1625 North Park Boulevard (1995)

 

This elegant Meade & Hamilton colonial revival mansion is set on a corner lot with wings projected out at an angle from a central hall in the so-called "agglutinative scheme." The original owner was Isaac Denton, for whom the street behind the property is named. The house has 18 rooms including 7 bedrooms, 7 fireplaces with 6 separate chimneys, 5 baths, and 3 porches. On the third floor there is a ballroom, with very narrow stairs leading up to it. Only the first floor will be shown on the Tour.

 

There are two bays, one in the living room and one in the library. Particularly notable is the floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the living room. (The date carved over the mantel is 1919. However, 1920 tax records indicate that there was no building on the property in 1920, but in 1922 the house and land together were valued at almost $100,000, a very large sum at that time.) Other carving over the fireplace shows a pomegranate with six seeds on either side, evidently a symbol of the myth of Ceres and Persephone. Other symbols include a pineapple, a fleur de lis, and what may be an artichoke.

 

The original "morning room," with a grapevine design in the plaster ceiling, is now a formal dining room. A lovely classical revival doorway leads to a butler's pantry. The "Florida room" is a 1-1/2 story stone addition. Note the lovely glazed tile floor and the fresco paintings above the windows.

 

In 1968 the property was split and the section with the carriage house sold separately. At one time, an underground tunnel connected the carriage house and the main house, providing sheltered access for the servants. In the kitchen there is a tiny brick fireplace built at waist level. A more modern feature is the built-in electric toaster.

 

A grass terrace overlooks the expanse of lawn. The original "General Planting Plan for Mr. I. H. Denton" will be on display during the Tour. Note that on this map, North Park Boulevard is called Ambler Parkway. Historically, we have heard that the house at one time housed the Italian Consulate, or perhaps the Italian Consul, but this could not be confirmed. In any case, the house is ideal for entertaining large groups, and the lovely grounds have proved a perfect setting for receptions hosted by the present owner.