Wisteria Court is a high-integrity representative of the late 1920s apartment building boom in Vancouver, and an excellent interpretation of the Mediterranean Revival style. Wisteria Court is a one-story, U-shaped Flemish bond brick building composed of nine apartments set around a small, landscaped cement courtyard.
Eight of the nine apartments are one-bedroom units which are roughly the same size. The ninth, located in the center rear, is a smaller studio apartment. A large basement, which is accessed by a set of a stairs at the northwest corner of the interior courtyard, accommodates storage places for each apartment, and originally also accommodated shared laundry facilities.
Wisteria Court was planned and constructed in 1928 and 1929, at the end of a period of building prosperity and growth in Vancouver and the nation. People of means from a variety of professional backgrounds were investing in real estate to increase their wealth as national and local growth seemed steady.
When completed and available for rental in July, 1929, the newspaper reported that hundreds of people visited the building. The landscaped courtyard received praise, and the wisteria vines covering each entrance received notice, as did the different colors of stucco on the interiors.
John Holmason, builder
Wisteria Court builder John Holmason was one of many local businesspeople who invested in real estate as an adjunct to their primary business in the mid-to-late 1920s. A native of Hungary, he immigrated to the United States in 1906 along with his first wife Rosa, and two of the eight children they would have. After living in Washington County, Oregon for several years, the Holmason’s moved to Clark County where John ran the Clark County Nursery.
Holmason commissioned Blaine Ackley and Charles Clifford Simonton, who had an architectural practice together at the time with an office in downtown Vancouver, to design Wisteria Court. The name of this complex likely reflects Holmason’s ties to the nursery business.
- Listed on the Clark County Heritage Register in 2005.