Just Listed in the Poconos: Turn-of-the-Century House on Lake Wallenpaupack
The question is, which century? The exterior says one thing while the interior says another.
New Yorkers and Philadelphians have been coming to vacation in the Poconos since the 1890s, but where they stayed while on vacation has changed dramatically over the course of those 125-plus years.
In the beginning, most of those vacationers booked rooms in grand lodges nestled in the mountains. A few of those lodges have disappeared, but many remain in business.
A few fortunate souls back then were able to build their own vacation homes on lots offered by wealthy landowners like the developer of that vanished inn, who inherited some 4,500 acres of land from his father in 1900. But it wasn’t until after World War II that vacation homes became the principal way both Philadelphians and New Yorkers got away from it all up here.
Many of those vacation homes sit on the shores of the more than 150 natural and man-made lakes that dot the Poconos. This is one of those homes. It sits on a 4.2-acre lot that includes 150 feet of shoreline on Lake Wallenpaupack, the largest man-made lake in the state.
Judging from the photo above, it looks like this house dates to the time those first fortunate families began building vacation homes in Buck Hill Falls, which is about a 40-minute drive to the south of this Lake Wallenpaupack neotraditional house for sale. But as you will soon see, the outside of this house is actually a bit misleading, for that turn-of-the-20th-century shell covers a house full of turn-of-the-21st-century amenities and features.
This house’s modern roots show just about the moment you walk through its front door, located on the landward side of the house. A modest vestibule opens onto a voluminous great room with a huge hexagonal window that lets in lots of the natural light that filters through the trees surrounding this house.
The room’s other centerpiece is a full-height stone fireplace. That fireplace, which is double-sided, is set at a 45-degree angle to both the great room and the more intimate family room on its other side.
That family room is in turn connected to the dining room, the third link in the great open chain of space that terminates in the kitchen.
Like all the other spaces in this house, the eat-in kitchen is modern at heart. It features all the latest appliances and design features dressed up in Gilded Age garb. Here you find a granite-topped island with bar seating for four, a built-in butcher-block cutting board and top-drawer Viking appliances. Note that the restaurant-grade vent hood for the range is hidden behind elaborately carved cabinetry.
You will no doubt also note that the windows in this house all scream “1900.” These custom-built windows are among this house’s most distinctive features. One of them, in one of the secondary bedrooms, even has a stained-glass top.
Again, though, their size says “2000.” Especially the arched double window in the spacious primary bedroom.
The fittings and fixtures in the traditionally styled primary bathroom are just as modern.
The wraparound porch and deck on the main floor, however, is a comfortable throwback to those earlier times.
And the basement rec room is a mix of both. Rooms like this are a modern creation, but this one has a traditionally styled full bar and a wood-burning stove. It also has a kitchenette suitable for a catered party along with room for a very modern home theater as well as a billiard table.
Walk outside through the French doors from the basement, head down the hill, and you will find yourself at this house’s boat dock. And since Lake Wallenpaupack is open to the public for boating, fishing and water sports (with some restrictions), you can go out on the lake whenever you want without having to pay a homeowners association fee.
This Lake Wallenpaupack neotraditional house for sale, then, gives you the best of both worlds: Modern comfort, convenience and style all wrapped up in an impressive Gilded Age package.
THE FINE PRINT
SQUARE FEET: 4,900
SALE PRICE: $975,000
OTHER STUFF: If this house catches your fancy, it might not hurt to inquire whether the owner is willing to sell the furniture to you along with it. It’s in perfect harmony with this house’s turn-of-the-2oth-century design.
463 Finn Swamp Rd., Lakeville, Pa. 18438 [Terri Ditty | Century 21 Select Group]