2787 Fairmount Boulevard (1981, 1986, 1991)


This house, designed by Frank Meade and James Hamilton and built in 1923, has the distinction of having been photographed by Margaret Bourke-White in 1928. One photo is an interior one, showing the enormous, arched, leaded-glass window of the hall staircase landing, looking out over a vast backyard. The other was taken from the back of the property and shows the house in the background.


The house was designed in the French Normandy style, with a steeply pitched, slate-tiled hip roof, wrought-iron balconies, stucco exterior, and a limestone arch around the front door.


The main floor is distinguished by an oak-paneled living room at the west end and a French drawing room at the east end. Upstairs, every bedroom has its own bathroom.


The present owners, who bought the house in 1989, are the fifth family to occupy it. The interior had been completely renovated by the previous owner in 1988, including the installation of central air conditioning for the bedrooms and kitchen. The present owners have redecorated all of the rooms, but otherwise have confined their own changes to the yard. Plantings were removed from the front yard, which had become so overgrown that the house could not be seen from the street. The backyard was cleaned up and a swimming pool installed. The landscaping continues.


Sometime after the house was photographed by Bourke-White, a two-story addition was built at the rear of the house, partially blocking the view from the landing window. Undoubtedly the owners at the time decided that practical considerations outweighed the desirability of fine views, for the addition (a fine one on its own merits) consisted of a thirty-foot pantry on the main floor and a linen room of equal size above.