Vancouver Hobbit House has $2.5 million price tag

by Eve Lazarus on March 1, 2014

3979 West Broadway

It feels a bit like whack a mole. One hobbit house gets a reprieve from the bulldozer and the next one comes up for sale. Fortunately the Lea Residence has a heritage designation, which means it can’t be torn down—it even comes with its own plaque.

This is the third time the house at 3979 West Broadway has come up for sale in the last five years. Back in 2009 its future looked shaky when it sold to a developer for $1.65 million. But instead of razing the place, James Curtis did a deal with the City where he sunk close to a million dollars into renovating the house, designated it, and in return was allowed to subdivide and build a second house on the large lot.

The realtor’s blurb says the West Broadway hobbit house offers an option for people wanting to down size, which makes me laugh because that renovation increased the size of the house to 3,000 sq. ft—that’s one gnarly “bungalow.”

3979 West BroadwayThe reno also included a new $200,000 thatch-like roof, which is of course the house’s most distinctive feature.

The house is one of three story-book cottages in Vancouver designed by architect Ross Lort in the early 1940s. Lort also designed Casa Mia for the Reifel family on Southwest Marine Drive. The others are on King Edward in Vancouver and on Braeside in West Van. The Lea House first appears in the city directories in 1941 and is named for its original owner and builder Brenton Lea. Lea sold his house to William Brown a Vancouver dentist, in 1943.

You can get a look inside at the open house tomorrow March 2nd from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

virginia campbell March 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Hi Eve. Well my goodness I didn’t know there were more than one Hobbit homes in Vanc. I only recall the one on King Ed. brings back memories AND of course very interesting… thanks as always.

Reply

Eve Lazarus March 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

I haven’t checked out the one in West Van yet, hopefully it’s in good condition. Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Noreen Wensley March 2, 2014 at 7:14 am

This is a truly ‘great’ character house (unlike many of the new double-gabled variety that are being constructed in recent years in Vancouver). Such a charming character! I’m very pleased to hear that this house has historical designation, and hope that Vancouver City Council doesn’t change their minds about that (like they have in the past in order to allow developers to build new condos).

Reply

Eve Lazarus March 2, 2014 at 11:08 am

Hi Noreen: it has heritage b designation, it’s my understanding that once a house goes through the designation process it can’t be undone – as opposed to just being on the heritage register where pretty much anything can happen. I hope that’s right!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: