Period Descriptions of S. Wayne houses

The next South Wayne and St. Davids house to be described in the real estate pamphlet is of the type best known to the writer of all of those listed, since she lived with her family in one of them for more than twenty years. This was at 431 Midland avenue, St. Davids. these houses had, according to our real estate scribe “a design of very substantial and roomy interior. Cut stone gable on he front, in which a stone archway forms the entrance, has a slate roof” (By the time of our residing in the Midland avenue house these slates had become very loose, and fell of at most inopportune moments, mostly during a rain storm!)

The first floor had “a large reception room and library, with open fireplace, same built of stone. Wide hallway to the stairs, dining room with corner cupboards for china; pantry, kitchen and out kitchen, rear stairs and a porch at the back door.” The usual “five spacious chambers” were on the second floor. Three of them communicated. All were well lighted and every one opening to the hallway. Bathroom and closets on this floor, while on the third floor were “two large bedrooms, two closets and a store room.” This house sold for $9,000 “and upwards.”

Large as some of these houses were, not one boasted more than one bathroom! A modern house of similar size has three or four with a powder room to boot! Sixty years ago powder rooms were an unknown quantity.

Houses such as those at 206 Windermere avenue and at 317 Midland avenue were of “a very old and tasty bit of rural architecture. Quite roomy and comfortable. A wide porch at the front entrance extending along the side of the house. Special features are stairs in a turret, open grates in library and parlor and the general compactness.” And while it had but the usual one bathroom this is especially described as “large.” The price on this home was $8,500 “and upwards.”

The next home on the list is exteriorly so like the one described in last week’s column that it is probably often considered the same by the casual observer. One of these is at 214 Windermere avenue, but it is but one of many! It sold originally for $8,000 “and upwards.” The description is very brief “This is an improvement on the ‘Round End’ house shown on page 9. made larger in some ways, and with a different class of finish, this plan seems to have met a need, and gained popularity with those requiring a spacious house in the country. This house recommends itself,” and the author of the booklet let it go at that!

Still another style of architecture is exemplified by such houses as the one at 401 Midland avenue. Again this id by one example of many from which the writer had to choose. Selling at “$8,000” and the usual “and upwards,” this plan “is a unique model of cosiness. The rooms are fair sized an well arranged for light and comfort. A shady porch all along one side with a return to the front entrance. Interior, about the same number of rooms as the other plans of this classification. This house will suit any ordinary family.”

And then comes an illustration of a house which is seen as frequently as any house in the vicinity and more frequently than many. Examples of this are 420 Midland avenue and 314 Midland avenue. For some reason it sold for only $7,000 though with the usual qualifying phrase “and upwards.” “This class of house,” reads our description, “is an improvement over the ‘Pillar Houses’ built last season. The parlor has been enlarged, and some 15 houses just like it have been sold, and those who live in them are highly pleased with their investments. In one St. Davids area a house of this plan sold before finished.”

If by chance any Wayne Estate owner has not yet found his house described as yet in this column, the answer may possibly be found in next week’s issue.