2510 Stratford (1983)


The first owner of this gracious brick home applied for a building permit exactly 64 years ago on September 23, 1919, estimating building costs at $30,000. To date there have been nine owners, all of whom appear to have taken pride in the special features of the house, designed by Meade and Hamilton, which reflect the eclecticism of American architecture during the suburban expansion of the early twentieth century.


The main entrance, facing the drive, is wood panelled with leaded glass windows revealing the interior and a continuation of the same panelling to within a foot of the ceiling.


Stepping Into the center hall, one is immediately struck with the unusual combination of hardwood and wrought iron that creates an impression of the spaciousness found in larger homes. The hall retains the aura of the older, larger reception areas and employs, as one strong visual feature, a grand staircase that leads off the side and up to a landing behind the viewer toward the front of the house (the reverse of most center stairways), then squares and proceeds to the second floor, the natural wood banister suggesting a grandeur of times past.


Straight ahead, in contrast to the more traditionally English stairs, and in departure from the usual room arrangement of houses with center hallways, are wrought iron gates opening into the dining room with contrasting plaster detail in the ceiling and large bay windows set above a built-in, copper-lined planter. Camouflaged in the papered walls is a door leading to a multi-drawered linen closet.


To the left of the center hall is a living room that continues the motif of leaded glass windows, wood panelling, and wrought iron (here in the radiator covers). As is common to this period, the fireplace is the focal point of the room which contains a Spang melodion built in 1856. Heavy hand-carved wooden doors with hand-forged iron hinges open to an airy, tile-floored library that carries through the use of wrought iron in its radiator covers. Here, and all through the house, the woodwork was imported from Italy, a giant puzzle for the craftsmen to assemble.


There has been some attempt to modernize the butler's pantry by previous owners, and the kitchen area has been completely remodeled. The gardens to the back of the house are bordered in part by a wall with a fountain that the present owner hopes to make operable next year.