By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
WEST WARWICK – The William B. Spencer House in Phenix Village has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission announced.
The 15-room Italianate at 11 Fairview Ave. was added to the register for its contributions to architecture and the development of the Phenix Village community, the Commission said in a news release that described it as combining "stylish design, substantial construction, and a commanding site."
Built between 1869 and 1870, the house belonged to William Bennett Spencer, an entrepreneur and civic leader born in Cranston in 1811. Spencer opened a dry-goods store in Phenix and dealt paper stock using the waste of nearby Pawtuxet River cotton mills.
The house was sold to Robert Reoch, the president of the Clyde Print Works, in 1881.
“The Spencer House is a marvelous example of late 19th-century building, and it recalls the statewide prominence of West Warwick's business leaders," said R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission Executive Director Edward Sanderson.
The National Register nomination for the Spencer House was prepared by former property owner Pamela Kershaw with Preservation Commission staff members Pamela Kennedy, Sarah Zurier and Mack Woodward.
In addition to the distinction, being placed on the register gives the property special consideration in the planning of federal projects and makes it eligible for tax credits for rehabilitation projects.