The building permit for this custom built home was taken out at the same time as the home across the street at 1307, on April 29, 1899. It was one of the first homes built in John Lewis Cochran’s Fourth Addition to Edgewater. The architect was Neils Buck, who worked for Cochran in the other parts of Edgewater. The front porch is a restoration. Some details were added to the pillars to add interest to what was a straight column in a previous rebuilding. Note also the framing of the front door using the same motif. From the porch you can see the windows which are six over one in most places in the home.
Once inside the home, the history of the home becomes somewhat mysterious. It begins with the floorboards, which seem to indicate alterations to the floor plan of the home. Just inside the front door, there may have been an air lock with a second door. What would have been a short section of wall to separate the reception area from the living room has been removed. In most homes of this time period, there would have been some way to keep the winter cold from blowing in the front door every time it was opened. These have been removed and the entrance hall flows right into the living room.
Other patches on the living room floor seem to indicate other changes. Where the front hall connects to the kitchen, there is a small arched doorway. This passageway with arched entrance has three types of flooring: pine, oak and maple. Off to the left is a new powder room, which may have been a place to store china and crystal in the original home. Some detective work leads us to believe that this change was made in the late 1930s. The walls in this bath and the kitchen are a beautiful glass tile in cream with deep blue trim. It seems that the major alteration to the first floor was done at one time with a well planned design.
The kitchen was altered twice, once recently, and care was taken to preserve the glass tile when the back wall was removed and extended to provide a cozy eating area. The back door is not at the back of the addition but on the side of it with a deck area and stairway to the yard.
The kitchen is connected to the dining room through a doorway that may not be original. In the dining room, you will find the original bay window on the east side, facing the side yard. To the back of the dining room, other alterations are still visible because of the floor boards. There is evidence that the room was smaller until the redesign added a central window and the space for corner cabinets. At the time the cabinets were added, the woodwork moldings around the doors and windows were made more elaborate. As you return to the front of the home, look carefully at the round window which provides light in the reception area. Then look at the moldings around the front door and the doorway between the dining room and living room and the cornice that creates a beautiful transition from the walls to the ceiling. This all may have been part of a remodeling and redesign in the late 1930s, but further research is needed.
The reception area is dominated by what the owners call “the Loretta Young” stairway. The railing begins with the center of a spiral that unfolds as it extends in a beautiful curve to the second floor. As the stairs make the turn to the right, there is a window to the left that is six over nine. The moldings on this window appear to be original. The complexity of the curves in this area are amazing. While the staircase is curving to the next floor, it had to be accommodated to the rectangular walls. The solution is complex with curving walls intersecting. We can just picture the original owner saying to the architect “Yes, we want the staircase to curve.”
When you reach the second floor, there are four bedrooms and a bath. The turret room is unique with high ceilings and a picture molding. To fit the high ceilings within the form of the roof-line, a curve was added along the top of the walls above the picture molding. You will see this in every room. In one bedroom there is a door to a deck area that has been enlarged with the kitchen addition. This doorway is original as are all the doors and moldings on the second floor. The doors have a cross pattern and unique small doorknobs.
The bathroom is modern and the same glass tile has been used in both the kitchen and bath. The tub is enclosed and has a drop ceiling. Like other alterations to the interior of the home, they have been made for style and comfort. These changes have made this 100 year old home livable in the 21st century. We do not have a solution to the mysterious floorboards, but it has been fun trying to figure this one out.