Arthur Parmiter Residence

5331 34B Avenue
Delta, BC

Built: 1919

The Parmiter Residence is a one and one-half storey Arts and Crafts house, notable for its high roof line and large front dormer incorporating two smaller dormers with bay windows. The house is set well back on its corner lot, at 34B Avenue and Arthur Drive, in a picturesque agricultural setting surrounded by mature landscape features.

Status: Still Standing

Parmiter Residence - 2004
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Heritage Value

The Parmiter Residence is of heritage value as an example of an historic Delta farmstead, for its association with an important pioneering family and as a reminder of Delta's important agricultural past. Located on the first major cross road in the agricultural area south of Ladner village and adjacent to the early transportation corridor of Chilukthan Slough, it also represents the growth of population with concurrent improvements in access. The Parmiter Residence is significant because it possesses an early twentieth century house and barn amidst a rural, agricultural landscape, well separated from modern housing and industrial development. The original house on this site was built circa 1880 by Thomas and Mary Ann Parmiter. During and after the First World War, farming prospered, and in 1919 Arthur James Parmiter (1872-1967) decided to replace the farmhouse he inherited from his parents with a larger house, more sophisticated and fashionable in style. The design of this house is virtually identical to one on Arthur Drive that was designed and built by prominent local contractor, John B. Elliot. Although farming fortunes were in the ascendant, Parmiter exhibited the customary conservatism of farmers and did much of the construction himself. Once this new house was completed, the old farmhouse was relocated to another property further west on 34B Avenue.

This house is of architectural significance as a fine representative of the Craftsman style. Popular during the early decades of the twentieth century, the style was typified by rational space planning, the use of natural materials and a mix of traditional design elements inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement.

Character-Defining Elements

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

  • location, set well back on its lot in a picturesque agricultural setting, in an area of similar farmsteads
  • residential form, scale, and massing expressed by its one and one-half storey plus basement height, gabled roof and asymmetrical plan
  • wood-frame construction with lapped wooden siding with cornerboards on the first storey and cedar shingle cladding on the upper storey and basement
  • distinctive roofline: side-gabled roof with broken pitch at rear; full-width gabled front dormer enclosing a pair of gabled roof dormers; gabled entry portico; deep eaves and large triangular eave brackets; and cedar shingle roof cladding
  • additional exterior features such as: the inset full-width open front verandah with square columns and plain balusters; original front door with 8 lights and panelled detail, flanked by 2-over-2 side lights above opaque panels; and central interior red brick chimney
  • variety of fenestration including: 8-over-1 and 6-over-1 double-hung wooden-sash windows, with horns; and triple assembly casement window with multi-paned transom on the ground floor front facade
  • interior features that date to the original construction, including fir floors and lath and plaster walls
  • mature garden landscape adjacent to the house, with mature specimen rhododendrons, trees and shrubs