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David James Whitney House


Other Names:
Ideal Farm

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The David James Whitney House is a two-storey, brick residence with high gable roofs and a second storey balcony overhanging an open front veranda. The house is located in a suburb of South Lethbridge

Heritage Value
The D.J. Whitney House, or Ideal Farm as it is also known, is significant for is association with the agricultural history of Lethbridge. The D.J. Whitney House is also significant for its distinct Gothic Revival cottage design influences.

The D.J. Whitney House is significant for its association with both the advent of irrigated farming and agricultural innovation in the Lethbridge area. The farmhouse was built in 1903 for the residence of Mr. D.J. Whitney and it was surrounded by a 470 acre tract of farm land, known as the Ideal Farm. In conjunction with Dr. William Harmon Fairfield, Whitney successfully experimented with growing techniques and crop varieties and was recognized for his pioneering work in irrigated agriculture. The farmhouse and the surrounding fields were featured in a variety of promotional material, and they became a symbol of the area’s agricultural wealth. Much of the surrounding farmland was acquired by the Lethbridge Junior College (now called Lethbridge College), and now forms part of the college campus.

The D.J. Whitney House is significant for its distinct Gothic Revival cottage design influences and as an example of the type of farmhouse common in the owner’s native Ontario at the time, but which was relatively rare in the region. The end gables and peaked roof over the doorway to the balcony have decorative vergeboards and are topped with finials. These elements, combined with the brick structure’s segmented window arches show the influence of the Gothic Revival cottage style.

Character-Defining Elements
Character Defining Elements

The character defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of the 1903 two-storey house such as;

• The cross gable roof, and the gables above the windows and balcony doorway, which are adorned with vergeboards and finials

• The brick exterior

• The pattern, style, and construction of all wooden windows and brick design around all windows, including the segmented aches

• The second storey balcony with gabled doorway and the full veranda underneath the balcony, and the wooden support posts and beams

• Balustrade typical of that period


Street Address: 3202 - 28 Street South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Lot 9, Plan 9111085
Contributing Resources: Building

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel


Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.6624317888094 -112.801888796793 Digital Maps NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/08/24

Historical Information

Built: 1903_1903
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Food Supply : Farm or Ranch
Current Function(s):

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0261
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 51066
Website Link:
Data Source: Lethbridge 910 - 4th Avenue South Lethbridge, AB T1J 0P6
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