Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Armitage House is a two-storey house built in the English Cottage style, situated on a corner residential lot in the historic Queen’s Park neighbourhood of New Westminster. It has a cross-gabled roof and wide, horizontal beveled wood siding. The modest front porch has a distinctive curved roof supported on paired decorative wood brackets. The front façade is completed by an asymmetrical extension of the main street-facing gable down to ground level, to create an arched gateway to the back yard.
The Armitage House is important for its historic and aesthetic significance, in particular for its representation of 1930’s New Westminster and for its architectural style.
Built circa 1938, the Armitage House is an excellent example of an English Cottage-style home common to the region and to the country in the 1920s and 30s, but now much less familiar. It is strongly reminiscent of the catalogue houses that were offered in North America by the Sears Modern Homes Program (1908-1940). The design of this house is interesting for being remarkably similar to the 'Yates Model 3711', which the Sears catalogue described as 'a mellow house, pleasantly flavored with English-cottage characteristics.'
The English Cottage design was popular with the emerging middle class (to which the Armitages belonged) as it was both attractive and affordable. It espoused the Arts and Crafts movement through its design elements, such as an asymmetrical façade, a window pattern that reflects the interior room functions, orientation of the house to take advantage of natural lighting, minimal use of picturesque detail, and the overall design emphasis of function showing through design. This house is significant for having very few changes in the original exterior design elements, making it easily readable as a 1930’s catalogue English Cottage home.
The location of the house on the edge of comfortable Queen’s Park speaks to an upwardly-mobile family, and the house itself is a physical connection to the George Armitage family. George was important to New Westminster as the long-time manager of the Valley Lumber Company, and as an active community resident (Queen’s Avenue United Church, Vancouver Golf Club, Gyro Club, Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, Westminster Club and Terminal City Club).
The house is also a reference to the positive impact of the BC Electric Railway on the development of neighbourhoods, which tended to grow around the route. This house is directly on the early route, which would have made it very convenient for the residents to reach both downtown New Westminster and downtown Vancouver.
Source: City of New Westminster Planning Department
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Armitage House include its:
Siting and Context:
- location on its original corner lot in the Queens Park neighbourhood
- orientation to the street
- eclectic form, scale and character
- general asymmetry, free of contemporary additions visible from the fronting streets
- secondary massing elements, including cantilevered kitchen bay window, curved front porch roof and gable roof extension forming a side gateway
- two-storey height
- sloping asymmetrical roof
- steep truncated cross gables
- exterior design elements common to the English Cottage style, including beveled wood siding, trims, and wood-sash windows with leaded upper lights
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.966
Heritage Revitalization Agreement
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of New Westminster Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection