The Smith House was designated for its historical and architectural values.
This small, unpretentious house was built with a simple rectangular plan that, combined with an economic use of materials, presented a modest but elegant appearance to the street. The symmetry of the primary façade on Third Avenue is conveyed by tall wood frame windows on each side of the central doorway. Painted wood siding and contrasting corner-boards, fascia, casings and sashes along with the metal clad gable roof contribute to the finished exterior. Two additions constructed by 1914 created a rambling appearance typical of smaller vernacular homes from this time period and changed the floor plan to a T-shape. These additions, with mixed types and sizes of wood siding, reflect an approach typical of the time and place.
Interior elements illustrate the building's earlier charm with an ornate wooden sun-ray design ceiling in the historic parlour area and fir strip flooring throughout the house.
The Smith House has been on this site since early 1905 and was one of the first houses located on the edge of the downtown commercial core. The house is named after John (Jack) Smith, who purchased the property in 1904 from the British Yukon Land Company. This subsidiary of White Pass & Yukon Route surveyed the original street grid and managed the land in the city until after World War II. Smith lived here for only a short time as did many of the subsequent owners, most staying less than two years. From 1941 to 1964, the building was a rental property. The Smith House was last used as a residence in 1970 and then became a store and a warehouse. The Smith House typifies the neighbourhood's evolution from residential to commercial use.
The Smith House is now part of LePage Park, a landscaped public area containing three rehabilitated, municipally designated heritage buildings owned by the City of Whitehorse and administered by a local heritage organization, the Yukon Museums and Historical Association. In 1984 the roof, basement, and windows of the Smith House were upgraded and washroom facilities installed in a rehabilitation project undertaken by the Yukon Historical and Museums Association, with support from Heritage Canada Foundation's Main Street program. The property provides an excellent example of the successful partnership of local government and a non-profit society preserving the city's heritage.
Source: City of Whitehorse Heritage Advisory Committee minutes May 6, 1999. Historic Sites Unit, Cultural Services Branch, Yukon Government file 3450 52 01 01.