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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The "Roslyn" Story

My recent photo showing the trimming of the trees on the property.
It was an ordinary day.  Standing at 1035 Marietta Ave. taking a few updated photos of the residence known as Roslyn.  A few years ago I wrote a series of stories telling about Lancaster architect C. (Cassius) Emlen Urban.  His work is well known in the Lancaster area as well as neighboring communities.  
An early photograph of "Roslyn".
Mr. Urban was regarded as Lancaster's most distin- guished architect from 1900-1932,  During those years he designed many commercial properties in downtown Lancaster such as the Central Market House, the Greist Building (Lancaster's only skyscraper until a few years ago), Lancaster Theological Seminary and Watt & Shand Building as well as the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  He was also responsible for the Chateauesque style residence of Mr. James H. Watt at 1035 Marietta Ave. in the School Lane Hills (SLH) area of Lancaster.  
Photo I took a few years ago.
School Lane Hills, Inc. was formed in 1926 with four stock- holders; the most famous stockholder being James Hale Steinman, owner of the local newspaper and radio station.  The regulations of SLH stated: "Your investment in a home site in SLH is especially safeguarded by the high standard of development that is being maintained, but the unsurpassed location of the property and by the environment created by a selected group of purchasers and owners of homes in this distinctive community ... Plan to build at School Lane Hills." Building took place in SLH for about ten years.
Post leading into the property.
 One rule of SLH group was that no more than ten lots could be sold per year.  Being that Armstrong Cork Co. (Armstrong World Industries) and other Lancaster area companies executives wanted to build in SLH, the houses were spectacular, eventually being designed by architects as well-known as Urban.  Architecture involved the Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival and Tudor Revival and retains its status as a residential area for the affluent.  
Photo of the front door.
This area is now a Historic District to the west of the city of Lancaster.  Now, back to my photograph I wanted to take.  "Roslyn" was built in 1896 by Mr. Urban.  It was a baronial mansion designed for Peter T. Watt who was one of the co-founders of the Watt & Shand Department Store in center city Lancaster.  Mr. Watt presented the property to his wife, Laura, on her birthday and it remained in the Watt family for over 70 years.  
The Carriage House.
The residence has stepped gables, irregular bays, round turrets having dormers and conical roofs, six chimneys, balustraded portico with swag motif, porte cochere and interior stained glass by Rudy Brothers of Pittsburgh.  The home has 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a library, a breakfast room, a formal dining room and the usual living room and kitchen.  
Interior stairwell as seen on the realtor's website.
The house had been owned since the 1970s by an Eshelman family.  Mrs. Eshelman recently died and the property is being readied for sale.  The Estate has been labeled level-1 high importance and is recognized by the Lancaster County Historic Site Registry and National Register of Historic Places.  Both the house "Roslyn" and the Carriage House have views of President James Buchanan's Wheatland residence on the opposing corner.  
Closer view of stained glass window on the landing.
The first floor of the Carriage House has the original horse stalls and the second floor has 2 bedrooms and one bathroom.  A private garden is included.  So, what do you think?  Interested in this property?  It has 9,320 sq. ft. of space on a corner lot which is 2 acres and includes the 4 car Carriage House.  A true gem.  I have tried to research a price and have come up with this:  Originally priced at $4,999,999, but now reduced to $2,999,999!  Interesting estate with lots of maintenance, but if you can afford the home, I'm sure you could afford the maintenance.  After all, it is one of Lancaster's premier houses. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Different view from outside the home.
Interior room.
Pond in front of the home. 
Another interior view showing impressive woodworking.
The doorbell system for the entire house.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post..!! Thanks for sharing. All the pictures you shared are amazing and beautiful, i liked them. Keep posting..!!