This is one of the earliest homes built on the street. It was constructed in 1899 by the architectural firm of Murphy and Camp, who had worked with Cochran in other parts of Edgewater. It is a remarkable home for many reasons. The first reason is not very visible from the front of the house. The foundation is build of pink granite. It is interesting to speculate on how this came about. Also unique to this house is the front third story dormer, which is designed like a barrel vault, which has reference to the Georgian style of architecture. It does not make the home Georgian style, but adds a unique detail that points to the eclectic interests of the person who designed the home.
From the street, this is an elegant building which has received some loving care. The family of the current owners bought the house in 1943 and it has been occupied by the family since then. It was “modernized” in the 1960s by covering the oak floors with tile, painting the oak woodwork and staircase white, and adding acoustical tile to the first floor ceilings. The current owner purchased the home from her mother in 1980. She married in 1982 and restoration began. They stripped the main staircase and most of the first floor woodwork. Where old woodwork couldn’t be salvaged, new oak woodwork was milled.
While restoring the front porch, they found that it had an open railing. The porch ceiling was covered in crackled varnish, which they stripped and refinished. An old picture showed four porch columns instead of five. They discovered that the fifth column had been added because of the sagging porch roof, so they kept it. The fascia board of the front façade has dentils which are original. The decayed porch floor was replaced with a new product called Tendura, which is a tongue and groove plastic and wood composite. They removed a second layer of siding, restored the original siding and replaced the details that were removed when the second siding had been installed. They knew that the home had been abandoned for seven years during the depression. At that time, the porch had collapsed and windows had been broken.
The interior of the home is spacious, with a vestibule and then a reception hall. There was a raised platform for the staircase in the reception hall. This was adapted into a small powder room, complete with a matching door that the owner found in her research. The stained glass is new. The newel post is a replacement for what had been missing for years. The spindles indicate the style of an earlier era.
The original home had two parlors and a dining room. By rearranging these rooms, they were able to create a family room off the kitchen. The current dining room is in the original second parlor. A wall between the parlors was removed in the 1920s. Because of the kitchen remodeling, the door to the dining room was moved over and an alcove was removed. To view this, stand in the kitchen at the base of the second staircase. On the kitchen side of the wall, there is now a counter and cabinets. A pocket door closes to separate the kitchen from the front hall. There is a full “maids” staircase from the basement to the attic that has the same detail as the front staircase, but is made of pine instead of oak.
The kitchen floor is slate, which replaced the original maple which could not be salvaged. Where new windows and doorways were created, all of the moldings were milled to match the original. A butler’s pantry had been previously removed to add space to the kitchen. Windows have been added on either side of the door. Another doorway in this room opens into the family room.
The family room has a full view glass door with side lights and transom windows to match the height of the original windows. The family room opens onto the screened porch. On the south wall was a large window that always presented problems because of its weight. It was replaced with two new windows that have matching woodwork and are more functional because of their size. The rear porch and screened porch are in scale with the front porch and have matching columns, brackets and trims.
The home has four bedrooms, but only one is open. The Master Suite is comprised of the original bedroom and a sitting room. The oversize steam shower has hand-made tiles. The new woodwork was milled to match, and the door and window hardware, like the rest of the house, is bronze. Old houses take a lot of care, especially when you take the effort to do the research and try to get it right.