The “pagoda house” in Langford is slated for demolition this month after nobody came forward to move the building.
The building sits on 528 Goldstream Ave. which, along with 532 Goldstream Ave. was rezoned for a new six-storey residential building back in August.
After significant community interest, the developers looked into moving the building, according to Rachel Sansom of Grayland Consulting, who applied on behalf of the company looking to rezone the property – Goldstream Residences Corp. The developers hired Nickel Brothers, a structure moving company, for an assessment. They found that any move would be costly, due to the size of the house and nearby obstacles like power poles.
Sansom said the developers then made the house available to anyone who was interested in coming forward and moving it, but said they didn’t receive any inquiries.
Now, the developers have a demolition permit with demolition planned for sometime in November.
Some parts of the house are set to be salvaged. The City of Langford took the iron gates which were adorned with symbols and currently is keeping them in storage – but there’s no plan yet on where they’ll go. Some of the fixtures from inside the house, which was quite modern, were also donated to Habitat for Humanity, said Sansom.
The pagoda house was built in 1935, according to B.C. Assessment. But several theories about its origins exist, according to Langford resident Liane Shott. These include that the house was formerly used for a Japanese consul, a Chinese museum and an art studio.
To help mark the history of the spot, the developers plan to display an interpretive sign in the landscape design for the residential building to provide a history of the house to passersby.
“It’s got history and certainly, we’d like to keep the history alive as we can,” said Sansom.