The home at 5223 is one of several in the Lakewood Balmoral area designed by architect Neils Buck. This one and the one at 5218 show two variations that were available through Mr. Cochran’s real estate sales office. Since their construction in 1899, both homes have been enhanced and restored.
The façade of this home is a simplified post Victorian design. It shows the influence of Queen Anne with the turret and window bays. The porch has been redesigned after being enclosed since the 1940s. The previous owners reconstructed the porch to be more in keeping with the original design. A few details should be noted: the stairway now leads directly to the front door, an additional column was added on the left and the details on all of the columns were added. The multicolored exterior painting serves to enhance these details and add warmth to the home.
The entrance hall features a beautiful and simple stair railing with spiral newel. The balustrades are of simple design and original. The hallway opens out to a large living room that may have been altered from a front and back parlor. The oak woodwork around all the windows remains and is beautifully restored. Its design is that of a picture molding rather that a crown molding. The oak floors have been refinished and stained. In the area of the bay window facing south, another alteration was made long ago with the addition of a service porch to the kitchen. This addition blocked one window of the bay. The Meisters took up this challenge and created a triangular cabinet in oak to match the cabinet in the dining room. This area also features a carved oak mantel, circa 1900, with marble surround which replaces a modern fireplace located there before the 1989 restoration.
As you walk through the dining room, you will see the original oak china cabinet. Also, look at the lovely light fixtures in this home which are, for the most part, replicas that greatly enhance the beauty of the home. Just past the dining room is the butler’s pantry that boasts a special woodwork, called heart of pine. The wood was cut from 100 year old trees and is considered quite special.
The kitchen was expanded in two directions: first with an octagonal eating area by the previous owners and later by the current owners, with an expansion into the old service porch. The cabinets are cherry. Along the south wall are four windows with pine woodwork and original crown moldings found in the attic. The stained glass panels hung in front of the windows were from a cabinet from the 1920s. These were repaired with some additional glass. The half bath was placed in an old pantry and it holds what must be the world’s smallest sink.
On the second floor, you will see a spectacular bathroom restoration. The claw-footed tub is original as is the pedestal sink which was found in the attic. The blue and white tile floor was created by the owner in the style of the original floor. The cabinet was also created by the owner, who researched the wood in the home and learned about the heart of pine woodwork which she located in Appalachia.
The master bedroom and adjoining sitting room are original in design using heart of pine woodwork with egg and dart molding. The turret brings a light airiness to the room.
As you look down the hall, you can see the maid’s room at the top of the back staircase. This addition on the back of the home was one option offered the home buyer. It add a great deal more space to the home and is the reason the kitchen could be so large. When you view the home at 5218, built without this back addition, you will see a different version of the same design.