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New uses planned for historic Ladner house

The planning department says the proposal includes residential use of up to four units as part of a longer-term plan for the property intended to allow future flexibility in uses
Baker House Ladner
The house is valued for its representation of the inter-war period of development and for its association with George Baker, a prominent and active citizen in Delta.

Delta council on Monday (Aug. 8) gave preliminary approval for a heritage alteration permit for an historic Ladner house.

The proposed revitalization agreement for the Baker Residence in the 4900-block of 48 Avenue would see the house converted from a bed and breakfast to office and residential uses.

The existing residential suite located on the ground floor would remain and the upper two floors would be used as an office for a local design firm.

The proposal also includes provisions for the building to be later converted to a maximum of four residential units, should the building no longer be required for office purposes, a planning department report notes.

The proposed rehabilitation includes a 999-square-foot addition at the side of the building.

That addition would remove a portion of the original side porch and alter the existing stairs to provide additional floor area in the office and residential unit, as well as allow for the installation of an elevator.

The owner must satisfy several requirements as a condition of final consideration and adoption and issuance of the permit.

The application will be discussed at a public hearing on Aug. 22.

Listed on the Delta Urban Heritage Inventory, the property is to be added to the Delta Urban Heritage Register.

The Baker Residence was constructed in 1922 at 4883 48 Ave. as a one-and-a-half storey craftsman house, typical of construction in Ladner at that time.

In 1985, it was moved one block east to its current location.

As part of the move, a new lower level was added, part of the side porch was truncated and a new rear balcony was added.

The building was then used as a group home and, most recently, a bed a breakfast.

George Thomas Baker (1874-1928) was a prominent businessman in Ladner, opening a wheelwright and blacksmith business on Elliott Street in 1897 called Ladner Carriage Works.

He expanded his business into hardware and farm machinery repair and sales, acting as an agent for T.J. Trapp & Co. which sold potato farming equipment.

Baker began to cater to the new automobile business around 1912, renaming his business Ladner Carriage and Automobile Works.

Baker also served the community as police commissioner and as a member of the volunteer fire brigade.

He married Ursula Ott in 1903 and they had three sons and three daughters.

The Baker family would go on to build the home that was originally located on 48th Avenue, formerly Westham Street.

When Baker died in 1928, Ursula and her children moved to Vancouver and the house was sold in 1944.