Lancaster, Pa. | $725,000
A circa-1900 eclectic brick house with seven bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, on a 0.3-acre lot
This property is in School Lane Hills, a neighborhood about a mile west of the city of Lancaster, so it is within walking distance of Lancaster Central Market, the Fulton Theatre and numerous shops and restaurants. It is a few blocks south of Buchanan Park and the campus of Franklin & Marshall College. Wheatland, the Federal-style house to which President James Buchanan retired after failing to prevent the United States from descending into civil war, is a mile down the road (you can visit the house virtually during the pandemic).
Size: 4,514 square feet
Price per square foot: $161
Indoors: The sellers renovated the house in two phases, followed by updates. In the first phase, from 2002 to 2010, they concentrated on the first-floor public rooms and a second-floor bedroom and study, removing century-old wallpaper, repairing plaster, refinishing floors and cleaning, restoring or replacing period glass, built-ins and lighting. They also did roof repairs, painted interior and exterior woodwork, and renovated the entire third floor.
From 2012 to 2013, they got really serious and renovated five bedrooms, two bathrooms, the sunroom, the grand stairway and the kitchen (with breakfast room). They also rebuilt all three rear entrances, enclosed a porch and a balcony, and landscaped three sides of the house, adding a stone retaining wall and 45 arborvitae trees. They estimate their total renovation investment at more than $500,000.
The entrance is through a deep, covered, wraparound porch, into a vestibule ornamented with chestnut wood and leaded glass, a recurring theme. The foyer that follows has a chestnut fireplace with a tiled surround and hearth and chestnut columns supporting the mirrored overmantel (additional columns introduce the grand chestnut staircase). Turning left upon entering takes you into a living room that has a fireplace with a marble surround. Beyond that is a library with a bay window and floor-to-ceiling shelving. And beyond that is a formal dining room with a paneled wainscot and a crystal chandelier. All of these rooms can be closed off with pocket doors.