In 1903, when this home was built, John Lewis Cochran’s Edgewater development was growing rapidly. Since the builder of this home, F.O. Johnson, also built a smaller version on the 5400 block of Lakewood a few years later, we believe that this builder had a good working relationship with Cochran. This gracious family home once stood on a block of four homes that were built shortly after it was constructed. This indicates that the home may have been built as a sample or model by Cochran. The permit records indicate that the builder worked frequently in the Edgewater area. The original owner was P.J. Maloney and the projected cost was $4000. When the home was built, the land south to the corner was vacant and owned by the Higgins family, who lived in a large home across the alley at 6124.
The home is standing today because a family bought the home in the 1960s when developers were looking for teardowns in order to build four-plus-ones. After that, it was rented out. By that time most of the other homes on the block had been torn down and replaced.
The home has a hip roof and an interesting façade with a slight step back of the section that holds the bay window. A front porch extends across the building, supported by three columns and accented with decorative brackets. The front door in glass and oak has three panels.
The entrance to the home is through a vestibule into a reception hall. The room opens out into a bay window with window bench. The room may have been used as a music room. The beautiful oak staircase with straight spindles begins in this room and a cornice above the stairs has the same spindles. The reception hall connects through a wide opening to the front parlor. The floors and woodwork throughout the first floor are oak.
The front parlor opens to a second parlor which is sometimes called the family parlor. Just behind that parlor is a small room with a gas fireplace. For some mysterious reason, the flooring in this room is quarter sawn oak in an older style than the rest of the first floor. This room is not square and seems a cozy nook compared to the large and gracious parlors.
Between the family parlor and the dining room is a pocket door. The dining room is a masterpiece of craftsmanship. Because of the name of the builder we can imagine that many Swedish carpenters worked on this house. There is both a plate rail and a chair rail. The ceiling beam pattern is a unique rectangle within a rectangle. The focal point of the room is the china hutch in quarter sawn oak with curved glass.
A back hallway contains a butler’s pantry and some interesting World’s Fair and World’s Columbian Exhibition memorabilia. The kitchen has been modernized. From the hallway there’s a back stairs to the second floor.
On the second floor, the back room was the maid’s room. It has been converted to a bathroom next to the original bathroom, with its tiled floor in a unique carpet design. Across the hall is the bedroom, which is being improved as a master bedroom. There were five bedrooms in the house, which once served as a Home for Girls. The floors on the second floor are pine. The doors have five panels with two of them vertical. This is one of the homes that was used and abused as a group home, thus requiring extensive work to restore its beauty.
The large third floor has been turned into an office and will not be open. You will return to the front down the main staircase passing by a wonderful collection of family photographs and a window that once held a stained glass. As you descend the staircase into the reception hall, you will have another view of the beautiful spindle work.