October 24, 2008

Back to School House Tour


As Julia says, "Who doesn't love a good house tour?" Well I certainly do, so I'm all in on the latest Hooked on House Tours party she's graciously hosting.

So let's get on with it!

I mentioned the Lambertville (NJ) house tour I went on this past weekend, and I was drawn like a moth to a flame to a schoolhouse built in 1878 that's now home to two sisters and their impressive collection of antiques and curiosities.


"The building is of brick construction with stucco overlay added later. On the exterior a marble sate stone commemorates the opening of the school in 1878. The building was originally topped with a square cupola with a cross gable roof and arched openings on all sides."


Let's step behind the gate, shall we?



The "school grounds" are now lovely gardens and courtyards:
They've created a festive fall arrangement on the steps that have seen the bottoms of many children's feet over the years. (It served as a school until 1961.)


"The school is essentially the same as it was 130 years ago, designed in the Tuscany revival style which Victorians found so fashionable in the mid- to late-19th century. Today as you come through the gate you feel you have entered another world - the courtyard of a European manor house, with old stone walls, brick paving and potted plants. In summer it is overflowing with geraniums and flowering vines."

The new(er) main entrance is just to the right, and when you enter you're greeted by, "the dramatic space." I'll say! It's not every day you look up to see 10 foot tall antique organ pipes and Greek Orthodox sanctuary doors in someone's home.


Here's a view from the landing just behind the pipes (looking down onto the front door)...

On the main floor (to the left and right of the bottom of those stairs) are two incredibly impressive spaces -- the main living room, and a studio space. You have to remember this was a school, and the rooms (formerly classrooms) have amazingly not been divided in any way. There are four classrooms total, measuring 36' by 18' with 12' high ceilings and huge windows. Here's the living room:


"The living room's size is at first astonishing. (Ed. note: Hello. That fireplace is the size of, like, my master bedroom.) The floors throughout the house are dark stained and highly polished, laid on the diagonal as was usual in schools of the period. Large stained glass windows act as curtains and dominate the room. You can just imagine this room transformed into an elegant ballroom with champagne at one end and chairs lining the walls."

The room opposite the living room is a mirror image, and used as a studio/restoration space (the sisters are retired antique dealers). Just outside the studio is a charming solarium that has "throw a party in here" written all over it. This photo is only about one-third of the space:
Head up that grand central staircase, and you'll wind up in the kitchen:

"The Principal's office on the next landing now serves as the dining room, open to the staircase with Palladian windows on three sides. The French Victorian armoire provides ample space for the China collection...One can only speculate what went on in this room but it makes for interesting dinner conversation."


The two upper classrooms are now bedrooms, each with a large (re: ginormous) seating area. Here's one of the bedrooms:

(To be honest, if it were my domain I'd have to pop out those tile ceilings post haste!)

The bedroom across the hall, "is dramatic. Wherever you look there are interesting collections to entertain the mind's eye." (Re: Eyes may pop out of your head. I think one of my companion's actually may have.) My photo doesn't do it justice, but throw in floor to ceiling bookshelves and knick-knacks-a-plenty and you get the picture:



The one full bath is half a flight up from the bedrooms, and is big enough to house a full chaise. The main floor's half bath (way big enough to pop in a tub) had this way cool window treatment -- a flat piece of wood given a bit of a trompe l'oeil treatment:


Not too shabby, huh? Well, here's the deal: This gem is on the market. And that's where the contest comes in...

What's the asking price?

Two large rooms on the main floor, two large bedrooms on the top. (All are 36' x 18'). Solarium, one-and-a-half baths, kitchen and dining room. An unfinished attic that I didn't see. And it's certainly a unique property, also zoned for commercial use.

Leave your best guess as to what the asking price is and the closest price without going over wins. In the event that there is more than one person with the same guess of the house's price, names will be entered in a hat (literally...'cause I've got a lot!) and a random winner will be drawn. The prize? This fabulous scarf from Elite Elishe's Etsy store.

Elite Elishe was a supporter of the Nie Nie Fund, so I was happy to support the cause and the store (by going back to shop for more!). But I only have one neck (phew!) and many scarves, so guess away and this brand new handmade scarf may be yours! I'll keep comments open until noon Eastern on October 29. Cheaters will be wished away to the cornfields. ;-)

Thanks for taking my tour! Head back over to Hooked on Houses for more great tours.

48 comments:

Bella Casa said...

Wow, Laura, what a dream house! Those pipes and room sizes are just incredible! Those stairs, so grand! Who wouldn't feel like a princess there???

I didn't cheat or google and I am just going to take a wild guess of $4 Million dollars! Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if it were more!!!

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful tour with us :)

Bella

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

What a great tour! I love this place. So unusual. It had me at the red door. And that wood window treatment was so interesting--I didn't guess it was wood and was surprised when you told us it was trompe loeil.

How fun that you're having a contest--and with such a great prize. I wish I knew something about Lambertville Real Estate because I want to win!

Let's see. This place is huge. It has history. It has been beautifully cared for. I wish they were asking $100 so I could afford it as a vacation home. But I have a feeling it's closer to $3.5 million. Oh, now I'm doubting myself.

Thanks for joining the blog party! :-)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

It's a beautiful house, Laura.

I went to first and second grade in a schoolhouse, very similar to this one. When I saw it had been taken down..."progress", I shed many a tear.

Thanks for the tour!

maya said...

laura - that is one beautiful house. love those organ pipes.

i'm going to guess - in today's economy - $1.2 million. a few years ago, i'll bet they could get even more. i say 1 mill for the age of it and the .2 because there are only 2br/1.5 ba. if i'm paying more than that (ha), i'm going to need more bedrooms and baths!

iloveupstate.com said...

$5,450,000

Gorgeous, but those ceiling tiles have to go!

thelaundryisneverfinished said...

How FUN. What a beautiful place...I love the courtyards. I love the whole thing! I bet those sisters are pretty amazing, too. :)
I am so clueless when it comes to real estate. I'm going to plop a guess in the middle and say 2 mil.

design for mankind. said...

I LOOOOOOVE THIS! :)

Tina said...

Ok, Now I'm Hooked!

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Lovely tour!!!

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Lovely tour!!!

Maya said...

There was once an adorable school house for sale near where I live, only 800 sqf though, now this one is huge with stunning details. And my first guess would be 2,2 Million....I love that scarf too...

Ms. Tee said...

Hi Laura :)

Wow, this is unlike anything I've ever seen. The huge organ pipes - amazing. And I love the courtyard as well. It's all gorgeous.

I'm going to guess a random $3.4 because I have no idea!
Thank you for the tour!

Rue said...

Hi Laura :)

Loved loved loved this tour! I'm going to guess a cool million, only because it only has one bathroom. My favorite was the Foyer :)

hugs,
rue

Sue said...

Hi Laura...Happy Friday! I know my Jersey house prices. Maybe someday I'll actually be able to buy one...I'll go a million nine $1,900,000..........It's probably worth 2 mil. but the nine always sounds better....I also wanted to tell you that my daughter always finds good Statue of Liberty stuff for me at the gift shop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art....and if you check E-Bay for 'state souvenier plates...You usually can find some great ones with Miss L. featured in the center picture...Have a great weekend. I just heard the weather up there is beautiful today.....Sue.

Sue said...

I'm upping my guestimate because I didn't see the first time that it's rated commercial property...My new estimate is
$2,250,000.00...........Sue.

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

How lovely... the outside & grounds are gorgeous! The inside is just as beautiful. Our brother once lived in an old school house... nothing like this, though!
We'll say 2.7 ( don't think anyone said that yet!)
Karla & Karrie

pve design said...

1.5 million w/o the ceiling tiles.
My dog ate my homework.

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Love it, Laura!!!

Thanks for the pics...

Sheila

Heather said...

Wow! That is incredible! 2.25 million is my guess.

Passion for Rugs said...

That was wonderful! The courtyard has my name on it. Great tour, thanks. Jane

Jersey Girl in DC said...

Laura, I want a solarium! :)

I'm going to guess $1.25 Mill.

Susan (Moonlight and Magnolias on RMS) said...

Neat tour! Can't even begin to guess since I don't know much about real estate prices in that area. Impressive house...I'm with you...the ceiling tiles have to go, post haste! :-)

Dawnie said...

hmmm 3.7million...i have no clue!! but there ya go. I cant imagine having such a huge bedroom!

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Love it all, Laura. It's always a pleasure to read your blog, and this post is no exception. That's a wonderful house. What a very special place it is.

Sheila

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...

My previous guess came out with one too many zeros!

$1,925,000. There. :)

Maureen said...

I am loving that courtyard!

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

Goodness, what an amazing place, sigh..can you imagine cleaning a room that nice (hmmm I guess you wouldn't *clean if you owned that!)

I haven't got a tiny clue what that might cost, so I won't be winning...if it was in Sydney let's put it this way, I wouldn't be able to even think about affording it

Sarah

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Hi Laura~
That is such a gorgeous house! I love that it has such a rich history; love even more that it was originally a school house! :)

Okay, I am just going to guess 2.5 million! Thank you for the wonderful tour! ( I am with you on the ceiling tiles~ew!) Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Heather said...

I love the pipe organ! The head board you liked is from West Elm. We ordered it online when they were having a sale. It is really great but required some drilling to put together!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Hey Laura! Thanks for stopping by! What a charming home - now THAT is the way to remodel an old school! What fun to live there!
I see that you are from Jersey...my husband's family is from Bayonne - so we've visited your way quite often....and we love finding new little stops to take! I'll have to keep an eye on what you talk about so that we have someplace new to go!

Enjoy your weekend!
Karla & Karrie too

sandra/tx said...

What a fun tour, Laura. And to combine it with a contest makes it even better! As for the price, hmmm... I'm going to say $1.75 mil.

Fifi Flowers said...

Lovely post!

Bo said...

Hi there...I love your blog title! But even more, I love your "chatty" dialogue describing your pics...very nicely done. Now this house being in New Jersey is going to be pricey, I'm sure...being only 2 bedrooms(although cavernous) will effect the price somewhat...so, I'll guess $1.3 million only because I haven't got a clue...LOL ;-) Bo

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Oh. What a gorgeous house! What a cool history and beautiful architecture. only 2 bedrooms and seems sooo big.

I would say between 1 and 2 million....and in todays climate, closer to 1. Maybe $1,249,000.99 Hee...the 99 cents makes you *feel* like you are payin' less than 1 and a quarter mill.

Shelley Jo said...

What a neat place, but what's up with those ceiling tiles in the upstairs bedroom? Yikes! A pure uneducated guess at the asking price: $4.75 million.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

Gill - That British Woman said...

beautiful house, I'm guessing $999,900

Gill in Canada

KVC said...

I loved your house tour! My guess is $3.95 million (but I really don't know). KV

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

This home feels so inviting. I loved how the steps were decorated for the season and how all the rooms really pulled me in--especially those beautiful pipes! Just a little bit bigger than the place I showed in Prague.

Thanks for sharing this home, Laura.

Jen r. said...

That is such a cool house! Thanks for the tour! I love houses with history like that! Hmmm...I am going to guess low and guess around $890,000.

kari and kijsa said...

What a fabulous tour of an amazing building- love all the details (especially the wooden 'treatment'!!

Now for price...mmm..hard to say in this market...
1.4 million is our first thought, but that is probably low.

Have a blessed Sunday!
kari & kijsa

please sir said...

All I have to say is - that red door, those stairs - OH MY!!

Pennie Mills said...

Love the bedrooms and gardens. I have no idea about the price, but I will guess 2.5 mil. That was fun-thanks! Pennie

Mrs. B. said...

I started following your blog during the last (spring) hooked on houses tour. It's been a fun few months! :) You've picked another beauty...what an interesting place!
Promise to bring back to tents next time? ;)

beth at aunties said...

I loved the tour...
This is a beautiful home and so unique.
It was charming with all the history, loving care inside and out it has received. 3.3 million is my uneducated guess...

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Great tour! Up in Lambertville? Would have to be a cool million plus. How about 1,333,000. For all I know, it could be 5 million though. I am never good with these things. Susan

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Hi everyone!

Oh my gosh! Thank you ALL for your comments, and for stopping by my little blog.

I'm happy to see my little game inspired some great guesses. Tune in tomorrow for the winner.

:-)
Laura @ the shorehouse.

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