Description of Historic Place
Grosvenor Lodge, located at 1017 Western Road, is situated on the southwest side of Western Road, east of Platt's Lane and northwest of Hollywood Crescent, in the City of London. The property consists of a two-and-a-half storey white-brick building, a Carriage house and a garden house. All three buildings were constructed in 1853.
The property was designated by the City of London in 1977 for its historic and architectural value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. - 2332-635).
Samuel Peters Junior designed Grosvenor Lodge, in 1853, for his uncle, Samuel Peters Senior. Samuel Peters Senior emigrated from England to Canada as a surveyor, in 1835, and soon established himself in London as an entrepreneur, running a grocery store, a distillery and an abattoir. He invested his earnings in real estate and eventually owned and developed the Village of Petersville, the area west of Blackfriars Bridge, known as London West, which was annexed to the City of London in 1897.
Both Samuel Peters Senior and Samuel Peters Junior were prominent residents of London and played important roles in the City's development. Samuel Peters Senior's importance in the community was evident by the fact that, as a representative of Masonic Lodge 209-A, he assisted Bishop John Strachan in laying the cornerstone of St. Paul's Cathedral, in 1844. Samuel Peters J. was town engineer, in 1852, and became city engineer, in 1855, when London was incorporated. He also designed the Askin Street Methodist Church and Wesley-Knox United Church.
Grosvenor Lodge is a fine example of a substantial Georgian residence, of the period, but its front façade, inspired by a manor house in the elder Peters' native Devonshire, England, is an example of the Tudor Revival style. The Lodge was built of white brick, with cut stone accents on the balanced gables, the finials and window surrounds. Other notable features, include; the dormer windows; a decorative first-storey verandah, surrounding the east; south and west elevations of the house; and a symmetrical front façade. Both Tudor and Georgian influences are retained in the interior of the house, including the ceiling paintings and stained glass, providing a rare view of the lifestyles of a prosperous mid-19th century family.
The Carriage house is a one-and-half storey white-brick building located on the southwest side of the property, featuring a gambrel roof, with unusual window and dormer treatments. The garden house, situated to the southwest of the Lodge, is a small, six-sided, board and batten structure.
Peters Junior, a surveyor, was London's first city engineer and its first resident professional architect, who was largely responsible for the layout and appearance of the early city. He designed the Covent Garden Market building and the Tecumseh House hotel. Unfortunately, very few of the buildings he designed are still standing. The Lodge remained in the family until the mid-1970s and since 1992 it has been used as the London Regional Resource Centre for Heritage and the Environment. A stone plaque on one of the gables, of Grosvenor Lodge, displays Samuel Peters' initials, “S.P.”, and the other gable features a stone on which the construction date of the Lodge, “1853”, appears.
Sources: City of London, By-law L.S.P.-2332-835; John H. Lutman, Canadian Inventory of Historic Building- Historical Building Report, 1976; Grosvenor Lodge, London Regional Centre for Heritage and the Environment.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Grosvenor Lodge include its:
- stone plaque on one gable with Samuel Peter Junior's initials, “S.P.”, and a stone plaque on the other gable displaying the lodge's date of construction, “1853”
- white brick construction
- cut stone accents on the gables, finials and around windows
- symmetrical façade
- decorative verandah surrounding the first-storey east, south and west sides
- dormer windows
- white brick Carriage house
- board and batten garden house
- outdoor enclosed privy at end of the north verandah
- Carriage house: white brick construction, gabled roof and unusual window with dormer treatments
- main hall, stairs and upper hall
- staircase and all elements including the stained glass windows and ceiling paintings
- drawing room (southeast corner): door, window and baseboard trim and marble fireplace with bi-chromatic tile work, bay window and coved ceiling
- library (southwest corner): door and base trim and black marble fireplace, bay window and original hardware, coved plasterwork and medallion
- dining room: trim, gothic fireplace, and plasterwork
- den (north of drawing room): all trim areas and plasterwork
- southeast bedroom: all trim areas, grey marble fireplace, and painted ceiling
- southwest bedroom: all door, window and baseboard trim, painted ceiling (concealed) and grey marble fireplace