District of West Vancouver plans to demolish the historic Klee Wyck house and the four greenhouses in the fall of 2020.
“Subject to budget approval, it would likely take place in the fall of 2020,” said Donna Powers, the communications manager for the district.
Staff is requesting $150,000 in the 2020 budget for the demolition of the main house and the garage.
“The entire house is uninhabitable in its current condition and the District has no life cycle cost provision to maintain this structure,” says a recent district report on West Vancouver assets.
The house was used as an artist studio from 1980 to 2011, but hasn’t been used for that purpose since 2012. The studio was used for storage until 2016, but is currently in poor condition and no longer in use.
The four greenhouses served as the district’s nursery until 2012, but are also in poor condition, according to the report.
In June last year, the District of West Vancouver Arts and Culture Facilities Plan recommended that the District engage a consultant to determine options for the future use of the Klee Wyck site.
That report is being prepared.
The district also created a Klee Wyck subcommittee of the Arts Facilities Advisory Committee last year. It met in November to review the property that was bequeathed to the District of West Vancouver by Dr. Ethlyn Trapp.
A relative of Dr. Trapp, Mr. Smith, has been also been appointed to the subcommittee.
Klee Wyck house, a rustic estate property situated on the banks of the Capilano River on Keith Road, was owned by Dr. Trapp, a physician and a humanitarian who lived there until her death in 1972.
Dr. Trapp deeded the property to West Vancouver in 1960 and named it ‘Klee Wyck’ in honour of her good friend and world-renowned artist Emily Carr who wrote her autobiography with that title. Carr was a frequent visitor and did much of her painting and writing in this house.
From 1980 to 2012, the house was being used to host arts program but the artist studio occupancy agreement was terminated in 2012. After that, it was used for storage.
The district has had several plans to revive the property but much to chagrin of local artists, those plans have never yielded anything of value.