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Featured Home - Grand dame of Broadway is still a beauty at 90

September 24, 2005|by DAVE THOMPSON of HomeSource

This week's HomeSource Feature Home would make a great subject for a Victorian postcard.

An elegant house located on a street of elegant houses - the National Register Historic District on Broadway - the rambling brick structure at 112 Broadway features early 20th century craftsmanship and some delightful surprises. It was featured a few years ago in a long-running Herald-Mail series on historical Washington County structures by Pat Schooley.

Quality is apparent as soon as you step through a compact entrance vestibule into an expansive reception room. A gorgeous chestnut staircase sweeps into the room from the right. On the landing is a window with curved wood molding holding panes of glass imprinted with a floral pattern.

Rich brown wainscoting made of tooled leather lines the stairway and reception room walls. Floors are made of oak.

To the left of the vestibule through a large, curved wooden archway is the formal living room. The room's outstanding feature is a corner fireplace featuring a columned chestnut mantel. The column theme is continued in the overmantel, which contains a rectangular mirror. Huge windows let in plenty of light to add a cheerful air to the room.

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At the rear of the room, double doors containing beveled glass lead to a spacious (16-by-18) dining room. The room is well-lit at left by a bay window that has its original interior shutters (as do several other windows in the house). On the other two walls are doors offering access to the back porch and the kitchen.

Highlighted by a tray ceiling and recessed lighting, the kitchen features modernized counters and cabinets along with a center island. It's something of a traffic center as doors enter from the reception area and back porch as well as the living room. On the east is a pantry area, much of which has been converted to one of the house's three full bathrooms. There is still some pantry area available for storage or use as a laundry room (hookups have been installed).

In one of the house's surprise (and practical) period touches, back stairs rise from kitchen and turn to run parallel to the front stairs. They emerge next to the front stairs on the second floor.

The second floor includes four bedrooms and a full bath. The two front bedrooms are generously sized, making them ideal for use as a TV room or recreation room. The master bedroom to the rear has direct access to the second-floor back porch. Closet space is ample.

Take stairs up from the second floor and additional surprises await. What was once the attic has been converted to a comfortable living area.

The main space, tucked under the steep roof, is a great spot for an office, studio or exercise room. Enclosed rafters span the room, which is brightened by two skylights. Sloping walls that follow the hipped roof add unique charm to two other small rooms on the floor. It's a cozy place for guests or for a small child's hideaway. And a full bath has been added to serve the third-floor rooms. A small section of the attic has been left unfinished and can be used for storage.

The house has a full basement, part of which has been finished and is suitable for additional bedroom, office or recreational use. Walkout stairs lead to the backyard.

Speaking of the backyard, the current owners have created an attractive period garden with brick borders there, while still leaving enough space for summer grilling and picnics. A two-car detached garage offers access to an alley behind the lot, and there's additional parking space for three vehicles. A small potting/storage shed provides space for gardening implements.

From the front, the house's solid brick construction and columned front porch (which wraps around to the east side of the structure) form an impressive facade. A unique touch is the cutaway corner at the west front, topped by a small ornamented pediment. As Pat Schooley remarked in her earlier article, the 90-year-old house combines many elements of the Victorian era with those of the Craftsman and Colonial Revival periods that followed.

The home has been meticulously maintained - both inside and out. An extensive renovation was undertaken in 1991. The current owners have occupied the home since 1999 and have added many period details.

To tour what real estate agent Ronald Bowers calls "truly a Grand Dame of Broadway," contact Bowers at Century 21 M.G. Realty, Hagerstown. He can be reached at 301-733-7159 (home), 301-331-3325 (cell) or by e-mail at ronbowers@myactv.net.

The above story is a paid advertisement.

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