The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hidden Plainfield: Intestate Craftsman


First floor of Craftsman-inspired home is entirely fieldstone construction.

Detail of the porch stonework.
Today's Hidden Plainfield home is a spacious Craftsman-influenced structure whose first story is constructed of fieldstone (for more about Craftsman architecture, see here).

Craftsman homes can be found in large numbers throughout central and northern New Jersey, owing in part to the influence of Gustav Stickley, whose Morris County residence is now a museum (see here). There is a signed Stickley home in Plainfield which I will leave for another day.

The owner chanced upon me as I was snapping some photos and said that the home, built in 1910, was a renovation work in progress, and very challenging.

Over the years, it had been subdivided into apartments (there is a fire escape on the north side of the house, from the attic to the ground floor).

But that was only part of the difficulty he and his partner encountered in rescuing the handsomely-proportioned structure. The owner had been an elderly woman with no living relatives who could be found and who died intestate.

Subsequently, the estate was tied up in the courts for years, while the vacant house sat and deteriorated.

Intestate is not good -- for estates or houses.

Have you made out your will?

Do you know where today's property is?

Answer tomorrow.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Belvdere Ave.

Anonymous said...

If it is the house I am thinking of on Belvidere between South and Seventh, the new owners have made a good start with the new landscaping. That stonework used to be hidden by overgrown bushes.