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Rowland Powell House

1684 Yale Street, Oak Bay, British Columbia, V8R, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/03/13

Exterior view of the Rowland Powell House, 2006; Corporation of the District of Oak Bay, 2006
Main facade
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Other Name(s)

Rowland Powell House
Rowland H. Powell House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/02/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Rowland Powell House is a two storey, symmetrical square plan Edwardian style residence. It has a pyramidal hip roof and the front elevation has a verandah running the full width of the first storey and a balcony running the full width of the second with a porte-cochere under a second balcony on the north elevation. The house is clad in roughcast stucco with half-timbering on the second storey and narrow shiplap siding on the first. It is one of largest homes in the area and is located on a prominent rise on large lot with side yard with original stonework.

Heritage Value

Built in 1913, Rowland Powell House is of value for its association with Jesse Milton Warren (1889-1953), a San Francisco-born architect who trained in San Francisco and New York before opening an office in Victoria in 1911. His work includes a number of civic commissions such as the Pantages Theatre (now the McPherson Playhouse) and the Central Building on View Street, as well as a number of residences. Warren was a renowned city booster and lectured on "Why Victoria is destined to be the New York of the Pacific". He was a founding member of the Victoria Rotary Club in 1914.

This large two storey Edwardian house originally had all of the land at the top rise of Yale Street. Extensive views would have been possible from the verandah and upper balconies when the house was built. The owner was Rowland H. Powell, of George Powell and Sons, who had a successful hardware and crockery store on Government Street. The Powell residence has notably fine exterior features and is of value as an example of the type of residence that prominent businessmen would commission, with a large porte-cochere and gracious verandah.

Source: Corporation of the District of Oak Bay

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Rowland Powell House include its:
- views of Oak Bay, Mount Tolmie and the Inner Harbour;
- location at the top of the rise of Yale Street;
- form, scale and massing;
- bell cast hip roof with roof ridge;
- wood frame construction with stucco and shingle cladding, narrow shiplap siding;
- style details such as its symmetrical front facade, low pitched roof, front porch and bay window;
- exterior architectural elements: prominent side porte cochere with porch above, corbelled and central brick chimney, full length verandah (with twinned columns) and balcony on the front elevation, porch at rear as well, plat course, soffit in chevron pattern at corners, segmental arches, modillions, original front door with stained glass and strap hinges;
- large, wide double hung single sash windows, one large six segment bay window, rectangular bay window, stained glass windows with floral motif, piano windows, some textured and frosted glass;
- interior features: millwork including the staircase, banister and tapered pier newel posts, wainscoting, paneling, picture rails, built-in buffet and bookcases, exposed ceiling beams, casings, fireplaces with decorative tile and wood surrounds, cast iron heating registers, doors and hardware, tile in the bathroom, annuciator;
- landscape features: mature stands of trees, original stone fence with gate posts, side yard



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer

Jesse Milton Warren



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Corporation of the District of Oak Bay

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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