1929 – Johnstown, PA – $225,000

For Sale
Added to OHD on 9/13/17 - Last OHD Update: 9/14/17 - 29 Comments
620 Diamond Blvd, Johnstown, PA 15905
  • $225,000
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 3
  • Sqft: 3179
  • Acres: 1.25
OWN A HOME THAT HAS BEEN PROFESSIONALLY RECOGNIZED for the quality of it's design. This French Chateau was constructed by a desirable local contractor by the name of Albert Swank & has been featured in the Architectural Digest at one point in it's history. French plaster, stone exterior, ornate-carved and arched doors. Architecturally-designed fireplaces. Widow's peak. Winding staircase. Cobblestone driveway. Semi-private setting on approx. 1.25 acre lot. A bit of repair here & there and this home can be restored to the showplace it once was.
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29 Comments on 1929 – Johnstown, PA – $225,000

  1. Breathtaking! Love every SINGLE thing–inside, outside. It seems like a lot of house for the asking price. Beautiful…




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  2. I’d love to get my hands on those gardens and spend a few seasons coaxing them back into shape. But that interior… While it’s full of charming details, it seems to muscle well past “cozy” to unrelieved, full-on claustrophobia-inducing.




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    • I think the ceilings are kind of low. Or at least, low for this kind of design, if that makes sense. Some lighter paint here and there might help.




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    • I agree completely. The grounds and hidden courtyards just draw me in. The interior is way too dark. However I think more windows could be added to match the style, plus some hidden skylights and it would be delightful. I really like this.




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    • Agreed. The plaster is all so dark… I think some white paint would really go a long way to open up the space visually.




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  3. How beautiful. It may be French but it is so very much British to me. I can practically see James Herriot grabbing his vetanarian bag and telling his family that he had to leave because Tricky Woo had flop bottom again. I love all the spare rooms. I am sure there must be a magic wardrobe in one of them…




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    • I’m French and I have the same feeling 🙂 On the first photo, yes it may look French. Also on the one with a deer if you omit the double-garage that is not a French feature. [And is this a montage the deer pic? There not such a big tree near the house to be seen on the other pics? Weird…]

      But when you get closer to the house, the diamond shaped window give it a British taste. It may exist on medieval castles too of course, but not in a house in France. In UK some houses still have them.




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      • There is very large tree along the driveway. Looks like the photo of the deer was taken in a car driving up the driveway to the garage. And, its zoomed in a little bit.




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    • Julles – Tangentially off-topic… I loved the James Herriot books & PBS series! Stayed for a couple of nights in Thirsk once upon a time while in England, and went to their surgery/office, but all 3 of the vets were out on calls. (J. Herriot/Alf Wight was known to be out front once a week for an hour or so to greet fans, but we missed him by about an hour.) Signed the guest book & left a donation to their sponsored animal society with the receptionist. Named one of my cats Herriot in honor of him/Jim aka Alf Wight.




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      • Loved those books and the PBS series. I wanted to go meet James Herriot (Alf Price) so badly. I am so glad that you got to! Dr. Pohl (NATGEO) is the closest thing I can find to him. They made life so simple with people who cared. And I will name a dog “Tricky Woo” one day. If you have not read these books, READ THEM!!! Or listen to them in the car. Start with “All Creatures Great and Small”. I promise they will make you smile and laugh and think the world is a pretty good place.




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  4. I am in love. THIS house (and grounds) are my dream come true. AND it’s only an hour away from me. May have to visit.




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  5. The house of my dreams! The price reflects Johnstown PA. Nothing going on there to attract anyone to buy such an amazing property.




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  6. I like it a lot—so many cool details, and the grounds are beautiful. The walls and ceilings in some of the rooms could stand to be lightened up, and I’d want to “backdate” the kitchen. I love the goldish-orangish tile in that one bathroom.




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  7. Rest assured, the deer is real. I live down the street from this property and walk my dogs by it all the time. I have seen many deer there! You can find old photos if you search online. The architect was Frank J. Forster.




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  8. This house is killer. I love the scale and dimensions – even the relatively low ceilings in some of the public rooms. The wall color could be brightened a bit. I love it!




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  9. Eh. One’s man’s claustrophobic is another man’s perfect quiet space. I see this and imagine someone having it built as a retreat from a too-loud, too-bright, too-busy world. It’s a perfect spot to hunker down with books and cats and shut the world out behind that great big front door – and the iron gate if necessary. Love it. Only tweaks, no changes in my mind.




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  10. I love the exterior – incl. the deer (great timing!), and the interior is really cool. But don’t think I could actually live there; too dark for me. But that’s just me. (Although maybe if I did an in-person tour, it would win me over, not sure.)




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  11. Mais Bien Sur! Well, maybe. Exterior reminds me of Normandy. Gardens could be amazing. Inside, a Hollywood mock-up of a British horror movie. Very oppressive on the inside. Shuckey-Darn, I think I’ll pass on this one.




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  12. The architect Frank J. Forster was well-known for his so-called French Provincial designs, and this home was featured in a trade magazine and in Forster’s own book. The idea was to evoke an Old World feel rather than to be accurate to the original medieval architecture. The little round structure is supposed to be a dovecote, common on old European estates. I love the house, but it’s not well photographed.
    https://www.stcroixarchitecture.com/products/main-entrance-to-the-residence-of-albert-m-swank-esq-johnstown-pa-1930-frank-j-forster
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Country_houses.html?id=Yz7nAAAAMAAJ

    The client was Albert M. Swank (1890-1972), an orphan at 7 who was looked after by his grandfather, a small manufacturer of firebrick. Albert went to the best schools and returned to Johnstown to work for the family firm. Within a few years, Hiram Swank died and Albert became president of the firm. He lived in this home with only his wife Helen for the rest of his life. In his death notice, the New York Times referred to him as “a millionaire industrialist” and board chairman of the Swank Refractories Company, one of the world’s largest firms of its type.




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  13. wow looks like living in a fairy tale or a movie set. What is at the entrance that looks like channels? And the doors are amazing!




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  14. I would want to spend all my time outside in the gardens and enjoy looking at the exterior. I’m not sure I could even go in to go to bed. It is a lovely home but too claustrophobic for me; even with books and cats. Interesting to say the least.




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  15. This home screams buy me. It has such warmth and charm. Really wish I lived closer to take a peek in this wonderful home.
    I could see my children have great adventures in this yard.
    Overall amazing.




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    • Chef D, I saw children here also, getting into all the nooks and crannies and having little adventures around the property. Besides a few bruises here and there, tons better than TV or video games.




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