After the ascension of King Edward VII in the British monarchy, a new architectural style emerged called Edwardian. It is thought of as a simplified form and detailing in contrast to the excesses of the Victorian style. Many of these simplified forms, strongly influenced by the American “Four-Square” style, were built using stock plan books of the time. The vernacular Edwardian quickly became the most popular residential building style in Vancouver. Up scale examples were embellished with Classical details and proportions.
This style had a simple rectangular floor plan that was divided into quadrants. It was designed to have the entry hall and stairwell on one side with the drawing/living room across the front, the kitchen behind the entry hall, and the dining room behind the living room. All bedrooms were located upstairs with the bathroom (separated into a watercloset and tub plus vanity), which was located between the two bedrooms. The roof form was usually a hipped roof with a matching roof over the front porch, although the open gable roofline persisted in the humbler versions.
Sleeping porches appeared on the upper level of many of the houses as did bay windows on the main floor. The porch usually extended across the full width of the façade, but was limited to the entry quadrant in more elaborate Classical versions to fully display an elaborate living room window, sometimes with a Palladian (half arched) window. Some of the Edwardians with a u-shaped stairwell projected out in a square bay beyond the plain sides of the house.
Windows were usually double-hung, with transom windows appearing on the higher ceilinged houses along with sidelights flanking the front door. Stained glass appeared in transom windows and in the entry doors. Wainscotting with sympathetic detail such as a built-in hall bench was present in houses with a u-shaped stairwell. Classical versions had a columned front porch (usually front the railing up, elaborate brackets under the planked soffits, and dentil ranges on the fascia, plus door and window frames.
Narrow lap siding (or bevel siding) was relegated to the water table line or the top of the first floor with a shingle treatment above, or narrow lap siding all the way up. Sometimes stone, usually granite, replaced narrow lap siding up to the water table line. This detail (also known as “Splash-back”) helped to introduce the tri-partite expression found in more elaborate houses. Roofs were cedar shingle (generally replaced in the late 20’s by asphalt shingles). Windows were wood-framed, with single pane lights (storm windows are utilized for heat retention).