Homewood, part 1

(This one’s for you, mom!)

This last weekend I had a chance to walk around this home:

…which is coming up for auction in July.  Long story short, it’s not the home for us (though the commute is great and the neighborhood – a couple blocks from a university – isn’t bad). But it’s so gorgeous, and I had so much fun, I thought it merited a post or two of its own. Especially because I, like my mother, have always harbored a soft spot for gorgeous old homes. I remember when I used to live in California and we would drive up to Santa Cruz, we’d often take a bit of a detour in order to be able to drive by a fantastic old Victorian (which I remember looking even more ornate than this one) sitting out abandoned and falling apart by itself in the middle of the strawberry fields. We’d sigh, and wish we had a million dollars, and wish we could pick it up and move it someplace else. We’d leave wistful, our imaginations full. Once my father and I actually tried to go across to see it up close, but heard a dog barking and chickened out.

A very detailed history of this house is available in pdf format here: http://archives.ubalt.edu/lhrc/goschenhaus.pdf

It was actually built as a two-story frame house before 1798 (that’s when it first showed up on the tax records), and then after changing hands multiple times passed to a prominent brewer named Henry Eigenbrodt in 1891, who apparently built it out as a Victorian (due to the signatures and date “1891” that they found on the plaster in places). While the walls of the original house are still inside, I certainly couldn’t tell. Probably an architect could detect traces in the narrowness of the foyer or some such – I couldn’t. Throughout all this time it was called “Homewood”. It wasn’t called “Goschenhaus” until it was bought and restored in 1982 by the Goschens as an office for their insurance company. Since I’m sentimental and their renaming it after themselves irritates me, I’ll keep calling it Homewood.

I’ll have to break this photo-tour post up into at least two parts, so today we’ll just do the first floor. When I need shots of the whole room, I’m going to borrow pictures from the listing site because I didn’t have the right lens or flash with me at the time.

Entering the circular drive, the stone wall needs work:

You walk up the circular drive past an ornate old lampost:

And face the house.

Then it’s up the front porch – see the ornate trim? I think the square stained glass around the (all, everywhere) windows was probably added later. Victorians didn’t go in much for squares, did they?

This stained glass above the door is more typical, I think.

A neat mosaiced vestibule:

Original door hardware?

Looking down the entryway:

And back towards the front door and a beefy man.

All the details were ornate, floors, radiators, wainscotting.

We’ll take a right (facing out of the house) into the east-facing front parlor.

And take a right into the dining room (south corner of the house).

See all the paintings in the moulding? There were about six or eight of them total. They are yellowed and dark now, but they might have been brighter once. Would they have been painted by hand? They were all different.

I think it was the dining room, rather than the back parlor, because of the opulence of the details and the pass-through to the butler’s pantry:

The butler’s pantry was a long narrow space extending between the dining room and kitchen. It would have been lined with shelves holding china and crystal. There the food from the kitchen would have been plated and presented and passed through to the diners. It had been remade into a utilitarian (two-burner) horriby ugly kitchen, but the pass-through was still there.

From the butler’s pantry you go into what must have been the kitchen, but I didn’t take any pictures because it had been redone into a thoroughly boring and depressed looking modern bedroom. From there you can take the servant’s stair up to the second floor:

Or you can go back through the dining room, through the entryway, into the library (west corner of the house).

The library has its own exit down some twisty stairs to the outside, but they were blocked, so no pictures. It also had a surprising full bathroom (white door on the left, above) in what must have been a tiny under-the-stairs pantry or servant’s door before (it had a painted-shut old door that would have exited into the kitchen) with the smallest clawfoot tub I have ever seen. It also had a cool, almost Craftsman-looking fireplace.

The library connects with the left front parlor (north corner of the house):

Which has a cool fireplace of its own. See the details on the back of the inside?

And that’s it for the first floor! Whew!

6 Responses to “Homewood, part 1”

  1. Songspinr Says:

    gorgeous, but i don’t think you would get to change anything, not even rusty pipes, as it is in the historical leger. but you could play Cinderella just to keep the place up…
    really lovely though, if you had 2 maids, a cook and a butler to see to it all…and I guess you’d get to pretend to be the gardener…what fun…
    if only we had 3 million. one for the taxes, and two for the “show”…
    really want to see the upstairs…

  2. Ayse Says:

    As for the Victorians and squares, that sort of stained glass squares around the upper sash on a double hung window appears often enough in places where we know the windows are original. Consider that windows were generally covered with lots of treatments indoors, and you’re not going to see a family spend lots of money ornamenting them with curlicue stained glass.

    I very much doubt that the entry hall is part of the original house. It’s too tall for an 18th century building.

  3. kim mason Says:

    i used to go to school at this home about 1973 74 .miss lydia zink owner and teacher .remember homewood like it was yesterday

  4. Jolene Says:

    I went to Ms. Lydia Zink’s school @ the late 50s and early 60s. I remember sleeping on a cot in one of the parlors at nap time and looking up at the ceiling painted with beautiful pictures. I think perhaps a good portion of the ceiling was painted, not just the on the moldings. I was very young so I’m not sure my memory serves. Ms. Zink never let us in the front parlors but I do remember making taffy in the kitchen with Ms. Lillian (the cook/housekeeper?). My classroom was near the top of the building in a large room between the cupolas. There used to be an old horse drawn sled in the front yard to the left of the front door. Is the gazebo still out back? Every year Ms. Zink would hold a May Day pageant in the back of the house and we got to dress up and dance around the May Pole. I have never forgotten the beauty of that house and the wonderful memories it holds.

  5. Gail Lynn (Johnson) Batton Says:

    I too went to Mrs. Zink’s school – these pictures bring sweet tears to my eyes – I was at the school with Jolene – it was an awesome time – Jolene said it well – I just wanted to say – it was a time that this former student who is about to turn 60 yrs old can recall as when I was 6 – May Day Pageant – the playground out back – the art lessons up stairs – the original phonics lessons – the day that President Kennedy was shot & killed how the cook ran up the twisted stairs up like a tube like staircase and we all went down and sat at a long table in the kitchen area and watched the tv together on that awful day – the long rides home in a station wagon – my brother coming to get me on his sled in the snow (we had no car) – it was an amazing time <3

  6. Lisa Says:

    My brother and I went to miss Zink’s school in the 60’s. As a Plooyanna fan I LOVED that house. Always wanted to own it. I remember first grade in upper , right back room with turret, second in the middle and third was in the front right room with turret. I was lucky to be Sleeping Beauty fo May Day celebration. My ladies in waiting were Sandra Quizdowski sorry for phonetic spelling! Sherry and Karen Stutzman. William Hemlet was the prince. Anyone know where they are today?

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