641 3rd Avenue – Coburn-Verchere House

641 3rd Avenue was built in 1903 built Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for John Coburn, the first Mayor of Ladysmith.

641 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, B.C.
641 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, B.C.
641 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, B.C.
641 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, B.C.
641 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, B.C.
641 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, B.C.

641 3rd Avenue was added to the Ladysmith Community Heritage Registry in 2014.

Here is a map showing the location of 641 3rd Avenue:

Here is a Google Street View image of 641 3rd Avenue:

Description of Historic Place

The Coburn-Verchere Residence is a hipped-roofed bungalow style building cated on a hillside on a residential reet in Ladysmith. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.

Heritage Value

One of very few architect designed residences in early Ladysmith, the Coburn-Verchere Residence is significant for its association with the noted Victoria-based architectural firm of Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins. The building, at the time of its construction, stood in sharp contrast to most early residences that were typically owner-built and more modest in form, detail and craftsmanship. It is one of few remaining examples of early middle-class housing in Ladysmith.

Built in 1903, the Coburn-Verchere Residence is a good example of a bungalow style building. Featuring both gabled and hipped roofs, the house fits neatly into the hillside and its siting affords views of the waterfront.

Alterations over the years, which include the addition of a substantial sunroom and the closing-in of the original front porch, have not diminished the overall form and character of the building. The Coburn-Verchere Residence is valued for its association with two prominent local families.

John Coburn was Ladysmith’s first mayor and, as the owner of a large sawmill, a substantial employer. As the first mayor, John Coburn played a role in shaping the earliest growth and development of Ladysmith. In 1917, the house was purchased by the Verchere family, who have lived in it since that time.

Members of the Verchere family have been on City Council and held important positions in the business community.

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Coburn-Verchere Residence include:

  • – all of the elements of a bungalow style building including its simple form and massing, the hipped main roof, gabled roof on section overlooking the waterfront and mullioned windows
  • – the building’s location on a hillside in a residential section of Ladysmith

We will be adding more historical information about 641 3rd Avenue in the near future.

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