House of Providence Academy

Location: 400 East Evergreen Blvd.
Use: Office / Events
Year: 1873
Type: Masonry
NRHP: 1979

September, 9, 2022

There are very few structures on this earth that carry the dignity and significance of a place like House of Providence. With Vancouver’s ugly past wiping out gorgeous buildings in the name of progress I shudder to think that this amazing building could have easily not survived the 1950s and 60s. After all it is perilously close to Interstate 5.

This building was erected in 1873 and was designed by Sister Mary Joseph herself. It is one of only three surviving buildings that bear her design influence. I can’t go into a lot of detail about her in this space, but do yourself a big favor and read about this truly remarkable Canadian-American. Start with her Wikipedia page and don’t stop there. There was little Mother Joseph couldn’t do. Designing and building a large masonry building to house orphans and educate kids was just another day at the office it seems.

This building served as a school and orphanage. The last graduating class was in 1966. Now it is offices and event space today. This was the epicenter for the religious, education, and healthcare works of the Sisters of Providence in the Pacific Northwest. Providence Health Care systems continues to this day with a large network of hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest region employing some 120,000 people.

Chapel, From Academy website

The Neo-Georgian design is elegant and the structure was built using local Hidden bricks from the Hidden Brickworks. The building features a chapel that is used for weddings and other ceremonies as well as Class B or C office space.

Tours are available and you can check the Historic Trust website for information.