c. 1890 – Bedford, PA

Added to OHD on 8/15/19   -   Last OHD Update: 10/1/20   -   20 Comments
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308 E Penn St, Bedford, PA 15522

Map: Street

  • $349,900
  • 4 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 2872 Sq Ft
  • 0.32 Ac.
Absolutely stunning, yellow brick victorian home in Historic Bedford Borough!! This impressive home was a multi-year restoration process with no details left behind. Upon entrance you will find a double door foyer with stained glass, hand crafted wood ceilings, walls and staircase; sitting room w/ arched doors; living room with round-top windows; dining room w/ working pockets doors; kitchen w/ cherry cabinets; a full bath and laundry area. Second level offers four bedrooms with front and rear balcony access and a full bath. Third level has two finished bonus rooms and a storage area. Site improvements include professional landscaping, manicured lawn and a patio. Detached 2-car garage (800 SF) w/ an apartment, guest quarters or in-law suite and pool. Too many details to list on this one!!
Contact Information
Sean Bardell, Howard Hanna Bardell Realty
(814) 623-8622
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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20 Comments on c. 1890 – Bedford, PA

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12146 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I’m not sure about the 1890 build date on record. I’m also not sure if everything is original, seems a little different than what you’d expect. Maybe someone can dig into this one. 🙂

    • MichaelMichael says: 2860 comments
      1979 That 70's show
      Otis Orchards, WA

      It does say “hand crafted wood ceiling, walls and staircase” but it doesn’t say it’s original. It’s a stunning job but I’m guessing parts of this are new, enhanced as part of the resoration. The house did have interior shutters at one time, though. You can see the hinge marks on the trim in some of the pictures.

    • JimHJimH says: 5271 comments
      OHD Supporter

      The Sanborn Maps are interesting on this one:
      1885 – Vacant lot
      1891 – Small frame house
      1896 – Brick house as today (more or less)

      The house is essentially as built imo, maybe with some minor modern embellishments. The wood has been refinished and the higher contrast gives it a stripey look that you don’t usually see with the darkened shellac on most old woodwork. The staircase, casings, and entry doors look right as rain to me.

  2. Kimberly62Kimberly62 says: 2111 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1936 Cabin

    Ornate Porches, Moon detail stained glass on the beautiful front doors, fancy staircase and chandelier in the entryway, Gothic arched doorways, neat chandelier in the dining room and pocket doors, needs a period kitchen to go with those beautiful windows and door IMO, check out the radiator system in picture 29!
    I am glad you posted this one, and interested to hear what folks have to add to your comment above about originality, I might be able to learn something here (as I usually do).

  3. MJGMJG says: 2278 comments
    OHD Supporter


    This is quite a house. The stairway is amazing as well as some of the art glass windows. Love the shape of this house, the tower, balcony. Though odd they used roofing material on the bay window above the porch.

    Something odd though about those “gothic” doors. The hardware on the one going into the hall is new and definitely not original. The wood also looks new and doesn’t seem to match the pocket doors exactly. Though it could be the lighting. I have yet to see this design in a house interior. Unless this was built for club house originally that has some type of religious purpose.

    But the pocket doors and arch appear original. The alternating dark and light wood on the doors is consistent with the arch in the door panel. I’m wondering if the current owner was a woodworker and made some of this stuff.
    I too would not put an 1890s date on this house, but who knows, maybe someone was still in love with this style still. I still see people building and decorating houses from the 90s sometimes and I am like WHY?

  4. DJZDJZ says: 199 comments
    1947 cape cod
    Glen Burnie, MD

    Looks can be deceiving! I suspect that the interior woodwork(beadboard) is not original, at least not under the windows. The picture of the dining room and hall/stairwell windows confirms that the woodwork under the left window is different from the front windows. This makes me think that the baseboards are also not original and have been replaced, which would also point to the arched doors as being newer and not original. However, aside from the newer woodwork and doors, I really like this house. I would probably rework the kitchen to something more period/modern, and remove the carpeting and strip the painted wood trim on the upper floors with a slight reworking of the bathrooms.

  5. MikeMike says: 375 comments
    1886 Queen Anne

    I believe the staircase to be original, since it resembles the staircase in my house, which is circa 1886. I do wish that we had the ceiling like this one…and the paneling, and the front door, LOL. I agree with MJG about the set of doors and the gothic arched openings, I don’t think they are original to the house since there are no other door or window openings with that shape. The first thing that struck me as maybe not being original was the exterior brick; it looks much newer than the house, and it’s rare to see a house from that period with that much variation in the color/shades of the brick. Any way around it, this is a beautiful house in great condition.

    • MJGMJG says: 2278 comments
      OHD Supporter


      Agree. Love that staircase! Some alterations definitely made. But, Creatively at least! I’ll give them that. Not a lot of people go through that work to make woodwork look ornate anymore.

  6. BethanyBethany says: 3450 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Those are some of the most beautiful radiators I’ve ever seen!

  7. mountain-lionmountain-lion says: 49 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1952 Eichler

    Paint color scheme, although very well done, seems a little off to me against the brick.

    And the interior carpet–although quite nice–also seems out of place.

    It’s almost like the restoration work was done by someone quite skilled, but who either wasn’t trying for period correctness or just had a different idea of what it was.

    Nonetheless, a nice restoration and an easy house to live in.

  8. CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 1093 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Charleston, SC

    I went to the Sanborns before I saw Jim’s post, so here they are in case anyone wants to see (house at old address 711 Penn):
    1891 smallish wood frame house:
    1896 extant Bricktorian beauty:

    So we know it’s post 1885 and likely between 1891 and 1896 unless the older structure was incorporated into the extant house. The front doors are textbook 1890ish Queen Anne, as is the porch and staircase. Those gothic arches are unexpected and unusual with the trim extending and crossing past the crown.

  9. CindyCindy says: 263 comments
    1866 Italianate/Queen Anne
    Brunswick, MO

    What a beauty! The front porch is stunning, both front entry doors are as well. The staircase & ceiling are gorgeous, not sure if I like the two tone wood finish, but still pretty and unique. The gothic arches on some of the doorways are different, I like them, original or not. There is a tiny bit of fretwork reflecting in the bathroom mirror, I wish they had shown this, looks very promising. I can’t forget the beautiful stained glass in the doors and windows. This is one of my favorites.

  10. Tn womanTn woman says: 45 comments
    1972 ranch

    I love this home.It is beautiful.I am new to this site and I dont understand how radiators work.I know that sounds stupid,but maybe one of you fine gentlemen could explain that to me.

    • MJGMJG says: 2278 comments
      OHD Supporter


      Basic answer is, for hot water radiators, the water is boiled in the furnace and just like hot air rises, so does hot water. It goes up through the pipes into the radiators and pushes the cold water back down to be heated. Pretty simple concept. This house has what appears to be original 1880s radiators. Very elaborate in design. They get simpler and simpler as the years pass to what they are now, baseboard in the states mostly.
      Steam radiators act in a similar way, they usually have steam valves on them that lets out excess pressure. At one point in the 19th century they were trying to pump steam from plants to homes and you would buy steam. Odd concept. Didn’t take off.
      Here is a great book that explains and shows how to install systems in a house from 1889. There are many many books on archive.org

      • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 379 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1850 Italianate, classical
        New Haven, CT

        MJG–I’ll ask you this on the off-chance you might be able to answer it, and if you can’t (because I know it predates your historical periods of greatest interest) perhaps someone else can.
        I’m trying to get a comprehensive overview of the development of central heating–i.e., the transition from fireplaces to heating stoves to what came thereafter in domestic heating technology. I thought I read somewhere that very large, upscale hotels in America had such systems back in the 1850’s and my recollection (which may be wrong) was that they were forced hot air. A very few homes for extremely wealthy individuals were also built by the 1850’s using the same technology, although with sometimes less than perfect results. For example, I think AJ Davis designed the Litchfield villa, now the keystone house of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, with such a system, although it never raised the temperature higher than 50 degrees F, which was supposed to be the typical or average temperature indoors for most houses regardless of type of heat used at that time. I may be confusing this house with one by Samuel Sloan or John Notman, but I don’t think so, and I could be wrong about the heat being expended from the furnace by a forced air system. I don’t know exactly when central heating became the norm in most houses, and if it was primarily by hot water or steam radiators of if a significant number of forced hot air systems were in use concurrently. I’m not certain when forced hot air held equal footing with radiators, if indeed it did not precede them, at least initially. Since two of my maternal great-grandfathers or their fathers started businesses in indoor plumbing and indoor heating when those technologies were considered “high tech” for their day, I feel I should better understand these issues as well as improve my understanding to better appreciate the mechanical systems of mid-19th C to early 20th C houses when they were originally built. Anything you or anyone else can tell me would be greatly appreciated. References to good sources would also be appreciated if the topic is too complex to write about in a response here. Since I’m looking for a comprehensive overview, secondary sources would be preferable to primary ones, but primary ones would be good in the absence of secondary ones.
        Thanks in advance for any responses I get!!!

  11. BrokerBroker says: 1 comments
    1900 Traditional

    Hello everyone. This is Sean and I’m the listing Realtor on the property. I just wanted to pass along some insight from the seller on the home. The woodwork, staircase, doors and trim are original to the home. It is a mixture of oak, cherry and walnut. The foyer area was left untouched over its life and the seller did not stain the wood. They did polish it as he called it over a period of years. The arch top doors are original as well as the other doors. They are oak and cherry and he did use a mahogany stain on the cherry and a light oak stain on the oak, also poly coat. The original interior home shutters are on site and in the basement. The seller researched courthouse and out historical society records and traced the beginning of the home building to 1890. The gentleman that built the home was from Pittsburgh, PA and owned it until 1913. From there it went into a trust of his and then transferred to two more owners. Converted to two apartments and was that way until the seller purchased the home in the 1980’s. They began to restore it and worked on it for about 25 years. The original tower was removed prior due to the slate roof being replaced and the owner located a photo when it had the tower. They measured from the picture and had blueprints drawn and reconstructed the tower. It’s truly a beautiful home. Thanks for taking a look at it. These old homes are beautiful and truly works of art.

  12. ScottScott says: 350 comments
    1951 Grants Pass, OR

    Wow! Check out all of those small windows on the left side, shown in photo 5.
    That cluster of 5 is unique.

  13. I don’t care what was added or removed. I LOVE IT❤️❤️ just the way it is. I would buy it in a second if the price was around $250,000.

    • MJGMJG says: 2278 comments
      OHD Supporter


      Oh, I would buy it in a minute. Don’t misunderstand those of us that like to do research into what is authentic and what isn’t as being a negative on the house for purchase 🙂
      It’s just detective work that some of us historical house fanatics like to do. And sometimes the additions or changes were done well even if not authentic to the house and arn’t deal breakers.


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