1803 North Park Boulevard (1995)
This Cape Cod house, much altered, is one of four nearly identical houses that were built in 1952 on the estate that had originally belonged to the Root family, wealthy purveyors of "dry goods, notions, men's wear, rugs and carpets, plus toys, dolls, linoleum, hosiery, and underwear - wholesale only." A 1907 photograph of the Root's house, built as a "summer home" around the turn of the century, will be on display for Tour-goers. In 1941 the city issued a permit to raze the huge house, which was by then considered too expensive to renovate and maintain. The property was divided into five lots, two on North Park and three on Denton. Four of the homes were built from the same plan but have evolved in different ways. Two of the four are on the Tour, this one and the house to the east, number 1815. It is interesting to note the very different ways in which they have been altered to meet the life styles of the various owners.
There have been three main additions to number 1803. 1) 1954: a screened porch on the east side of the house, later enclosed. 2) 1991: the garage was extended 6 feet in the front and 6 feet on one side; the roof was raised to add a FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). The owner at that time used a wheelchair, and these and other alternations, including the ramp in the pool, permitted handicap access. 3) In 1993 the Florida room across the back of the house was completely redesigned by the present owners, opening it up to allow more light and featuring as a central focal point the Palladian fanlight over the door to the pool area.
A very visible difference between the two houses is the manner in which they define the private living area from the long expanse of front lawn. Number 1803 accomplishes this with attractive berm planting, while number 1815 has chosen an interesting wall for the same purpose.
Special Note: Four of the houses built in 1952 on the Root estate, numbers 1803 and 1815 on North Park plus two directly behind them on Denton, followed the same plan. They originally consisted of a living room, dining room, master bedroom and bath on the first floor, and two bedrooms and a bath on the second.