This what the notification from the City said (address redacted):
“Last Date for Objection: January 6, 2020
“The house was constructed in 1897 and was first occupied by the Warren family.
” The property…is of significant cultural heritage value or interest because of its physical/design values, its historical/associative values. and its contextual values.
“The property …is a representative example of the Queen Anne Revival architectural style, with expression of influences of the East Lake School, in East London. The Queen Anne Revival is demonstrated in the form, massing and detailing of the home. While the Queen Anne Revival architectural style is common in Lindon, the execution of the detailing of the building, particularly its demonstrated expression of influence from the East Lake School, distinguishes the property…from other examples of the Queen Anne Revival architectural style. The property…demonstrates a high degree of authenticity as a representative example of a Queen Anne home in London as its heritage attributes areaccurately displayed. The property…has a high degree of integrity, as the property’s heritage attributes have been preserved and continue to support the cultural heritage value of the property.
“A concentration of decorative elements applied to the home…demonstrates the high degree of craftsmanship and artistic merit, particularly as it executes the Queen Anne Revival architectural style. In particular, the applied wooden details of the gable, the fretwork of the porch and the stained glass windows(particularly the front window) demonstrate a high degree of craftmanship and artistic merits with excellent integrity. The property…also demonstrates a higher degree of applied detail than found on other nearby properties of the same vintage.
” The property has the potential to yield information related to an understanding of the history and evolution of East London and the Hamiton Road area as it relates to Victorian period development that characterizes the area’s development.
“The property is historically linked to the nearby properties at 23 and 35 …Street, as the buildings located on these properties were constructed for children of Charles Warren who lived at .. ……. Street prior to their construction.”
Heritage attributes which support and contribute to the cultural heritage value or interest of this property include:
– Form, scale and massing of the one and half story L-plan residential building
– The setback of this building from……..Street
– Steeply pitched cross-gable roof
– Buff brick veneer exterior cladding, with voussoirs above the window and door openings in the facades
– Entry doorway set in an umbrage with the gable roof projecting above, supported by a decorated fluted wood post set on a base of buff brick masonry with brackets and fretwork in an off-set rectangular pattern
– East Lake Style painted wood entrance door with glass lights framed in scroll with trim and dentil below, a brass ringer/door bell and mail slot, and nine recessed panels below with nail head detail, and transom with water glass texture
– Wood windows and storm windows, including:
– Large plate glass window on the front of the building, set in segmental arched opening with pierced line and dot detail, with a curved, oblong transom, carved floral motif in the spandrel of the transom, and stained glass with colored and textured glasses in a scroll motif with floral accents, a painted stone sill
– Queen Anne style windows in the front gable, with plain lower sashes and colored glass in small squares surrounding plain centre lights in the upper sash
– Wood sash windows and storm windows
– Decorated front (west) and (north) side gables including wood details:
– Bargeboard with naturalistic foliated scroll motif at terminal points
– Raised panels with accented squares with daisy/floral or sunburst patera
– Pierced or perforated details in the corbels/consoles
– Bracket course below the window openings with East Lake style brackets below the two windows, as well as above and between the windows to flank the window frame or stile
– An enlarged or exaggerated bracket course above the window openings
– Alternating courses of square or scalloped wood shingle imbrication
– Ribbed or reeded parallel convex projected mouldings (with the appearance of timber) in the apex of the gable
- Wood tongue and groove soffits
- Buff brick chimney in the rear
- The following interior heritage attributes: The glass vestibule door with Queen Anne style stained glass with textured glass centre panel
The first occupant of the house (1898) was Charles Frederick Warren (b 1832, Devon, England, died 1920, London, ON). The house was owned by his son, Charles F. Warren ( b.1865 – died 1953, also identified as Charles S. Warren), who seems to have been a builder with a business on Talbot St. in London. His father first occupied the house with several adult siblings – Edward, Ethel, Melville and Phillip. By 1900 another sibling – Florence – had moved in. The children ranged in age from 17 – 27. The adult siblings had jobs like boilermaker, car builder, brass finisher, and sewing machine operator. The youngest – Florence – is identified as a dressmaker, but there is no information whether she worked from this address or was employed by a factory or local business.
IF the house always had a full bathroom with running water, in the present location on the 2nd floor, this left two modest bedrooms on the second floor. There is a small room on the first floor, off the dining room. Where did everyone else sleep ? Only one bedroom – the bedroom that faces west, is big enough to permit two single or antique 3/4 sized beds in the room. By 1909 the household had thinned out to father Charles, with sons Edward and Melville still living at this address.
The Warren family owned several houses on this street that were built in the early 20th century. They lived right next door – at a residential address that is long gone, absorbed by the commercial bakery, across the street, and down the street. They also owned a very nice house on Anderson Street, one street over, and one or two very close by on Hamilton Road.
Records show that Charles Sr. had lived in several houses nearby – two on Rectory Street – before moving to this house to be the first occupant. It is unclear whether he owned those houses, or if they belonged to his son or another family member.
The last of the Warrens lived at this address in 1923. After this came a rotating door of rental occupants – grocers, bakers, carpenters, porters, CNR workers, and even a musician. In 1963 Kenneth Kelly, a jeweller, moved in with his family. They later bought the house and lived here until 2005. By all local accounts, the previous owner to me never lived at this address. It was said that he intended to flip the house – but probably discovered that this was not like on t.v.. – with a seemingly insurmountable number of repairs and improvements needed. It is said the house had been rented to a family for a little while, with some disturbing goings on with the police being called numerous times. The garden was full of strange buried things – many plastic toys from the early 2000’s, more than an average amount of cutlery, and very large shards of broken window glass. The window glass was in several spots in the back yard – each discovery was by accident and utterly terrifying.
After this the house was vacant, though the owner’s adult son may have lived here for a little while in the year before it was sold. It seems miraculous that during the years it was obviously vacant, that it had never been squatted or seriously vandalized.
This a video about the history of the Hamilton Road area that offers some insight about the development and industry of this area. My house isn’t in it – but there’s lots of historical photos of nearby locations:
I remember when I first learned we had a Historical Commission in town–I was thrilled. According to our city’s website, this is what they’re supposed to do: “The Historical Commission was established for the preservation, protection and development of the historical or archaeological assets of the City of Gardner.
The Historical Commission shall conduct researches for places of historic or archaeological value, shall cooperate with the state archaeologist in conducting such researches or other surveys, and shall seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which it deems necessary for its work.
For the purpose of protecting and preserving such places, it may take such recommendations as it deems necessary to the city council and, subject to the approval of the city council, to the Massachusetts historical commission, that any such place be certified as an historical or archaeological landmark.”
Turns out, it does nothing of value–I learned this when I met someone that was supposed to be part of it. When the city revamped the website, they even buried the information about it. There’s a chance it doesn’t even exist anymore. Since our local museum which is supposed to be attached to the HC shuts down every winter save for one fundraiser at Yule, I’m now waiting for them reopen to find out whether it still exists or not.