2884 Fairmount Boulevard (1981)


Harlen Shimmin designed this house in 1919 for James Adelbert Mathews, Vice-President of Guardian Savings and Trust.


At first glance up a sweeping lawn this expansive home with its stained half-timbers and curved, thatch-resembling roof bespeaks an English country informality. Upon entering the home through a generously-scaled entrance porch enclosed in glass, one is drawn to a hall featuring a barrel-vaulted ceiling of decorative plasterwork. A new marble tiled floor and exquisitely maintained mahogany woodwork complete an opening scene of elegance and graciousness.


The living room houses, among other Oriental antiques, a 300-year-old Japanese shrine. An oversized sun room connecting living room with landscaped terrace is now an office; arched ceiling and windows echo the entry hall, though lighter stain for the mahogany was employed here. Once a visitor is outdoors and looking back at the house — the decorative Roman arches on the back of the garage, many brick buttresses, three floors, nearly flat roof — there is a Mediterranean air, a contrast to the English front.


Upstairs each bedroom has its own bath, and two of the bedrooms have similar fireplaces. In the hall are the calling bells often installed in larger houses of the period. The third floor consists of three servants' rooms off a central area, plus bath and storage. A carriage apartment is situated over the three-car garage.