Adams House

Place Description

The historic place is the 2.5-storey Georgian Revival Adams House, built in 1922, and its landscaped grounds, located at 1998 Abbott Street in Kelowna's South Central neighbourhood and included within the Abbott Street Heritage Conservation Area.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the house resides in its impressive Georgian Revival design and its reflection of the business success of its first owner, William E. Adams, in the locally-dominant and provincially-significant fruit-growing industry, as well as his long-time service to the Kelowna community.

Adams is important in the development of Kelowna for having been involved for more than half a century in businesses related first to the development of orchard properties and later in fruit-packing and supply to the fruit-growers. Originally from Ontario, he arrived in Kelowna in 1908 and worked for the Central Okanagan Land and Orchard Company and its subsidiary, the Kelowna Irrigation Company, which were developing large properties in Rutland and Glenmore. After working in the Kelowna office for some time, he spent several years on the prairies organizing excursions to the Okanagan for prospective buyers. He remained involved in real estate in the Kelowna firm of Duggan, Wade, and Adams. In the 1920s he shifted from selling land to selling fruit, and was first secretary and then manager of Okanagan Packers Ltd; and subsequently was the president of Growers Supply Co. Ltd., which supplied orchardists with fertilizers, sprayers, and the many other things needed for their operations.

Adams was active in community affairs, serving as an alderman (1922-25), a school trustee, chairman of the hospital board (1949-54), president of the Board of Trade, and president of the Rotary Club.

The house that William Adams and his wife Gertrude built in 1922 has value for its architectural quality and for reflecting their stature in the community. This was achieved not only by the size of the house and the property, but also by the adoption of the Georgian Revival style. The formality and regularity, its setting in the landscape, and the restrained classical detail all contribute to creating a grand impression. The house was constructed by M.J. Curts, an important local builder. The Adams family lived here until 1956.

Character Defining Elements

- Georgian Revival style, with formal composition and restrained classical detailing, including the pedimented entrance and shuttered windows
- Steeply gabled, cedar-shingled roof
- Brick chimney at each end of the ridge
- Horizontal wood siding
- Multi-paned (mostly six-over-six) wood-sash, double-hung windows
- Bay windows
- Curved steps lead to the front entrance
- Extensive landscaping, including many mature trees
- Continuous, substantial rock wall along the property line and at edge of driveway
- Expansive lawn in front of house