History

The History of Brock House

Brock House is an authentic Tudor replica heritage building situated on scenic waterfront property on beautiful Jericho beach.

Philip Gilman, a mining engineer from England, purchased the waterfront lots in 1906 and 1909, making his estate two and a half acres with over 300 feet of sandy beach waterfront. In 1911, he engaged the noted architect, Samuel Maclure to design the house and in March 1912 contracted construction to the firm of Coffin & McLelland. The Gilmans moved in early the following year.

In July 1922, Philip Gilman sold the property to Mildred Brock, wife of Dean Reginald Brock. The Brocks with their four sons moved in August 1922. Mrs. Brock name the house “Brockholm” – holm meaning low-lying land near water – and for the next thirteen years the Brocks made it a “hospitality house” for a wide variety of purposes enjoyed by thousands of people from the world over. In July of 1935, Dean and Mrs. Brock were killed in an airplane accident; the three sons remained in the house until it was sold in March, 1938 to David Tait.

In 1952, the Taits sold the house to the federal government and it was the RCMP, Vancouver Sub-Division Headquarters until 1971. On May 1, 1975, the property was turned over to the City of Vancouver as part of the transfer of Jericho Waterfront Lands. Since 1977, the house and grounds have been leased to Brock House Society from the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

Brock House Society, a non-profit organization registered under the BC Societies Act, was founded in 1974 to preserve, restore and administer Brock House as an activity centre for senior citizens.

One of the first tasks of the society was to raise over one-half million dollars for the renovation project. This was accomplished through the concerted action of a dedicated and energetic board of directors. Contributors for the project were the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, and the Board of Parks and Recreation, corporations, foundations, the media and private citizens – all of whose names are recorded in the Donors Book.

The second major expenditure, affectionately called the “Space Programme,” occurred in 1985. New building and renovations included the conservatory, cafeteria, activity room, a workshop, enlarged kitchen and new furnishings and equipment. The cost, over $600,000, was funded by contributions from members, charitable organizations and corporations.

Brock House, situated on two and one half acres of waterfront property, contains 20 rooms with 9 fireplaces and includes a conservatory, lounge, library, billiard, art, games, computer and activity rooms and offices.