c. 1870 Italianate – West Warwick, RI

SOLD / Archived From 2013
National Register Property
Added to OHD on 10/3/13 - Last OHD Update: 2/14/18 - 18 Comments
Address Withheld

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Debut! William Spencer House Italianate Victorian c 1870! Most original details intact!Custom balustrades, cornices, & wood detail, as well as marble fireplaces, plaster molding & ceiling medallions.Click Listing Web Address for historical narrative!
Sold By
Dean deTonnancourt, Keller Williams Realty      401-785-1700
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18 Comments on c. 1870 Italianate – West Warwick, RI

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  1. Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 451 comments

    Terrific house outside and inside.

    It’s a bit of an odd plan on the first floor, with little real circulation space, something I don’t like on paper though the house is large and complex enough that it’s not immediately evident looking at the rooms.

    Great that it’s so unspoiled, though there is no shortage of things I’d want to do: the roofing, starting anew with the kitchen and bathrooms, lots of plaster repairs and painted finishes, some of the floors — the size of the place makes them add up.

    Those odd hooded dormers on the rear ell are unbecoming but easily ignored. It’s odd, too, that so many rooms have windows shoved over into odd corners — the exterior fenestration and the interior arrangement of elements within the rooms are frequently at odds. The most rewarding project would be recreating the missing conservatory.

  2. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4317 comments

    Time capsule essentially…almost an acre of land, some great house Family history, lots of nice period details. Taxes are in line with the home value. The kitchen is dated (1950’s) and probably needs some upgrades and other items but seems reasonably priced. History seems to have been kept alive in this one making it a pretty rare gem.

  3. Sharon says: 53 comments

    Love the beautiful arched windows and so many of them! I thought it was nice that they included the view from a few of the windows. and I always like when the original floor plan is included. Needs a lot of work, but what a fantastic house if you have the vision for this one.

  4. JimJim says: 3661 comments

    A Cupola does not a Villa make. The comparison in the NRHP app. of this 1870 house with villa designs from the 1840’s seems way off to me. Same genus but much evolved.
    Lots of work to be done and maybe you could live here while going down the list. Will the next owner decide that having a vanity in the bedroom really isn’t the same as a master bath? Also not ideal to have to share a driveway with the house in back. More than quibbles but worth it to fix up this gem.

  5. RosewaterRosewater says: 3932 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    WOW – What a find Kelly! Just spectacular.. The woodwork and fire surrounds in this house are rich and absolutely beautiful. Another example where the woods were faithfully cared for. Looks like some busy servant just finished going through the entire place dutifully rubbing every inch of the lot of it with linseed oil and polishing to a warm luster. Such beautiful and interesting marbles for the mantles. Those floor to ceiling windows, plaster medallions, and elaborate moldings are so dramatic and fabulous.. The pier mirror in the drawing room is just friggin stunning! In fact, that room is the most beautiful and period appropriate I’ve seen outside of a museum; from the luscious rich paper which makes the very walls look gilded; to the stylistically matching aesthetic furniture pieces, (especially the divine yellow damask covered settee), together with all the fixtures, make a room luxe and preciously rare. If there is a heaven when I die I want it to look like this room, (sans carpeting).. Also LOVE the 50’s kitchen. Just fabulous. The bathrooms would be better suited in the turn of the century style; but CURSES on anyone who touches that gorgeous kitchen! May I also say BRAVO to the agent who climbed up the stairs to get the shots inside the cupola and beyond of the roofline. Nicely done. This house is a radiant gem!

    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 9209 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thank you, love and agree with everything you said!

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 3932 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      I’ll clarify.. Yes the kitchen needs a re-do to bring back the period appropriate, (and gorgeous), green Formica countertops; a bit of re-enameling on the top of the line enameled steel cabinetry; and an O’Keeffe and Merritt stove, http://www.savonappliance.com/2006white.html , to make it technically “gorgeous”. The fact that it exists in the shape it is in now is VERY fortunate for the buyer should they be sophisticated enough to appreciate Mid-Century design as being as important, interesting, solidly constructed,and beautiful as any other era worth preserving. The fact that it exists in this fine home is remarkable and decidedly worth keeping. The flawless Vitrolite tile and stunningly un-blemished breakfast banquette are real treasures; and should the new owners wish to gut the room in favor of yet another lame, predictable, inappropriate faux Tuscan monstrosity, please leave a note here and I will be thrilled to come and remove the lot of it for you ABSOLUTELY FREE! 🙂

  6. JimJim says: 3661 comments

    I can almost see how someone might like the 50’s kitchen in a Victorian house, but one with mismatched appliances and 80’s era counters and fixtures? Gorgeous?

  7. JimJim says: 3661 comments

    OK, you’ve gone from “CURSES to anyone who touches” to “needs a re-do” – no problem, I get it. I’ll agree with you that the restored 50’s model – keeping the cabs, tile and reupholstered booth – is better than most contemporary crap, but there are other reasonable design options for the kitchen, and the baths. It’s always an issue with the restoration of structures (or neighborhoods) that have a long history when is the appropriate time to “stop the clock”; maybe 1960 is the right time for this place. Hopefully long before the wallpaper.

  8. lara jane says: 572 comments

    I stared at these photos so long the other day that I forgot to comment. Suffice it to say, I am completely enamoured of this one.

    No, the kitchen (“restored” with the appropriate fixtures and appliances, of course) and bathrooms wouldn’t be my ideal, but they are time capsules in themselves. I actually would’ve guessed late-30s/early-40s since that was the heyday of Vitrolite which appears to be used in both the kitchen and lavender bathroom. No matter. They’re rad and I’d keep them. And I would definitely leave the en suite vanities alone!

    It does need a lot of work, but there is so much of the original fabric of the home intact and restoration would be a worthy challenge. One of the first things on my list would be to restore the conservatory. What a blessing to have old photos and know what once was!

  9. Phillip R. says: 1 comments

    This house is truly a cool house and a bit on the creepy side, in which I love. I go past this house on the hill just about every day and it is right out of a horror film, again which I love. There are some very charming qualities about the place. However, the buyer will defiantly need to do some major renovations. The kitchen is just plain awful and mismatched. Both bathroom would be a gut job and personally myself I would sacrifice the bedroom next to the Master Bedroom and make that some sort of Master Bathroom. The exterior is in need of repair also. I know that I’ll be touring this house if and when they have an open house since I’m about a mile and a half up the road.

  10. RossRoss says: 2278 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    There are two things I love love love about this house.

    I love everything which is original to the house. Gorgeous. Stunning.

    I love everything about the circa-1950 update involving the kitchen and bathrooms. I agree, these are period time-capsules and should be restored.

    Sadly, very few people would buy this house and restore the circa-1950s updates. They would instead tear out the updates and replace them with “period” bathrooms and a “period” kitchen. However NO ONE would install an authentic-styled 1870s kitchen and 1870s bathrooms. NO ONE. So, truly authentic (and really cool) period rooms (the kitchen and bathrooms) would be replaced with INauthentic designs reflecting, I have no doubt, currently popular “period” trends.


  11. Joan Kershaw Swann says: 1 comments

    To Jim up above in the comments. Growing up in this home was the best time in my life.. There were 7 of us. We had no idea what all the fuss was about when people came over..no idea what all the woodwork was inside and out. A lot of the doors had beautiful glass inserts and not one of us broke any..Ever. The cupola was my favorite place. Usually did my homework there then we would sneak up during a hurricane or blizzard . Sleepovers secret tunnels..it was great. Never cared if the cupola was suppose to be there or not. The “St.Charles Kitchen” as people called it,probably needs some work,and now that I’m an adult,I now realize what a gem it was. We all sat around that booth for every meal for almost 60 years. It had one section that was just a butcher block counter. Below was a cupboard that had a shelf that pulled out with a kitchen aid mixer even back then.under that was a drawer filled with spices and things. To the right was a drawer separated with two metal bins. One for sugar one for flour. I could go on and on and on…..then after I got married,my Dad offered me a piece of land just up the shared driveway which I put in. Used to be an entrance for the horse and carriages..I lived there for 30 years before I moved in to my same family home to care for my Dad until he passed 3 years later.. By the way. It’s not a shared driveway It cuts off at the top.
    At any rate. The house is awesome. I miss it a lot. I miss everything that happen and thank god for memories …

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 3932 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      How lucky you were to live in this VERY FINE house Joan. Thank you for posting a comment. This house ranks in the VERY best ever featured on this site, and it is certainly amongst my own VERY favorites. If you wish to hear back from Jim, it is best to click “Reply” in the top right of his comment. Cheers! JH

  12. Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 9209 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    2017 street view, LOVE the new exterior paint color (via Google https://goo.gl/maps/SQZwD6dyVYz):

    • RossRoss says: 2278 comments

      Thanks, Kelly! Now let’s hope they recreate the lost greenhouse! STAT!

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 3932 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Sweet!! Thanks’ Kelly! Hope they left that divine front parlor alone. Ross is right about the conservatory: it would be phenomenal to see it again.
      This is one of my VERY VERY favorite old houses EVER.


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