This house is known to many by the various architectural landmarks that comprise this property – the stone wall, the ice cream parlor, the carriage house, the stable, the conservatory. All of these unique components make up this beautiful home and are part of its fascinating history.
This classic three-story Victorian home was built in 1905 and was originally part of the corner lot on W. Dudley Avenue. Believed to have been built as the “White House” for the then-mayor of Westfield, the house quickly changed hands and was later used for commercial purposes.
In the 1930’s, perhaps as a guest house, the property was expanded with the added amenities of the ice cream parlor, tennis court and outdoor fireplace which are present today. The current homeowners purchased the house in 2005 and have steadily been making improvements to the house and property to restore and enhance the charm of a by-gone era.
We begin the tour on the large Victorian front porch, a favorite space of the homeowners to relax and enjoy with family and friends in any season. Wood detailing, wrought iron light fixtures, and ornamental plants add to the comfort and luxury of this space. Upon entering the house, you are greeted by the upmost of Victorian style and grandeur in the open parlor and living room space that welcomes a visitor back in time.
The main stair is adorned by a large stained-glassed window on the landing that is original to the house. A fire hose further up the stair and not visible, suggests a previous life of this house. Moving through the butler’s pantry towards the back of the house, you enter a beautifully remodeled kitchen and eating space that is appropriate to the period with decoration and detail, but is fully updated for the modern family.
With the help of Ken Boff, contractor, and Peggy Schott, designer, this space was reconfigured and expanded to include custom designed cabinets with bevel glass doors in “sugar cookie”, a green granite countertop with flecks of copper, a Viking stove, and a Fischer/Paykel dishwasher. Two key functional but favorite accessories to the kitchen are the hammered, copper farmhouse sink, and the built-in espresso maker. These, together with the bench table seating and many of the lighting fixtures, glassware and mirrors throughout the house, are reminiscent of time the family spent in Europe prior to renovating this home. Note the tin ceiling, a replica of the period, topped with Greek key molding which puts the finishing touch on this fun and functional kitchen.
To the left of the kitchen is the formal dining room decorated with additional stained glass windows. A mud room complete with a half bath leads out to the driveway through a Dutch door. Note the copper bucket sink in the bath that echoes the time and character of the period of the house. As you stand in the kitchen, you cannot help but be drawn to the adjacent room that beckons to introduce you to the outside world.
The circular, conservatory family room, an addition of a previous owner, opens the back of the house to nature and is another favorite place for relaxing and entertaining in every season. The special windows of this open, airy space help control light and temperature year round and make the room inviting regardless of weather - sun, rain or snow. Unsurpassed are the moon and stars at night that project a “magic” captured in this magnificent “room with a view.” The hearth fireplace, gaming table and media center were added to fulfill any interest or pastime.
From here you can see the English garden, recently renovated with landscape design by Susan Frazer and landscaping and stone work by Joe Valluzzi, that leads to an extensive outdoor seating area on the back patio, and that draws you to the out buildings of the property.
The carriage house is authentic with hay loft and garage, and the ice cream parlor, located around the back of the building is complete with seating and an antique fountainette. The stable has two horse stalls and hitching equipment and a small chicken coup built into the rear outside wall.
Further down the property, you see the tennis court and large outdoor fireplace, made of the same stone as the front wall on the property, and designed as a seating area for gatherings and celebrations. It is not hard to imagine the fun-filled days of yesteryear that were part of the history of this wonderful home.
Contributed by Daria MacDonald, a Westfield resident and past president of Holy Trinity Interparochial School Home & School Association.