Moylan Italianate colonial house for sale

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This handsome home on a private avenue was designed and built to last by one of the founders of nearby Rose Valley.


The Arts and Crafts movement sought to elevate traditional craftsmanship and craft to their former honors. This home at 485 Bancroft Lane, Media, PA 19063, was created by architect Walter Price, one of the movement’s supporters and the brother of Rose Valley founder Walter Lightfoot Price, also an architect. † Photos: Colin Burkhardt, CDB Photography; historic photos courtesy of Athanaeum of Philadelphia; all photos via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

“They don’t build them like they used to.”

Believe it or not, this complaint, so often heard today, was also leveled against builders in the early 1900s. As mass production replaced the handmade and home-spun material and the houses spread not only into working-class neighborhoods but also suburbs, a cabal of artists, craftsmen, philosophers and social critics began to promote an ethos that valued craftsmanship. and tried to revive honest artistry. This became known as the Arts and Crafts movement, and its magazine, the craftsman, gave its name to the house style that survived.

One of the early adopters of the Arts and Crafts philosophy in this field was architect William Lightfoot Price, one of a trio of brothers who all became architects: William, Frank, and Walter.

William wanted to create a model community that would embody Arts and Crafts principles and appeal to like-minded people. His first effort — Arden, Del., founded in 1900 — instead became a haven for supporters of Henry George’s single-tax movement.

His second proved more enduring: Rose Valley, the famed community of artists, thinkers, and mavericks southwest of Swarthmore and southeast of Media, founded in 1901. One of the early investors: Walter Price.

Walter also designed one of the first homes in Rose Valley: “Rose Hedge,” an Italianate residence formed in 1902 from an early 19th-century farmhouse.

Designed and built by Walter Price in 1915, this Moylan Italianate Colonial home for sale is both the spiritual and architectural descendant of Rose Hedge.

While it doesn’t have the signature lines and woodwork of Arts and Crafts homes, it does have some Craftsman elements and also shows the same dedication to quality and artistry found in such homes.

house for sale moylan italianizing colonial Heulings house under construction

House Heulings under construction in 1915

And as this photo of the house under construction shows, it’s built to last.

house for sale moylan italianizing colonial Heulings house as finished

The Huelings house when it’s finished. Walter Price would build his identical but smaller house across the street the following year

This house is actually a larger version of the house Walter Price designed for himself, which is opposite Bancroft Road. Legend has it that this happened when Hugh Heulings, a successful salesman for trolley manufacturer JG Brill Co., visited Price at Rose Hedge and saw the plans for that house on his drawing board. “Build me a house like yours, just a little bigger,” he is said to have said.

You now have the chance to become the third owner. And when you buy it, you also get the original blueprints.

house for sale moylan italianate colonial foyer

Lobby

The house may have an Italianate exterior, but inside it’s a true colonial hall in the middle, with the ground floor rooms on either side of the main hall. The entrance hall, lounge and dining room all have their original oak floors with walnut inlays, one of a number of original features preserved in this house to this day.

house for sale moylan italianate colonial living room

living room

To the left of the foyer is the living room, whose fireplace – one of four working fireplaces in this home – is framed in brick and has a classic Colonial mantel. But note how the absence of cornices gives it a simpler look.

house for sale moylan italianate colonial conservatory

greenhouse

The sunroom behind the living room has a more Mediterranean look and feel, not to mention more substantial stucco clad columns that recall the Craftsman style. The room was originally an open side veranda.

house for sale moylan italian colonial dining room

Dining room

To the right of the foyer is the formal dining room. The decor and style are more in line with the taste of the day, and the chandelier, like the one in the conservatory, is original to the house. So is the five-panel door, which is something you’ll find in Craftsman, but not in Colonial homes.

house for sale moylan italianate colonial butler's pantry

butler’s pantry

That door leads to the butler’s pantry, next to which you’ll find the servant stairs. The current owner, who has lived in this home for 50 years, has amassed an impressive collection of vintage gas station fuel pump bulbs. These will leave the house with the owner once the sale is closed.

house for sale moylan italianate colonial kitchen

kitchen

The kitchen actually occupies one wing of the east wing of the house. This space has been brought up to date where it counts, with a unique cut-off corner where the stove sits. Here you can see the Craftsman influence in the windows. The laundry room occupies a one-story floor behind the kitchen.

primary bedroom

Primary bedroom

The second floor contains three bedrooms. The primary bedroom suite is on the left or west side of the main hall. Both she and the front bedroom across the hallway have fireplaces.

primary suite sleeping veranda

sleeping veranda

In addition to the spacious bedroom, it also has a sleeping porch above the conservatory on the first floor. Also previously open, it contains one of the suite’s three closets; the other two are in the bedroom.

primary bathroom

Primary bathroom

And of course it has an en-suite bathroom. The two other bedrooms on this floor share a recently updated hall bath.

The fourth bedroom, which used to be the maid, is on the third floor, along with a full bathroom and a sizable loft for storing gear.

back patio

Behind terrace

The owner of this house is also an avid gardener and therefore this house is beautifully landscaped. A large copper beech tree dominates the front garden and to the rear is a cavernous patio surrounded by shrubs and perennials.

This Moylan Italianate Colonial home for sale is located just a short walk from the Moylan/Rose Valley Regional Railway Station on Bancroft Road, a private street named after the family who once owned the land it and this home stand on. Quakers who immigrated from England in the 1820s, the Bancrofts made their living building and operating a series of wool mills along Ridley Creek in the townships of Providence; the land in Nether Providence Township on which this home stands was part of a mill complex the family acquired from John Fox in 1870.

Clearly this handsome, sturdy home has quite the pedigree and history. By now you should have guessed who is marketing it.

THE SMALL PRINT

BEDS: 4

TO BATHE: 3 full, 1 half

SQUARE METER: 3.703

SELLING PRICE: $799,000

OTHER THINGS: This house also has its original one storey detached garage and you can park a further seven cars in the driveway.

485 Bancroft Rd., Media, PA 19063 [J. Scott Laughlin | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]

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