Roedde House was built in 1893 for Gustav and Matilda Roedde. Gustav emigrated from Germany via the United States to Canada. Matilda was from Heligoland, a British protectorate located off the coast of Denmark. When he finally arrived in Vancouver, Gustav Roedde pursued his chosen profession as a bookbinder and printer. The design of Roedde House is attributed to Francis Mawson Rattenbury, who became a renowned British Columbian architect with his design for Vancouver's second Court House (now the Vancouver Art Gallery), Victoria's Legislative Buildings, the Empress Hotel and other major commissions. Roedde House is Queen Anne Revival in style, an asymmetrical plan with verandas, bay windows and a turret.
When the Roedde family sold this House in 1925, its single-family status changed to that of a "boarding house for male tenants", run by a housekeeper who supplied a daily meal. Later on, as merely a "rooming house", its exterior and interior deterioration became obvious. By the mid 1970's, this pioneer home and others within the Block were earmarked for demolition and the creation of a park. Concerned citizens stepped in and plans were developed for "Barclay Heritage Square" as it exists today, with Roedde House Museum and eight neighbouring houses in a park setting. The city gave Roedde House a Heritage Designation and undertook its exterior restoration.
A newly formed Roedde House Preservation Society started interior restoration and furnishing of the House in 1984 – a painstaking process. Local West Coast fir and cedar, plentiful and inexpensive in the 1890’s used for the paneling and mouldings, had been coated with layers of paint and varnish. Floors were ingrained with dirt and the walls were covered with layers of wallpaper. As restoration progressed, the woodwork was stripped and restored to its original mellow cedar and the turquoise surface of the walls was revealed.