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Tuesday 27 February 2024

Farewell to 149 Spence Street

149 Spence in 2015 (Google Street View)

It is sad to see that 149 Spence Street burned down, even though it was vacant and set for demolition to make way for an apartment block.

It must have been quite the house in its day as it was advertised for sale at $8,000 soon after its construction in 1906. That's more than three times what a decent-sized West End house would have sold for at the time. This ad from October 1906 notes "suitable for doctor".

A "restricted zone" means "residential zone".

Back then, it was not uncommon to have a residential street with a factory or warehouse plonked in the middle of the block belching coal smoke and with smelly stables for its horses. Residential-only streets and districts were often advertised as "restricted".

The house spent many decades as a boarding house with a family on the main floor, (the Forbes' from the late 1930s to 1960s), and rooms for rent with optional light housekeeping and a meal included with rent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you know anythign about the building next door at 147 Spence, which is also supposed to be demolished? I lived there for a while in the 1990s, interesting little building -- not quite a rooming house, but not quite an apartment. At that time each suite had a tiny kitchenette and a toilet, while the bathtub/shower was shared on each floor (so, shared among 4 people). When I lived there the building had only women as tenants.