This mid-19th century Victorian style house was built on two lots shown on the original Easton plat and several of Easton’s distinguished citizens have called it home including J. Frank Turner and Yeardley D. Elder. The side street is now named for Turner in honor of his being a lawyer who served as Clerk for both the Talbot County Court and the State Court of Appeals and as Comptroller of the Treasury. The iron fence topped with finials around the side yard garden of the property is inscribed “Iron Fence. Dickey & Davis. Ox/Pat Sep. 1877/Frank Turner”. Yeardley D. Elder is remembered as the Proprietress of her antique and interior design shop whose first location was the Bullitt House.
The two and a half story, four-bay house has a prominent gable with a triangular bay window with short side walls on the first floor below the second floor deep box bay with windows on three sides and two arched accent windows on the third floor. I especially liked the detailing of the bay with half-round molding used to create fluting, fretwork painted in accents of light and dark pink, light green and deep slate blue. The panels on the walls below the triangular bay have a pointed center seam that echo the triangular geometry above. A band of deep rose with medallions below the box bay overhang, the fretwork below the box bay and the articulated eave brackets projecting from the cornice of the box bay reminded me of one of my books about the great “Painted Ladies” of San Francisco. The facades are predominantly German shiplap with a mix of lap siding, both in light blue with creamy white trim and moldings.
A two-story porch once spanned the front of the house from the gable to the opposite corner and has now been replaced with a one-story porch that projects beyond the front façade with a triangular pediment supported by Doric columns with pilasters at the front wall of the house. I actually like this better since the front windows of the main floor library and second floor rooms now receive direct sunlight. The front door, painted in the deep rose accent color, is detailed with an elliptical fanlight and half glass/half paneled sidelights. The spacious entrance hall is divided by a molded elliptical arch and a wide wall opening detailed with columns resting on paneled piers leads to the library at the front of the house. The top panes the long windows have been infilled to accommodate shorter newer windows but could be easily reverted to their original length.
Opposite the library is the living room with the triangular bay window on axis with the fireplace on the opposite wall. Behind the living room is the dining room with two windows on the side wall flanking the sideboard and a corner cabinet and built-in pantry closet for more storage. The kitchen at the rear of the house has an island with a white alabaster countertop that is underlit around its perimeter and a wide bay window overlooks the brick terrace and the gardens below. The main floor master suite is located at the rear corner with views of both the side and rear gardens. The original staircase from the first to second floor was removed when the house was converted to apartments. The side door now opens into a newer staircase that also has access to the main floor.
One of the second floor apartments is located at the front of the house and the other is located at the rear. Each apartment incorporates some of the house’s best architectural features. The front apartment has the box bay room that is now part of its living-dining area. The other apartment has a bay window overlooking the side garden and other windows overlooking the rear gardens. The second floor plan could easily become guest rooms again if the house becomes a single family residence again as I hope it does. The unfinished attic has ample space for storage and upper run of the original staircase leads to the attic for easy access.
The gentle slope of the side yard from the front iron fence is shaded by a giant Linden tree and a cut leaf Japanese maple tree, one of the largest in Maryland and immediately recognizable by its distinctive gnarled shape. The outdoor spaces of the cascading gravel terraces at the side yard and the rear terrace that spans the full width of the house with a white lattice side fence for privacy offer areas for enjoying the sights and sounds of nature in an urban setting. Two off-street parking spaces below the gardens are accessible from the side street and there is also an alley at the rear of the property.
Distinctive architecture with period details and details, elegantly appointed by Yeardley D. Elder, with gardens and outdoor spaces, I believe this house needs to be a single family home again and continue to be a part of Easton’s history.
For more information about this property, contact Bob Shanahan with Shoreline Realty, Inc, at 410-822-7556 (o) 410-310-5745 (c) or email@example.com. For more photographs and pricing, visit www.shorelinerealty.biz , “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.
Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.
Please support the Spy’s House of the Week project by making a donation here.