1684 Yale Street

The Rowland Powell House is a two storey, symmetrical square plan Edwardian style residence. It has a pyramidal hip roof and the front elevation has a verandah running the full width of the first storey and a balcony running the full width of the second with a porte-cochere under a second balcony on the north elevation. The house is clad in roughcast stucco with half-timbering on the second storey and narrow shiplap siding on the first. It is one of largest homes in the area and is located on a prominent rise on large lot with side yard with original stonework.

Heritage Value: 

Built in 1913, Rowland Powell House is of value for its association with Jesse Milton Warren (1889-1953), a San Francisco-born architect who trained in San Francisco and New York before opening an office in Victoria in 1911. His work includes a number of civic commissions such as the Pantages Theatre (now the McPherson Playhouse) and the Central Building on View Street as well as a number of residences. Warren was a renowned city booster and lectured on ‘Why Victoria is destined to be the New York of the Pacific’ and was a founding member of the Victoria Rotary Club in 1914.

This large two storey Edwardian house originally had all of the land at the top rise of Yale Street. Extensive views would have been possible from the verandah and upper balconies when the house was built. The owner was Rowland H. Powell, of George Powell and Sons, who had a successful hardware and crockery store on Government Street. The Powell residence has notably fine exterior features and is of value as an example of the type of residence that prominent businessmen would commission, with a large porte-cochere and gracious verandah.

Character Defining Elements: 
  • views of Oak Bay, Mount Tolmie and the Inner Harbour;
  • location at the top of the rise of Yale Street;
  • form, scale and massing;
  • bell cast hip roof with roof ridge;
  • wood frame construction with stucco and shingle cladding, narrow shiplap siding;
  • style details such as its symmetrical front facade, low pitched roof, front porch and bay window;
  • exterior architectural elements: prominent side porte cochere with porch above, corbelled and central brick chimney, full length verandah (with twinned columns) and balcony on the front elevation, porch at rear as well, plat course, soffit in chevron pattern at corners, segmental arches, modillions, original front door with stained glass and strap hinges;
  • large, wide double hung single sash windows, one large six segment bay window, rectangular bay window, stained glass windows with floral motif, piano windows, some textured and frosted glass;
  • interior features: millwork including the staircase, banister and tapered pier newel posts, wainscoting, paneling, picture rails, built-in buffet and bookcases, exposed ceiling beams, casings, fireplaces with decorative tile and wood surrounds, cast iron heating registers, doors and hardware, tile in the bathroom, annuciator;
  • landscape features: mature stands of trees, original stone fence with gate posts, side yard
Identifying Names: 
Rowland H. Powell House
Poets Area
Oak Bay
Capital Region District