August 17, 2017

A Sanctioned Tour of the House I am Stalking

Naturally, after I posted pictures of the inside of the house over which I am obsessing, I got a call asking if I’d like to have a tour. “Tomorrow, at 10:00 a.m.” It was an offer I could not refuse, because if i said no, I might not get another chance to see the house.IMG_4246

My host was charming and informative, and was patient enough to allow me to peek into closets and open doors everywhere. The house is more than 11,000 square feet, and is based on a five-part Georgian design with a main section, two hyphens and two “smaller” sections, either of which would make a nice size house. But this house has an extra two-story wing added, which housed the kitchens and some other rooms on the first floor and servants’ rooms on the second. IMG_3715

There are still most, if not all of the original details, like moulding, hard-wood and marble floors, doors, etc. remaining in the house, as only one family lived it it. But it was most recently (and not even too recently) used as a show-house, and vestiges of that remain as well. Come along and I will show you the current interiors. If you missed the original ones, click here.

One of the most wonderful things about this house is that there is a fireplace in almost every room. IMG_4248Most of them are early 20th century designs as that’s the era of the house, but many have had the surrounds painted in some form.IMG_4262IMG_4279IMG_4281IMG_4285IMG_4294

There are great details throughout the house, including these windows on a swinging door,IMG_4253

this beautiful brass doorknob and escutcheon,IMG_4258

the bell and buzzer system – the chapel wasn’t original to the house,IMG_4288

and this huge built-in safe.IMG_4254

Anyone who has read this blog knows I am a huge fan of enfiladed doorways, regardless of the badly placed exit signs…IMG_4249

and infilled doorways.IMG_4293

As I mentioned, there are remnants of the showhouse including this room. The gold paint is probably radiator paint, and the walls above the chair-rail are actually wood-patterned contact paper!IMG_4252

More radiator paint (or maybe it’s tea paper), this time in silver, but the original details are still there. Check out the jib door on the left below.IMG_4266IMG_4268

The rooms are so classic in their design, apparently a hallmark of the architect, Pleasants Pennington.IMG_4250IMG_4251IMG_4257

You can get an idea of the scale of the house from these two images.IMG_4263IMG_4290

The center hallway is still beautiful.IMG_4244IMG_4296

There was a ton of storage in this house, including in one of the hyphens, IMG_4264

and this closet with drawers and cabinets, as well as a chain to open the skylight.IMG_4273

We had a long discussion about the fact that the house was cream or pale yellow for the first several decades if its existence. Looking at the brick, it seems like the house might have had a light covering of stucco that covered the brickwork. Interestingly, in the architect’s rendering of my friend’s house, it was also a pale yellow over the brick, but the images of the house from the time it was built show it as brick. My suspicion is that the stucco started loosening sometime after the house transferred in the late 40’s, and so it was removed entirely. But traces remain. And the green in the image below comes from the copper screens.IMG_4301IMG_4302IMG_4304

Thanks for coming along with me on my explorations of this amazing house. I am heading to see another of Pleasant Pennington’s local projects over the weekend. It’s only open to the public twice a year, so it’s a “don’t miss” occasion for me!

PS – I PROMISE this is the last post about this house.


  1. wonder if the original wasn't stucco on the brick but a heavy lime wash (which wears off over time?). Great house. Showhouses are the bane of all old houses. UGH.

    1. You are probably right about the lime wash. Definitely something like that!

  2. "PS – I PROMISE this is the last post about this house."

    Megtown, TAKE THAT BACK! We LOVE the exhaustive coverage of this gem. Please, if there's more to tell, then MORE!


  3. What a wonderful opportunity to see inside - love all the details and storage! I don't suppose you have a floorplan? I love looking at floorplans/blue prints, especially in conjunction with seeing the actual interior.

    Hope the next PP house is equally cool, and that you share it. I for one don't get tired of these gems.


    1. Ceci... i do have a floor plan, but it's not very clear... as in you can hardly read the titles.

  4. Do we know who owns it and why it isn't being used now? And what is the future for this fine residence?

    1. Cynthia... i do know who owns it, but they asked not to be named. The house's use is in flux now.

  5. Evidence that it may have been stuccoed is the uneven courses of brick - why be overly tidy and even if you're going to parge over it. Thank you for posting!

    1. Look at the post before this one and check out the first image. It's from right after the house was built. It almost looks like a lime-wash on the bricks, rather than the stucco. But later ones look like more stucco. And of course, the only one in colour is the rendering.

  6. Just glorious, loved seeing all those beautiful details. Lucky you and lucky us for your sharing it.

  7. Thank you again for sharing pictures of this wonderful home.

  8. Thanks so much for bringing us along on your adventure.

  9. And now I want to see photos of the family who lived here! Wait, did you show those already!?!?!

  10. Perfect house for a pair of Vermouth sprinklers. Your insta-gram post what a find. U go Girl!


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