100-year-old carriage house in Fort Langley to be restored

The last remaining building of a Fort Langley estate built in 1912 will be given new life, with a restoration that will include the replacement of doors and windows and repairs to its weathered exterior. - submitted photo
The last remaining building of a Fort Langley estate built in 1912 will be given new life, with a restoration that will include the replacement of doors and windows and repairs to its weathered exterior.
— image credit: submitted photo

What stands as the last remaining structure of the extensive Charles Edward Hope estate, built in 1912, is now getting a facelift.

The Hope Carriage House, located in the heart of Fort Langley behind the famous Community Hall, has withstood more than 100 years of rain, snow, sleet, and hail, and it shows.

Through a partnership between the property owners with both Lanstone Homes, a custom home builder heading up the nearby McBride Station project, and the Township of Langley, which has awarded this project a grant through the Heritage Building Incentive Program, the aim of the restoration is to retain the structural soundness of the carriage house while improving its weathered exterior and maintaining the classic heritage look.

A large part of the restoration will be replacing the windows and doors.

With the current doors and windows showing severe signs of weathering and decay, Centra will install beautifully handcrafted Dutch-style wooden doors and traditional custom wooden windows that have been built to reflect the historic look of the originals.

All work will be done in accordance with the Canadian Standards for restoring heritage buildings, and will be completed in time for Heritage Week, which runs the week of Feb. 17.

Over the years, the owners of the property have shown an unwavering commitment to preserving and shepherding this character building as a significant piece of Fort Langley’s history.

Much of the interior remains intact, with cattle restraints still hanging near a curved grain silo wall, and open frame walls that reveal the building’s original timber construction.

Charles Edward Hope is remembered for playing a key role in the early development of the Fort Langley community after immigrating to Vancouver in 1889 from Bradford, Yorkshire.

The Hope Carriage House, which is considered to be quite elaborate for its time, accommodated horses and carriages necessary to connect with the Great Northern Railway Station at Port Kells, and is the last surviving building of his estate, which spanned approximately five acres.

With the Township’s support and Lanstone Homes’ and Centra’s contributions, the owner is able to watch the Hope family’s carriage house stand the test of time and remain a historic landmark.

This is a great example of what can be accomplished through creative partnerships between the private sector, committed owners, and local government in enhancing and restoring something of public value, when everyone works together to achieve a common goal, said organizers.

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