Wallingford Creekside House for Sale, an American Original
This beautiful home next to a tributary of Vernon Run is one of the first in this region to herald the emergence of truly American domestic architecture.
If there is a period in the history of our country when we can say that a truly American architecture began to emerge, it is the golden age. This era of grand mansions built to flatter the egos of “thief barons” also saw the emergence of the skyscraper in Chicago and the Shingle Style house in New England.
Here in Philadelphia, our most famous architect of the Golden Age, Horace Trumbauer, continued to work in the styles of Classical Greece and Georgian and Regency England as he designed large public buildings like the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the post-WWI years and even more awe-inspiring. houses such as Lynnewood Hall in the 1890s. But his contemporary William Lightfoot Price, who had also made a name for himself designing Gothic and Tudor style homes for newly wealthy Philadelphians, began to stir during the same decade.
His search for a new American architecture would culminate in his joining the Arts and Crafts movement and his influential role in establishing and designing the utopian community of Rose Valley, just south of this house for sale on the creek in Wallingford. But it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it all started with this house he designed for a couple who were probably friends of him, John and Henrietta Walter, in 1897.
Like Price himself, the Walters were Quakers who did not come from the Philadelphia establishment; John was a street vendor for a dry goods business and Henrietta ran a boarding house in Rittenhouse Square. But Price was also less and less interested in designing houses for the wealthy. And while you might do well to consider this home if you’re looking to relocate to Delaware County, you won’t need a fortune to buy it.
Even though this house exhibits the usual attributes of houses built for the upper middle class, including the servants quarters (although incorporated into the main house itself), in its design, construction and choice of materials, it foreshadowed already the direction he would take in just a few years when, in 1903, he wrote a book entitled “Home Building and Furnishing; Being A Combined New Edition of Model Houses for Little Money, ”one of the first books to assert that attractive and well-designed homes should be accessible to everyone.
This house illustrates the principles he will set out in a later similar book, “Country Homes and Gardens of Moderate Cost”:
“The advantages of using common and raw local materials seem to me to be threefold. First, they are inexpensive; second, they are easy to obtain; and third, they are beautiful.
But there is nothing cheap about the way Price used rough stone and lumber to build this house. A high degree of craftsmanship shines in every room of this house.
Many of its interior details, like the tapered and spindly balusters of its stair railings, portend the Arts and Crafts style, but much more of this home draws inspiration from the New England vernacular popularized in the Shingle style. Yet it also contains a nod to Price’s Gothic past.
This nod is in the octagonal tower at the far right of the house as you face it. In this tower you will find a den on the first floor and bedrooms on the two upper floors.
The den adjoins the living room, forming part of a more modern, open and informal main floor. The living room and dining room have plate rails of the type found in many craft and craft houses and large windows with deep window sills. (In fact, large windows with deep sills are found throughout this house.) Also note that the dining room has a built-in hutch for porcelain storage and display.
On the other side of the den, accessed via a room that currently serves as a home office, is a veranda with a simple half-timbered ceiling. Since this is actually an interior room, the masonry here is more regular and formal, but the exterior masonry, like the one found on the front porch, is rustic in design, using random stones held together. by thick mortar in a style known as a “barn”. dashing ”which imitates the masonry of 18th century barns.
This early 20th century home photo above shows two open spaces that have since been closed. One of them, a balcony on the second floor, now serves as a dressing room for the master suite bedroom.
The other, a triangular cutout between the dining room and the kitchen, now serves as an indoor exhibition space for plants and the like. Its window allows light to enter both the dining room and the kitchen.
The kitchen and bathrooms are the major updated rooms in this home. The kitchen includes a breakfast room and Amish birch cabinetry. It also contains a professional-grade Wolf stove, KitchenAid refrigerator and Bosch dishwasher.
Several of the bedrooms on the second floor are connected by doors which allow a lot of flexibility. The master bedroom, which occupies the entire south end of the second floor, is connected by a door near this closet which leads to an adjoining bedroom.
This bedroom, which has built-in shelving, is currently used as a home office and den.
The master bathroom has been updated with modern plumbing and a glass shower stall. The other bathrooms have also been renovated, but one still contains a 1930s clawfoot tub. One of the north-facing bedrooms also has a fireplace.
The leaded glass window in the main stairwell features a combination of clear glass in its lower half and frosted crackle glass above, providing minimal privacy on the upper floor while providing views of the back yard.
The house, named after the creek that runs through the property – “Netherbrook” – is one of three structures found on its sloping 2.47-acre lot. Down by one of the two pedestrian bridges that cross Netherbrook is a playhouse of that same rustic stone. This structure needs some work to be really useful again.
And just north of the main house is an older structure, a Gothic cottage built like a stable. Its lower level stalls now contain garage space for three cars. And its upper floor contains an accessible apartment that you can legally rent to a tenant who can help you pay your mortgage.
This apartment has a bit of history all its own. In the years following WWII, this house belonged to the McCone family. Virginia McCone, who became director of retail merchandising for the Diary of the house for ladies in 1944, had a contemporary kitchen installed in the apartment in the early 1950s. This kitchen served as an example for the modern housewife in the January 1953 issue of Newspaper, and it survives to this day, just in a more modern neutral color palette.
You’ll also enjoy great privacy here, as Walker Lane is a private street maintained by the eight residents whose homes are located along it. Yet you’ll also enjoy convenient access to the city center as Walker Lane is a short walk from Wallingford Regional Rail Station.
Wallingford, by the way, is where Price was born. This unique Wallingford creek house for sale therefore has a lot of character and an impeccable pedigree. It also has quite a story. Guess who is marketing it, then.
THE FINE PRINTING
SPA: 3 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 4 232
SELLING PRICE: $ 939,000
112 Walker Lane, Wallingford, Pennsylvania 19086 [Scott Laughlin | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]