The buyer of a home known as the Spencer House in West Vancouver acquired not only a beautiful property.
The purchaser also obtained a piece of history.
The Spencer House is one of the oldest remaining homes in West Vancouver.
It’s about as old as the North Shore city, which was incorporated as a municipality in 1912.
On December 3 this year, the Spencer House sold for $6,025,000.
The residence is included in the community heritage register prepared for West Vancouver by the Commonwealth Historic Resource Management in 2008.
Here’s register’s statement of significance for the 2089 Westdean Crescent property:
“The Spencer House is an early Craftsman-style bungalow, originally built in 1913, and re-built and enlarged in recent years. It sits on a double lot of approximately 0.82 acre, which comprises the historic place. This is a remnant parcel of the original estate property, which extended from Mathers Avenue to Queens Avenue, and was subdivided into 33 lots in 1955.
The historic value of the Spencer House lies in its origins as an early estate property and its association with the Spencer family. It is considered to be one of the oldest remaining houses in West Vancouver, having been built in 1913. It provides a direct link to early settlement in the recently incorporated community (1912) and the creation of West Vancouver neighbourhoods.
The Spencers were pioneer retailers and department store owners in British Columbia. Westdean Crescent was named in honour of the original owner, Thomas Arthur Spencer, commonly known as “Dean” Spencer. His wife, Catherine Spencer, was the sister of Gerry McGeer, who served as mayor of Vancouver from 1935 to 1936, and again in 1947.
The Spencer House has architectural value as an early example of the Craftsman style, expressed here as a modest bungalow in a rural garden landscape. While subsequent West Vancouver neighbourhoods developed in a typically ‘suburban’ fashion, the notion of a modest house on a spacious lot…became a defining characteristic of West Vancouver through the 1970s.
The Spencer House was featured in a 1918 promotional brochure for West Vancouver, which illustrated an idyllic lifestyle in a natural setting, and was used to encourage settlement in the new community. The former estate was also a highlight of the 1939 Gardens Beautiful Tour, and was recognized for its rolling spacious lawns, beautiful flowers, rare shrubs and trees. Although the original landscaping, greenhouses and other outbuildings have not survived, the house still retains much of its original character.
The architectural value of the house has been compromised by extensive renovations, which include additions and alterations to its original form and scale.
Overall, however, the renovations have been sympathetic to the original structure, and a number of original elements remain.
The Spencer House is also important as a neighbourhood landmark.
Angell, Hasman & Associates (Malcolm Hasman) Realty listed the Spencer House on November 4, 2020 for $6,680,000.
The property sold 29 days later on December 3 for $6,025,000.
Real-estate site fisherly.com tracked the details of the transaction.
According to B.C. Assessment, the 2020 value of the property as of July 1, 2019 is $5,223,000.
The home measures 7,746 square feet. It has five bedrooms and six baths.
The property includes a swimming pool. The home sits on a 0.33-hectare lot.