1905 Classical Revival – Wayne, PA

Added to OHD on 12/5/10   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   17 Comments

600 Maplewood Ave, Wayne, PA

OHD Notes
10/16/2010 Edit: I posted this house back in July. I recently learned there is a demolition permit! Preservation Nation reported that a developer has recently applied for a demolition permit for the home. A website has started with information about the history and why it should be saved (link to the petition) and to stop it from being demolished. Join their Facebook page to keep up to date with the news of what happens or what you can do to help stop this beautiful historic home from turning into rubble. Efforts to stop the further demolition of the Gamble Estate has temporarily stopped it from being demolished, surely this one could be saved too. 12/5/2010 Edit: I have sad news about the house. It was torn down to make way for a housing development. I don't know if anything was salvaged before it was torn down. I'd hope that the developer was smart enough to let someone come in and take what they could at least.

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17 Comments on 1905 Classical Revival – Wayne, PA

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  1. Andrea says: 3 comments

    Good Grief!
    Although I have nothing against PA; I’d still make efforts to save this lovely home! This can be used as a museum of sorts; that would received federal grants. If there is a mill or historic societies nearby; I’d beg for their help to extend the life of this lovely property. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Jill T. says: 5 comments

    Regarding your updated post about the demolition… A housing development in place of this magnificant home? Insanity. So sad.

  3. Ryan says: 458 comments

    Very sad but, unfortunately, not very surprising. Wayne is an affluent area. I guess it’s considered part of Philadelphia’s “main line,” so land there is at a premium. A developer could theoretically put up a large number of McMansions with smaller but still good-sized lots here and make a huge return on his investment. That said, this developer is, IMHO, a greedy, moronic jerk. There’s no reason in the world he couldn’t have built his vulgar housing development on the rest of the 36 acres while leaving this place standing and either reselling it or re-purposing it. It was probably torn down quickly because the developer knew there was some genuine local interest in saving it and was afraid that the house might actually get some sort of legal protection if he waited too long. So he acted fast. Developers have a habit of doing that…using that window of opportunity to swiftly destroy a landmark before there’s a chance for the people in the community to legally prevent them from doing so. Greed wins out again, I guess:(

    Hey, I wonder if they also tore down the antique farmhouse on the property. I’m guessing they probably did.

    • Sara says: 1 comments

      I’ve not posted anything on this site before, I’m more of the ” look at these pieces of history in awe” types. But, I’ve seen too many homes on this site that have been destroyed and it sickens me that it’s a sign of the times. So many are SO obsessed with assuring everything is up to date. It works? It’s lovely? No matter, if it’s old it isn’t good. Nonsense! I marvel at the craftsmanship of these glorious structures from an era when house were created, not built.
      I’m done with my rant. Thank you for reading it. I feel there are a lot of kindred spirits here! Sara

  4. Shelby says: 12 comments

    Beautiful house, the house could have been saved. I agree with Ryan, there was plenty of room to build many other houses and leave that one alone. Of course I also think that for an affluent neighborhood, it would be nice to have a house like that as a club house of sorts, some place where the locals could congregate. Too late now though. People need to be educated, I think it is from pure ignorance that they destroy our past and heritage.

  5. FergusFergus says: 229 comments
    1705 Queen Anne

    Atleast the memory of it’s beauty will live on through Old House Dreams, so that people may discover the beauty and history which has been lost.

  6. Holly says: 1 comments

    I am so happy that I stumbled upon this website. I have heard wonderful stories of this estate my whole life. My mother’s father (my grandfather who I never met) was the chauffeur for the Harrison family that lived here. My mother tells stories of roaming the grounds and stopping in to get cookies from the cook. She told me that my grandfather loved a Christmas tree decorated in blue, so he always made the Harrison’s tree blue.

    Thanks for the pictures. So sad that they tore down this estate.

  7. Jeff says: 13 comments

    I do not know if any of the interior, or exterior was salvaged. That stuff is worth big bucks, but have found no trace of that happening. Now there are just 1 plus million dollar whatevers there. There is lead paint in every old house, and it just has to be removed to a certain height.
    Could have at least saved some of the fine workmanship, if not the house.A half baked preservation movement in my estimation. I have family who live in OLD homes very nearby, and allll of those places have lead paint, and there properties are as large. They had no problem purchasing and selling various homes, because there was no developer BS, and the land is in the Chester County Conservancy. The late owner had little foresight, as she should have made some provisions, being one time head of the local Historic Preservation society. Shame on her family as well, knowing this is not what was intended. $$$$$$$$

  8. BethanyBethany says: 3486 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Crying. For shame. It’s no wonder that developers have such reputations as they do. No, the are not all bad, but developers like this give them all a bad name. A developer in my hometown recently tore down the house I lived across the street from my whole life. It was a gorgeous 20’s mediterranean covered in ivy, with a (later) bomb shelter in the cellar. All because it was too much to fix it, but not too much to knock it down and build a hideous McMansion that takes up the whole property (zero lot lines) instead of a proportionally sized home sitting like a jewel in the middle of a half-acre of lovely old oaks and magnolias (he cut all those down). Sorry for the (belated0 rant but this really touches a still-sore spot with me.

  9. a says: 9 comments

    I just looked at the FB page and it said that the caretaker’s house was demo’d, not the main house. The main house is still in the aerial view, with McMansions in what I’m guessing is the SE section on the lot.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12402 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      No, both of them were demo’d. Bing is much older view, if you look at Google’s aerial view you’ll see the house is no longer there.

      • a says: 9 comments

        Oh no, that’s awful! On Bing the home looks incredible. I can’t believe they had to tear down one house to build what, 20 more?

  10. Mike B says: 12 comments

    It’s too bad the developer couldn’t (or simply wouldn’t) leave the mansion standing and incorporate the mansion into the development of new homes. It’s been done dozens of times (if not hundreds of times) in places far less progressive than suburban Philly. And the historic property often bolsters the value of the surrounding new development.

    An ancestral Bush Family mansion in Columbus’s Marble Cliff was in far worse shape (than the Wayne PA house), but restored for use as a combination club house facility / additional condo units for the relatively new “Presscott Place” luxury townhomes (scroll down to ‘Marble Cliff and the Bush Family.’ Prices start in the mid $500k’s). The historic townhomes resemble the historic mansion in scale and architecture. And most people who know this development would attest that the old mansion served as a selling point for the new condos.

    There’s a 1980’s development in Centerville OH (Dayton) called George Wythe Commons, where a historic mansion stands in the middle of a dozen or so colonial revival homes. The mansion lacks much of a yard, but there’s always someone willing to buy it if and when it hits the market. And there’s a number of “McMansion developments” nearby in Centerville, Bellbrook,and Springboro where the historic farm houses (And sometimes even barns) were left standing and incorporated into the new developments.

    If you can do this kind of thing in Ohio (and not lose your shirt as a developer), you can likely do it anywhere. And there’s no law or rule that states that an old house has to be 110% restored / remodeled in order to resell it on the market.

  11. Shirley says: 80 comments

    Unbelievable that a developer didn’t have the heart for a beauty like this, I agree Mike it could of been included in the developers development what a shame

  12. kathy stokes-phillips says: 172 comments

    OMG, cant believe they would destroy such historic/beautiful home..i feel sick

  13. rjs61056rjs61056 says: 13 comments

    Ugh…a priceless piece of workmanship gone…replaced by plywood and chip board hovels that will be vanish with the first strong wind.


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