Three buildings added to city's heritage registry

The city's registry of heritage buildings and homes has grown by three.

City council approved the additions of the Professional Building at 1705 3rd Ave., the Hilliard Clare Masonic Temple at 480 Vancouver St., and the Howieson residence at 2688 Inlander St. during a regular meeting on Monday night.

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According to a statement of significance, the Professional Building, located at the corner of Third Avenue and Prince Rupert Street, was constructed in 1953 by brothers John and Joe Schlitt who were also the proprietors of sawmill operations in the Prince George area.

It was the first building in the city that catered exclusively to professionals and has maintained that type of tenancy to present day.

It is also known for a design that was a "notch above the vernacular of the day" as exemplified by the formal entrance and the high quality finishes inside, notably the terrazzo finishes on the stairs leading to the lower level and on the exit.

The Hilliard Clare Masonic Hall was built in 1955 at the southeast corner of Vancouver Street and Fourth Avenue.

The building's architects were among the many strong proponents of the Modern perspective, and the structure exhibits tenets straight out of the School of Architecture at University of British Columbia in the 1950s.

The Hall is noted for a "functional detailing of building parts and a sense of repose in a three-dimensional expression."

Features include a continuous window band on the main floor of the Vancouver Street and Fourth Avenue, which have also been repeated in the reception room on the second floor and provide good natural lighting.

The private area for Masonic functions on the second floor is comprised of solid exterior walls with small box windows for nominal daylight, providing subdued light in the room.

Formerly known as the Prince George Masonic Hall, it was renamed in 2018 in honour of Hilliard Clare. Along with achieving the position of Worshipful Master of the Masonic Hall, Clare has also served as a city alderman.

Built by its namesake William Howieson at the south end of Inlander in the original South Fort George settlement, the Howieson house overlooks the Fraser River. It was constructed in 1912 at a time when sternwheelers plied the Fraser and docked at the location.

Howieson was a cabinet maker and finish carpenter who worked on numerous commercial and residential projects around the city and his finishing work is identical to that seen in other buildings of heritage value in Prince George.

The home's heritage value is further advanced with adherence to the original wood detailing in later additions. That's particularly noticeable in the window millwork.

And some of the hardware of heritage value, such as door latch sets and window fastenings incorporated at the time of construction, still exist and retain their function.

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