1910 – Pittsfield, MA – $499,900

For Sale
Added to OHD on 3/16/19   -   Last OHD Update: 3/16/19   -   27 Comments
159 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA 01201

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  • $499,900
  • 4 Bed
  • 3.5 Bath
  • 3495 Sq Ft
  • 0.21 Ac.
Gracious and elegant victorian in downtown cultural district - Close to theatre, dining and more. Step into a welcome fireplaced entry hall sitting room. Notice the unique architectural detail in the fireplace mantel, turned oak spindles and railings leading up to the stained glass masterpiece. Gleaming oak floors and distinctive woodworking open up to the light filled living room framed by the circular turret creating an elegant curved music space. Formal dining finished with exquisitely selected designer period wallpaper, moldings and beautifully detailed fireplace. Tastefully designed updated baths on each of three levels of living plus an outfitted office-exercise finished lower level with half bath and laundry. Bedroom #2-Library is a masterpiece unto itself with sold cherry trim, mantel and doors capturing the grandeur of days gone by. Updated electrical, heating and hot water.
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27 Comments on 1910 – Pittsfield, MA – $499,900

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10342 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    No, those are not dropped ceilings nor does that mean they were ever lowered.

    Rosewater, I told you I was writing it down but then I misplaced my notepad! Flattened coffered ceilings?

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 4558 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Yes, “flat coffering”. Heheheh. 🙂 Nicely done. That’s a completely original feature, and really lovely. Such a fine, solid, quality home, filled with beautifully maintained oak wood work throughout: (yes – except for the front parlor, but no matter). The very nice, original built in’s in the spacious hall make for a very comfortable, usable space. Many fine, original light fixtures here are the rich icing on this enviable cake.

      • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

        It all depends on what material is used in each coffer. I had ceilings just like these in several rooms of my Queen Anne as did a few of my neighbors. They are the same visually as these pictures with strips of wood. Some plain and some had a little decor to them. But what appeared to be plaster ceiling between the boards turned out to be a thick composite board material. They were not original to the house like I thought. Water damage bubbled the material up. When I ripped it down I discovered the wood boards or strips are actually hiding the seems of the large square or rectangular composite boards in every room and exposed the original plaster ceiling was under them.

        After a little research I discovered they were put in the early 20th century because the plaster ceiling had cracked under it. It was simply put over the ceiling. And though they were not a drop ceiling, they certainly were a cheaper method to cover up damaged or cracked plaster.

        Again, these may in fact be an original decorative element to this house but they certainly appear to look like the ceilings I’ve encountered that are later additions to cover damaged or falling plaster.

        I am not an expert on this type of ceiling and my research results are always coming back limited. So if anyone has any links or references to send on this ceiling type or one I’ve referenced please let me know.

        • RosewaterRosewater says: 4558 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          It’s a somewhat common, “transitional” feature. I doubt this house has suffered extensive damage in it’s lifetime.

          • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

            Hi Rosewater. 🙂

            I’m just curious more about the history of it. At what point in the time period did we start seeing this become more common. Most of my research is only 19th century and early 20th. I don’t see this ceiling style a lot in the old photographs, design catalogs or design periodicals during the period mentioned. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Its just an opportunity for me to learn more. That being said, I do however see it in drawings and some photos of bathrooms around 1880s. But then it dwindles again in the 90s. Check out these beautiful bathrooms for examples 1888. (also look at how beautiful these rooms are!)

            As far as plaster is concerned, So I wouldn’t totally rule out plaster cracking and damage on this house. My house was built by a prominent architect for high middle class family in 1887. The plaster in the house was an inch thick. All of the ceilings had cracking and some worse than others. Plaster doesn’t grow and expand nicely with house settling and ceilings are very susceptible to cracking. There have been many museums I’ve been to or worked with that needed to replace plaster ceilings or repair them because of this. Many people that have Victorians that appear pristine are because the owners many years ago put canvas on the ceiling, dug out and refilled cracks, or totally replaced the damage. The house may look pristine because people kept up on maintenance.

      • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

        So far everything I’ve found and curators I’ve spoken with tell me that these ceilings are most popular from 20’s and 30’s. That’s when they became most popular. They are usually made of a fiberous plaster and were part of a popular movement to divide ceilings in a method that is different than the “old victorian ways”. Here is a book from 1925 selling these ceiling designs.


        Here is a page I was referred to talking about bungalows and this type of ceiling. Sometimes made with as bestos :-O

        So far I’ve not been able to find anything prior other than pictures from 1880s bathroom on this ceiling style. I’ve also gone through my collection of more than 1000 interior photos from 1870s to 1900 and found no such ceiling in any room. If anyone finds any please post.

        Its been a fun learning experience thus far. I’ll share the more I learn.

  2. Karen SKaren S says: 22 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1923 Colonial
    New Rochelle, NY

    Beautiful house and beautiful use of color.

    I think that is original mounding on the ceilings, unfortunately painted turquoise in the first room downstairs. At first I also thought it was a dropped ceiling at first, but I don’t think so. I see it in the other rooms and it looks like decorative trim. It’s wood in the dining room. It will be interesting if Kelly finds out what it’s called

    Wonder what that trestle at the end of the table is for.

    This is one the best ways I have ever seen a flat screen tv positioned, sitting on a gorgeous antique chest in th bedroom with the pink/purple wallpaper. Those TVs don’t often blend in well with older homes. Nicely done here.

    • AvatarDavid Sweet says: 233 comments

      We have this same sort of flat oak ceiling trim in two of the rooms in my house, and I’m sure ours is original(1890) but I don’t know what to call it either. My wife and I always just called them “those tic tac toe ceilings”.

      • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

        One way to tell if the ceiling is original, is by pushing on it. If it feels like it moves a little and has a cardboard feel, then it was probably put in later. Or if you drill a small hole into it, you may feel if it goes through two layers of ceiling.

        I’m still waiting for a few architectural historians to get back to me on these style ceilings. As I’m finding that some people were installing these later to cover ceiling cracks OR because they liked the look of flat coffered.

        When I pulled mine down in my 1887 Victorian, not only did I discover a plaster ceiling under it, but that there had been a ceiling medallion that had been ripped out when they put it in. I also discovered original stenciling. So don’t always assume, you may have a surprise waiting for you 😉

      • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

        See my post above. I got some information on those ceilings so far.

    • AvatarHoyt Clagwell says: 262 comments

      Trestles at both ends of the table, holding up a top that looks like it may have been part of a set with the chairs. Perhaps someone had the idea of ditching the legs and attempting a trendier look with the trestles, perhaps the original legs were damaged or lost.

  3. AvatarHoyt Clagwell says: 262 comments

    Don’t need the whole house–I could mostly make do with that entryway, the snappy grey bathroom, and that cozy third floor room with the beadboard.

    I almost didn’t click on this one because I usually find these last-gasp-of-the-Queen-Anne houses to have rather rote and generic interiors, so I was pleased to instead find an interior both stately and comfortable/commodious.

    That nook off the dining room is a bit puzzling–such a formal neoclassical arch leading to a dead-end space that’s a bit small to be useful for much of anything. Quite formal with its rigid symmetry. Too small to be a breakfast room or a proper den. Perhaps it was only ever meant to be exactly big enough to contain a rolltop desk.

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 4558 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      This. Same. Glad I clicked as well: and also curious about the odd, rectangle off the DR.. My thought was that it may have originally been a family dining room, later truncated when the kitchen and service spaces were re-configured to accommodate the current space which seems decidedly overlarge to be original, (considering the standards of 1910). It could possibly be original, and having had the same purpose it seemingly has today as a separate space to contain a buffet as well as other smaller food service tables for serving large parties; sort of service a la francaise, which is not unprecedented for 1910. Not the house for me, but for some very lucky buyer who will hopefully treat it appropriately.

    • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

      The photos of this house are all taken with wide angle lenses and give the perspective of the rooms a very unreal dimension. So it is possible this little room off of the dining room is not as long as it seems. When you look at it through the dining room picture it doesn’t seem so long. Picture 10 if I counted correct. But I too think this room is odd. Other than that I bet these rooms are average size rooms for the period and made to look extra huge from the camera. The chairs look two miles away in the living room.

  4. AvatarAngie boldly going nowhere says: 27 comments

    Love this house!! Gorgeous colours, lots of windows, inspiring photography. Love the bedroom in Photo 22 with those gorgeous windows!!!

  5. GypsyGypsy says: 137 comments

    I love to see color on the outside of a house. They need a swing on that porch!

    The light fixtures seem like there wouldn’t be much output from them, except for the new kitchen. The fixtures look too small for the size of the room. I love all the natural light, but you can’t always depend on that.

  6. Avatarrkeyes says: 12 comments

    I used to live a block away from this house, on the next street over (Bartlett Ave). I’ve walked by this house many times, it’s quite a gem. This is probably the best area of Pittsfield, with lots of law offices and so forth. it’s an easy walk to the library, museum, synagogues, mosque, and churches, stores, cafes, and pubs on North Street, which is undergoing revitalization. But it’s still a quiet side street. I had no idea what it was like inside, it’s truly well kept.

  7. AvatarMelody says: 426 comments

    I like it!

    I really like that kitchen. I want a kitchen with a big, extra wide range, plus a second oven. And lots of counter space so I can have lots of cookies, pies, buns, and such all cooling or waiting to go in the oven.

    Sad that they covered over a window for the upstairs bath.

    I’d change some wallpaper and colours, but not much else.

  8. JimHJimH says: 4204 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The build date is earlier for this one – shown on maps with its tower and occupied by 1901. The first occupants were a druggist from Georgia, Philip Alexander Lowe, and his bride Alice Henrietta Cheney. They moved to another house on South Street in just a few years.

  9. AvatarKeith Sanders says: 104 comments

    This place just feels good – a lovely, loved and loving home.

  10. Miss-Apple37Miss-Apple37 says: 856 comments

    I love everything about this house, both exterior and interior, love the painted trim in the dining-room.

  11. MichaelMichael says: 1307 comments

    Love the stain glass window in the staircase. Many thanks to the owners for sharing their home with us. They did a nice job saving all those great details while still putting their own touch on the house!

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