GLENMOORE, CHESTER COUNTY, PA
A QUIET INNER PRESENCE – INSIDE AND OUTSIDE AS ONE
WHAT A converted 1867 one-room school house with a contemporary (1998) 3000 square foot addition in a semi-rural, wooded setting. There is a full size two car garage and an attached artist’s studio/workshop. The house sits on one corner of two lots (3.7 acres) and adjoins a 30 acre Nature Preserve.
The 150 year old Lincoln School is a white painted stone building. The two-part addition acknowledges and respects its different history and origin, so that the historic structure remains prominent as an intact object. It is a wonderful example of adaptive reuse for historic preservation.
Complementing the school building, the addition structure has 2 separate standing seam barrel roofs with large extended eaves. One over the garage is slanted.The full window walls of the addition open toward the privacy of the woods behind; the wall toward the road entry is solid.
The façade has a quiet, unassuming, understated, presence. From the front you cannot see the interior. Entering, views expand to warm, large open spaces and out into the woods beyond. The boundary between inside and outside dissolves. Seasons create constantly changing ‘landscape scenes’.
The house and property have a quiet, inner presence.
HOW MUCH $815,000
SIZE 4200 +- square feet on 3.7 acres (two lots) contiguous to the 33 acre Mapleflower Lands Trust nature preserve
SETTING The property borders the Mapleflower Lands Trust nature preserve including meadows, woods, walking paths, and a 2-acre pond for fishing. The landscape plan, a series of enwrapping spaces, shields the house from the roadway with curved beds of shrubs, trees and perennials. Other structures are quite distant in winter and unseen in summer. There are always beautiful private views.
Living is oriented toward the surrounding woods and the gardens –areas of constantly changing, vibrant color that give meaning and definition to the spaces outside and are reflected inside the house.
The house feels profoundly ‘connected’ to the ground … to the natural wooded setting…especially in a driving snow storm … on a warm sunny summer evening …or a moonlit dusk. There is a welcoming “quiet and calm”, and a generosity and openness felt by the residents each day and all visitors who think of it as an “experience”.
FIRST FLOOR The house, completely renovated in 1998 by the owners, an artist and an art historian, retains much of its original charm: original pine flooring, deep-set over-sized windows, an open room plan, tall windows, cloak rooms and teacher’s dais.
In the older structure, varieties of wood and stone materials reinforce a sense of natural. In the new areas, walls and window trim are painted in the same color –creating direct interaction and experience with the outdoors.
The interior of the house has five areas:
the original one room school space, ‘great room’, including living, dining and kitchen and entry coat room;
a sitting room—open to the surrounding wooded property— with separate library/office and half bath, direct access to laundry, garage and studio; and,
three sets of bedroom suites, with baths on the second floor.
Entering the house, the view goes through the entire building to vistas of the surrounding woods beyond.
The front door opens directly into the school cloak rooms which are now a coat closet and library with built-in bookshelves and cabinets; then into the original school room and through to the sun room. There are steps up to the second floor suite as well.
The front door opens directly into the school cloak rooms which are now a coat closet and library with built-in bookshelves and cabinets; then into the original school room and through to the sun room.
The school room— ‘great room’— includes sitting, dining and kitchen areas. The living space has two eight foot doors as windows on one side; and a Japanese contemplative alcove –tokonoma-on the other. There are built-in shelves for pictures and picture hanging moldings. The original white pine flooring has marks from the screws that anchored the school desks.
The kitchen, one step up on the teacher’s dais, is divided into left and right with two sinks and cherry counter tops and four colorful, hand-painted tile backsplash walls in a ‘quilt’ pattern designed after the Borghese Palace in Rome. There is a low separating wall on one side to enable conversation from the kitchen to the sitting/dining areas; the other side has a higher wall and shelf, hidden from the living areas –so that dining is separate from the kitchen.
Passing through an 18th century barn-beam-arch cut in the school stone wall, you find the contemporary two-story addition and full views of the outside with deck, luxuriously planted natural-style gardens and the surrounding woods. This space has a large sitting room with two walls of tilt-turn floor to ceiling windows, and square Saltillo tiles over radiant in-floor heating. There are custom built-in cabinets and shelving throughout the living space.
There is a scholar’s study with built in cabinetry and floor to ceiling shelving. There is a half bath; the laundry is located here on the ground floor for easy access.
Brazilian cherry sculptural steps create smooth transitions between spaces. The 2nd floor hall railing is designed from the Pinciana, Villa Borghese, (Rome) garden.
The gem of the house is the Master Bedroom! It is an open aerie, three stories high into the woods with floor to ceiling window walls and 11’ ceiling. It greets the morning sun changing from season to season, from snow-carpeted floor to summer greenery. A large Zen garden on the floor of the woods is the focus of yoga and meditation.
The en suite bathroom has a soaking tub, bidet, and dual sinks and shower; there is a 20 foot walk-in closet with ‘miles’ of shelving and hanging space.
A hallway connects to a second bedroom suite created from the attic of the school building with a partially exposed truss of the school building as a space defining element: bed/office/sitting/full bath— with double skylight and large sliding window and knee-wall storage.
A guest bedroom and storage areas are accessible from the connecting hallway.
OUTDOORS: GARDENS AND PLANTINGS
In the Landscape Plan, mature perennial plantings separate the property from the roadway. The shrubs, flowers, and trees create a continuing variety of shadow patterns on the house walls inside and outside.
The entry cedar walk from the gravel drive is like a Japanese garden ‘zig-zag bridge’ crossing a metaphoric river of stone and perennial plantings.
A Zen garden, based on Golden Rectangle/Fibonacci ratios, and a contemplative walkway are carved into the woods in the rear garden.
An over-sized, two car garage is integrated into the addition design with direct access to the living space and coat closet. It has a sink, built-in storage cabinets, and peg-board for tools and equipment.
There is an attached 2 room artist’s studio of 500 square feet with a shed roof slanting from 15 to 10 in height, floor to ceiling glass, two sliding doors and an 8’ garage door. It has overhead propane-fired radiant heating with thermostat controls. There are many electric outlets and 220 current available.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE HOME: The quality of wood, tile and stone; the integrity and honor of the past life of the school; and the architectural congruency of the expansion.
Most of all, the profound connection and awareness of the natural surroundings; and the sense of warmth and welcoming in a private setting.
If you have interest or questions about purchasing this property please contact at House Inquiries