23 January 2016

Saturday Spotlight- Circa 1915 Craftsman in Souderton

This week's Saturday Spotlight house is a Craftsman bungalow just outside of the borough of Souderton, PA.

Image courtesy of real estate listing by Re/Max Reliance

We have here a fairly modest Craftsman of nearly 1,900 square feet which exhibits several of the typically common features of this Arts-and-Crafts-inspired home style. The most distinctive of these are the low-pitched roof of the front porch, anchored by tapered stone piers which touch the ground. Stonework is continued with a prominent external fireplace of wide and tall proportion. The short and long 8-pane window is a window shape typical of the style. Knee braces mounted just underneath the roof eaves are one of the hallmarks of Craftsman design. The diamond-shaped siding shingles are an interesting decorative feature for the gable facades, although these are likely not original to the house. A fresh paint job with historic colors could do wonders for this home. On the interior, we see more Craftsman details: coffered ceilings, built-in cabinetry, and stained wood trim throughout.

Image courtesy of real estate listing by Re/Max Reliance

Image courtesy of real estate listing by Re/Max Reliance


This Craftsman house is believed to be the earliest remaining home of about a dozen homes, on a stretch of road at the edge of town which is now peppered with a few small commercial buildings and a few sizable light-industrial properties. Yet, it was not always so of course. Although not constructed until the 1910's, the house sits on what was previously the 45-acre farm of Henry B. Sell. Sell owned and ran this farm at the edge of Souderton at least as early as 1877, living there with his wife Emeline. They raised at six children on the farm over the years, and eldest Harvey stayed on the farm through the early part of his marriage. Once patriarch Henry passed away in 1909 of a stomach ulcer, however, it appears that the Sell family moved off of the farm and into the borough itself.
Meanwhile, the bungalow featured here was built sometime within the next decade. A few other modest homes where built up along Hatfield Pike during the pre-war era as well. No major farm structures survive on the property, although their time of demolition is not known.

Location of the Henry B. Sell farm, along what is present-day Souderton-Hatfield Pike.

1950s to Present

Post World War II, the immediate area surrounding the Craftsman gained new neighbors in a few ranch-style homes, but the commercial/industrial nature of the Pike appears to have begun around this time as well. In 1966, Joseph Hoffmann, along with his wife Gertrude, purchased the neighboring ranch home, and in the 1970's built a small machine shop for his "J. Hoffmann Tool and Die Company" behind the house. In 1986, the Hoffmanns also bought our subject Craftsman house as well. As the larger of the two houses on their adjacent properties, it's reasonable to assume that they took up residency in the Craftsman at that time. Mr. Hoffmann has passed away within the past decade or so, and the house was sold to another couple. Apparently in a half-finished state of repair in a few of the rooms on the interior (namely the upstairs), it is currently on the market.

The commercial and light industrial properties has continued to be built up sporadically, and the house is now more or less surrounded by such properties. But the Craftsman sits, waiting for a new caretaker, to finish off some of the incomplete renovations and carry it into its next several decades.

Image view Google Street View

No comments:

Post a Comment