Cecil and Sylvia Lambert Residence

4671 Arthur Drive
Delta, BC

Built: 1916
 

The Lambert Residence is a one-and-one-half storey Arts and Crafts residence located on the southern edge of Ladner village, mid-block on the west side of Arthur Drive in the context of other late nineteenth and early twentieth century houses. Notable features of the house include its front-gabled roof, gabled side-wall dormer, and open front verandah with a hipped roof.

Status: Still Standing

Lambert Residence - 2008
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The Lambert house, situated in the middle of a large lot, is probably the least changed of the heritage houses along Arthur Drive.

A few general observations about the houses on Arthur Drive would be in order here. On Arthur Drive, more than anywhere else, some house were consciously built in a particular architectural style since this was the place to live in Ladner in the decade between 1915 to 1925. During the ten-year period, the Craftsman style of house was the fashion in the Pacific Northwest. Many were built in Vancouver and of those a good number have survived to the present day. Along this stretch of Arthur Drive we have several local examples, their owners wishing to be in style.

Characteristics to look for in a Craftsman house are: two or three storeys, a full-width deep porch, broad eaves, shingle siding, exposed brackets and rafter ends, and rough bricks used in the chimney. Sometimes a builder or homeowner might add some variations from the standard.

In the Lambert house, we see that the builder has made the porch not quite the full width of the house. Otherwise it conforms to the characteristics of a Craftsman, although with perhaps less decorative embellishment than some. Typical Craftsman features that can be seen here are the brackets and exposed rafter, the wooden posts on the porch, and the wooden shingle siding. At the time it was built, this house, although somewhat modest in size, was copying the fashion set in Vancouver.

Built for Cecil Overton and Sylvia Lambert, possibly by J. B. Elliot, the house was begun in late 1915. Because the First World War was in progress at the time, and labour and materials were in short supply, construction was not completed until September 1916. It must have been a great relief for the Lamberts to finally move in.

C. O. Lambert was a native of England, had come to British Columbia in 1908, and formed a partnership in the hardware business with George Clement. In 1909 the two men purchased the firm of Latimer and Elliott on Westham Street (now 48th Avenue) and in that location, a hardware business had existed until 1993.

The following year, 1910, Lambert married Sylvia Field. From 1916 onwards the Lamberts, along with their only child Leanne, made their home in this large house. After his wife's death in 1932, Cecil continued to live here until his daughter's marriage in 1941.

Occupied for some years by tenants, beginning with the Paul Dirks family, the house was next purchased in 1947 by the Hutcherson family. Ray Hutcherson had many connections with Delta; his mother, Leila May Hutcherson was the daughter of John Kirkland.

The original hose had a kitchen, pantry, dining room, and living room on the main floor, with three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Immediately inside the front door there was, and is to this day, a small den featuring an inglenook fireplace. The house still has the original woodwork, intact and in excellent condition, including the beautiful built-in china cabinet in the dining room.

In thee full basement there was room for a coal-burning hot air furnace and the storage space required for coal bins. While the Hutchersons lived there the furnace was converted to oil-burning, not surprisingly since Mr. Hutcherson was the dealer for Home Oil Company. In those same years the pantry adjoining the kitchen was transformed into a small bathroom.

The Falcos family purchased the home in 1967.

Character-Defining Elements

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

  • location on Arthur Drive, among a grouping of historic early houses
  • residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its one-and-one-half storey plus full basement height, front-gabled roof with gabled side-wall dormer, and full-width open front verandah with hipped roof and closed balustrades
  • wood-frame construction, such as cornerboards, square verandah columns with diagonal brackets, horizontal lapped wooden siding on the first storey, and cedar shingle siding on the upper storey
  • influence of the Arts and Crafts style, as evident in details such as triangular eave brackets, notched bargeboards, and open eaves with exposed rafter tails
  • internal and external red-brick chimneys
  • original interior features such as wooden trim and floors
  • early, front-gabled, wood-frame garage with drop siding and shingled gable ends
  • associated landscape features, including a mature Black Locust tree and a hedge screen