1876 Italiantate – Watsontown, PA

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Added to OHD on 12/27/11   -   Last OHD Update: 10/26/19   -   7 Comments

500 Main St, Watsontown, PA 17777

  • $120,750
  • Sold for $100,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 3876 Sq Ft
  • 0.21 Ac.
This beautiful Victorian home with spacious sun-filled rooms & original woodwork throughout has great potential for those buyers looking to bring Watsontown history back to life! This home exudes warmth & charm with floor to ceiling windows/wood shutters, grand entry way, high ceilings, beautiful moulding, original hardwood floors, 2 beautiful fireplaces, 3 staircases, original chandeliers with beautifully designed medallions, french pane doors with glass door knobs & a lovely outdoor slate patio with fire pit for entertaining. Versatile space abounds such as den, parlor, bonus room & potential for 2nd full bathroom. Plenty of storage & closet space. Corner lot with nice backyard & oversized 2-4-car detached garage. Make it yours...it's a great place to hang your Heart!


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7 Comments on 1876 Italiantate – Watsontown, PA

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  1. norma says: 49 comments

    I was just thinking it was beautiful just as it is. Yes the wall paper needs work but it is a old house and good cleaning and fix the wall paper find out about the corner issue beautiful

  2. Sue says: 38 comments

    Imagine what a beautiful home it must have been at one time!

  3. John Shiflet says: 5252 comments

    This one is Italianate in style to its core although the neo-classical porch columns are later replacements. 1876 also seems spot-on date-wise. With some TLC this one could sparkle but there’s nothing one could do about the location. (or the neighbors) The house needs to be painted in proper red or yellowish brick colors. Most of the needs appear to be cosmetic.

  4. Ryan says: 565 comments

    This is a beautiful example of the Italian Villa style. It’s too bad about the location, condition, and price, though. And since this house is brick, it’d be a little harder to pick it up and move it to a better location than if it were, say, balsa wood. BTW, I think these original bricks were white or cream colored to begin with…it doesn’t seem to just be paint that’s giving them that hue. Perhaps the quoin course employed a contrasting color, but when I cropped and enlarged the pics, even in the places where the paint was worn away completely, the bricks still appear very pale in color. I imagine it wasn’t very common, but they did sometimes use light colored bricks for houses and other buildings during the 1840s-1850s. As an example, one of the most fashionable Victorian hotels on the Hudson River was built in 1849, then, after a fire, rebuilt 1852. It was known as Cozzens’ Hotel. Lincoln, Grant, Fanny Kemble, Oscar Wilde, the Prince of Wales, etc. stayed there in its heyday. It later became a girl’s school. Anyway, I used to have a few old postcards and stereoviews of that building, and I always wondered why they painted that stately hotel instead of leaving the bricks natural. But then, when I finally got a chance to see the last section still standing for myself (before the government razed it), I realized it was actually built of glazed, very pale yellow brick all along. Until then I never would have guessed that material was used on buildings dating to that earlier Victorian period.

    And just for the hell of it, here’s a pic I just found:)

    http://www.ladycliff.org/18840002.jpg

    Darn shame it didn’t last longer!

    • Jim says: 4757 comments

      The original Cozzen’s Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1861, but was rebuilt in time for a visit by Lincoln in 1862. I’m surprised they would have used expensive glazed brick in a large structure like that. Brick can be made in many colors by adding different minerals to the clay, but glazing is a additional process that gives the brick a smooth surface like pottery or glazed tile – this house isn’t glazed brick. The Snyder House in Rosendale NY built in 1809 has multicolored glazed brick:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Snyder_estate_houses,_Rosendale,_NY.jpg
      http://www.nytimes.com/1861/03/02/news/cozzens-hotel-burnt.html
      http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F20610F6355B127B93C6AB1788D85F428784F9
      http://www.mrlincolnandnewyork.org/inside.asp?ID=27&subjectID=2

      • Ryan says: 565 comments

        Actually, the 1809 “Century House” is the wooden one shown the background if that Wiki pic. The house with the glazed bricks – I believe it’s called the Andrew Snyder House but don’t quote me – was built in 1887 and was originally done in the Second Empire style with a hipped slate roof. The house was totally remodeled and that colorful glazed brick was added to the exterior much later. From what I could find, it was probably done around 1950.

        As for the Cozzens’ Hotel, the bricks there were not shiny like modern bathroom tiles, but they had a slight sheen and were very, very smooth. I noticed that the mortar closely matched the brick color too. IDK, perhaps “glazed brick” is not the right term for them, though. And Wikipedia, as usual, has it partly right but somewhat wrong. The original hotel was built by Mr. Cozzens in 1849. It and its successor were both formally advertised as “Cozzens’ West Point Hotel” in an effort to draw business away from the smaller, official government hotel at the edge of the plain in West Point, which had been built by Sylvanus Thayer in 1828. That was officially called “The West Point Hotel,” and Cozzens was more than happy to confuse its potential customers. Before going out on his own, Cozzens had managed that old government hotel and made quite a good reputation for himself. He didn’t always get along so well with government officials, though. The original hotel he built outside of West Point was oriented parallel to the river, running along the edge of the cliff where the West Point Museum now stands.. Here’s an 1852 illustration of that building taken from Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion:

        http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t188/kengal2000/cozzen.jpg

        Anyway, after that original 1849 hotel burned, the remains of the old one were obliterated and a brand new one was built, but this time the new building was oriented perpendicular to the river and relocated to the highest point on the property. And it turned out that was a much better idea, as rooms on both sides of the hotel would now have far-reaching river views. General Winfield Scott kept his summer headquarters at the hotel. The artist Emmanuel Leutze (Washington Crossing the Delware, et al) also kept a studio there, and John Frederick Kensett painted what is considered a seminal painting in the Hudson River School movement (though I don’t honestly understand why) that was unsurprisingly called, “A View from Cozzens’ Hotel.” During and right after the Civil War, the hotel came to be considered very ritzy/trendy and many of the rich men who later built estates in the highlands; William H. Osborn, J.P. Morgan, Samuel Sloan, William Cruger Pell, Samuel Colt, etc., first experienced the region by stopping at Cozzens’. Unfortunately the hotel became much less fashionable by the time its next owner took over. I had previously read the archived NYTimes piece about Mrs. Osborn supposedly buying the hotel to establish some sort of rest home, but that apparently turned out to be nothing more than a rumor. When I saw the place in the 1970s, only one third of the building was left standing. What was there was pretty grand though. The old windows were floor to ceiling doors to the encircling piazza, and the elaborate plaster ceilings were incredibly tall. There were also gilded pier mirrors, carved valances and decorated columns everywhere. I don’t think anything at all was saved when they knocked that building down in the 1980s. Idiots!

        • Ryan says: 565 comments

          OK, now I’m back to thinking that “glazed brick” was indeed the right term after all. I looked it up, and it seems that the vast majority of the time, glazed brick used (and still uses) a matte finish. It’s rarely shiny like tile. The Wrigley Building in Chicago and the Woolworth Building & PLaza Hotel in NYC are examples of buildings made of glazed brick. Whether this particular Italianate house used glazed brick, I have no idea because it’s been painted over. I would guess it isn’t glazed, though, as it would be kinda stupid to paint over an already maintenance free surface. Then again, one of my neighbors covered the exterior of his 200 year old sandstone house with vinyl siding, so you never know.

          Thanks again, Kelly, I learn more fascinating things by going off on tangents from this wonderful blog!!!

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