August 14, 2017

Obsessed by a House

In a recent post, the one about H. Pleasants Pennington, I posted a picture of a fascinating house that was shown in the architect’s monograph that I found in Montreal. long xThe house was listed with the name of the man who comissioned it, and its general location. That lead me down a rabbit-hole of searching for the house with very few clues, and with those leading to more discoveries.

It took a little bit of work to find out where the house was located, and once I got the general address, and realized it was no longer a private home, I set out to find it. Of course, the address was a red herring, but I managed to slueth it out, regardless.IMG_3702x

It’s an amazing house: A five-part Georgian, with an extra wing added (right side, below), all totaling 11,000 square feet. IMG_3715

Of course, as I research the house, I find out more and more, but there are also some mysteries.

The first is the colour. In all of the early images of the house, it’s cream or yellow colour, not the plain brick that it is today. In the images below, it almost looks like painted brick, but when you look at the brick close up, it doesn’t look like it’s been painted. IMG_3992

In these two renderings, done in the late 1940’s, the house is clearly a pale colour and it almost looks like it could be some sort of applied stucco. IMG_3986IMG_3988

The house makes more sense to me with the pale shade, and the front arch works much better. I also love the shutters for the Palladian-style windows. And the crazy ivy on the front façade! IMG_3992

Both of these photographs, from the 1930’s and 40’s, show the pale shade, and the ivy. IMG_4017IMG_4019

When I got close up to the front of the house, I could see some spots where it looks like there might have been some stucco. As I said, the house makes much more sense painted or stuccoed in cream or pale yellow than in brick. IMG_3762The original owner of the house died in the late 1940’s and his wife moved out and sold or transferred the house to its current owners. The house is no longer in use, which is a shame. Regrettably, one of the current owners is not known for their support of historic preservation, so it is sad that this place is just being left to deteriorate.

I do have some of the early images of the interior, which I will show you along with the current views, where I have them.

Center Hall – Interesting that the hinges on the door are still hall

Corner Room – This was a decorator show house one year, which may account for some of the changes.corner room

Sunroom wing – Too bad the wonderful curved shutters are missing.side

Sunroom – Clearly the same room, I just can’t quite figure out the angle.sunroom

The family’s three sons at an old stone gate.gate

Another view of the front hallhall


Random visitors, aka the Duke & Duchess of Windsor (Look at her wasp waist!)windsors

I wish that they would use this house for something other than storage, but my understanding it that it will take so much money to bring it up to code and repair the issues, that it’s not worth it to the owners. Because it’s less than 100 years old, and isn’t really significant in any way, it’s not protected. And if it was, it probably wouldn’t matter to either the owners or the local jurisdiction.

NB: I am being a bit quiet about the owners and location of this house on purpose. I have had a conversation with the current owners who have offered me a tour.


  1. You find the best rabbit holes! Hope the tour works out.


  2. I don't blame you !!! I would be obsessed and am too really!!!! The new photos - I swear it looks like a restored house with cleaned and repointed ? brick. At first I thought it was restored and was surprised when you said it wasn't!!!!!!!! What a gorgeous house. That enfilade towards the end. Beautiful.

  3. If they don't want to invest in its restoration, then they should sell it to someone who does want to restore it. I dont' understand that kind of thinking. "I don't want it, but you can't have it either."

  4. I saw your blog on the sidebar of another blogger and came to visit. This is fascinating! I love this home just from the pictures you've shown. I like it with the finish of the early days as well with the plain brick. Those hinges on that entry door are amazing. I'm a gardener and that picture with the sons and dogs by the stone gate is wonderful! I'm imagining it as a gate to a secret garden! Thank you for sharing- you did a fantastic job of pairing up old and new pictures!

  5. A true Sleeping Beauty waiting for love (and money)!


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