The building has historic value due to its association with James and Maria Keary, and architects Samuel Maclure and Charles Clow. It is further valued for its connection to New Westminster's pioneer era. Any extant building in New Westminster constructed prior to 1900 is considered to have significant value by the community; this building was constructed in 1887, giving it even greater historical value.

The connection of the building with James Keary (c.1826-1871) is important because of his role, as a Royal Engineer or Sapper, in the creation of the new town-site that would become New Westminster. A trained stone mason, James and his wife Maria (1824-1911) stayed in New Westminster after the regiment returned to Britain and opened a hotel called The Telegraph House. The association of the house with Maria is important because of the role she played after her husband died in an accident. To support her three children, Maria took in boarders and in 1887 she purchased land and financed the construction of two cottages as rental properties. Maria represents an enterpreneurial spirit found in pioneer women that is often overlooked in pioneer histories.

The building's connection with architects Samuel Maclure and Charles Clow is valued because these were skilled architects who introduced the Queen Anne style to New Westminster. Samuel Maclure was the son of a Royal Engineer and is purported to have been the first non-native to be born in New Westminster. He became a well-known architect who excelled in the Tudor Revival style during the latter part of his career, designing many fine residences in Victoria. Charles Clow began his career in New Westminster in the construciton industry, but formed an architectural partnership with Samuel Maclure in 1887, which lasted until they went their separate ways in 1891. Clow is best known for designing New Westminster's Royal Columbian Hospital (1889), Surrey's Municipal Hall (1912) and numerous houses in New Westminster for which he blended Classical Revival and Craftsman styles to create something uniquely 'New Westminster.' To have extant examples of the earliest work of the Maclure and Clow partnership is very significant.

The buildng has social value as a surviving example of the oldest purpose-built rental housing in the city. It continues to play a social role today because it offers housing to assist adult men to transition out of either prison or homelessness. It is a rare example of a project that used a Heritage Revitalization Agreement to combine two major city priorities: heritage conservation and the reduction of chronic homelessness.

Source: City of New Westminster, City Hall

Character-Defining Elements

The key character-defining elements of the Maria Keary Cottage include:

- typical residential setback with large front yard
- residential form, scale and massing as expressed by the one and one-half storey (plus basement) height, the side-gabled roof and front-gabled extensions
- wood-frame construction with original horizontal wood siding
- exterior decorative elements such as scroll-cut bargeboards, projecting brackets and spindle work on the verandah, square chamfered columns and decorative millwork
- facade articulation through the projecting square bay windows and the hipped roof corner verandah
- wooden-sash windows
- interior details such as a fireplace mantle, window and door trims



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)

2010/01/01 to 2010/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Group Residence


Architect / Designer

Charles H. Clow



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of New Westminster, City Hall

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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