David and Dora Black Residence

3395 41B Street
Delta, BC

Built: 1911
 

The Black Residence is a two-storey plus basement wood-frame Edwardian era Foursquare farmhouse, located on the Roberts Bank Back-Up Lands. The house is recognizable for its wraparound verandah and hipped roof with bellcast eaves. The Black Residence is surrounded by mature deciduous trees, including Basswoods.

Status: Still Standing

The Black Residence - 2004
click photo to enlarge

Heritage Value

The Black Residence is of heritage value as a testament to the importance of Delta's agricultural economy and as a demonstration of the flood-prone nature of the municipality's lower-lying land. Once part of a farmstead that included a barn and other outbuildings, the Black Residence remains on productive agricultural land. The high, ground level basement is an indication of the height of the water table in this area.

Built in 1911, the Black Residence is additionally of heritage value as a fine example of the Foursquare style, exhibiting characteristic elements such as simple cubic massing, a broad, low-pitched hipped roof and a wraparound verandah. The Foursquare style provided a rational way to build that suited the needs of farmers, especially those with large families. It maximized the volume achieved within the building envelope through a logical floor plan with central access to all rooms. The broad hipped roof covered the rectangular plan with a minimum of framing. Although utilitarian, this basic form could then be decorated with stylistic elements that gave the building more architectural pretension, in this case a wraparound verandah with carpenter ornamentation that recalls the earlier Queen Anne Revival style. Despite its conservative detailing, the house was considered up-to-date with modern conveniences, including a wood burning, central heating system - an uncommon convenience for the time and place. The house was built for David and Dora Black by prominent local contractor James Leonard (1878-1951), who lived in Ladner for almost fifty years.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Black Residence include its:

  • east facing location in an rural, agricultural context, standing in isolation from other nearby farmsteads
  • residential form, scale and massing as expressed by its two-storey (plus above ground basement) height, vertical, boxy, L-shaped plan and generally symmetrical proportions
  • bell-cast hipped roof of varied heights with closed eaves
  • wood-frame construction with horizontal wooden drop siding and cornerboards
  • exterior elements such as: the wraparound verandah with chamfered square columns with scroll cut brackets, plain balusters and hipped roof; glazed, panelled front door; one exterior brick chimney; rear verandah; two-storey bay window on the south elevation; and bay window on the main floor front facade
  • fenestration: single and double assembly, double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows; and small rectangular window beside front entry door