1883 Victorian: Queen Anne
Bellefonte , Pennsylvania
Grand Queen Anne
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|Heated Sq. Ft.||4,056|
- 2nd Floor Laundry Room
- Dining room
- Entry Hall
- Living room
- Master bedroom upstairs
- 2 Car Garage
- Fenced Yard
- 2nd Staircase
- Built-in Bookcases
- 3 Fireplaces
- Natural gas fireplace
- Wood floors
- Shingle Roof
- Gas heating
- 12-foot Ceilings
- Claw-foot Tub(s)
- Pocket Doors
- Servant's Staircase
- Steam Radiators
- Billiards room
- New roof: Spring 2017
- Wood burning stove
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15 minutes from Penn State
More About This House
A Visit to 363 E. Linn Street - The stately property at 363 E. Linn Street is a classic Queen Anne–style Victorian home built in 1883. Many original features and fixtures of the house remain intact after 133 years.
The first thing you will notice after turning off the historic blue-stone sidewalk and up the matching steps is the historical marker identifying the Cowdrick Brick Works, which also provided the materials for the Brockerhoff Hotel in downtown Bellefonte. Look above and you will see a beautiful, stained glass window.
Upon entering the Hall, like most of the rooms on the first floor,
boasts 12-foot ceilings. The walls of the Hall and up the main staircase (carpeted in
2015) feature traditional, heavy anaglypta paper topped with chair-rail molding. The
central light post is electric and was converted from an original gas fixture.
The leaded-glass bookcases in the Library are believed to have been rescued from a
former residence in Bellefonte at some point in the 1930s. The smaller bookcase on
the western wall was custom-crafted in 2013 to reuse additional leaded doors that
were left by the previous owners. The Library fireplace was professionally converted
from an unlined and unusable coal chimney to a high-efficiency, enclosed gas insert
in 2007. The chimney was professionally lined and covered and the entire system and
brought up to code by Pennwood Home & Hearth in Pleasant Gap. The fireplace
surround features L'esperance Victorian Reproduction Tile, custom glazed and cut by
L'esperance. The vintage sconces were added in 2014.
A Note on the Storm Windows throughout the House The entire house features custom-built, interior-mounted storm windows. These, conservatively, would cost about $30-$40K in materials, time, and extensive labor as all windows in this historic house are different sizes, and each storm had to be created individually for that window. They are professionally built, and airtight, as opposed to storms that are installed on the outside of the windows that must have "weep holes" which are not energy efficient. They also help maintain the historic integrity of the house by leaving the original, outward-facing windows intact. The energy savings and comfort provided by these windows in every room cannot be overstated.
The Parlor features an efficient, Vermont Castings, wood-burning stove installed in
2008. The beveled-glass, oak mantel was installed in 2012. The vintage sconce was
added in 2014.
THE DINING ROOM
Between the Parlor and Dining Room you will notice the home’s original pocket doors.
The door pulls feature an ingenious push-button handle release. The chimney above
the coal fireplace in this room is capped at the roof. An insert could be installed with the proper chimney liner. Of special note in this room is the “Butler Bell” foot switch under the right leg of the chair closest to the windows. Pressing this with the toe will activate a summoning buzzer in the Kitchen.
Upon entering the Kitchen from the Dining Room through the heavy, swinging door,
you will notice a small doorway immediately to the right. This opens to a private
staircase leading to the Maid’s Room. All of the appliances in the Kitchen were
installed by the current owners. The floors, while worn in places, maintain the
natural color of the original, unstained boards. The Kitchen also provides a secondary entrance to the house via the Mud Room, which can be used to store dry firewood.
The half bath on the first floor had new plumbing, a new toilet, and new flooring
installed in 2015.
THE MAID’S ROOM
The maid’s room has entrances from the main stair landing (with one of the four
transoms in the house) and a private staircase from the kitchen. It also provides
screened access to the second floor porch, which overlooks the backyard. Its
bathroom features one of two claw-foot tubs in the house.
THE MASTER BEDROOM
The master bedroom has windows overlooking the
backyard. It has an adjoining dressing room leading to a full bathroom with porcelain tub and walk-in shower.
THE GREEN ROOM
Like all three bedrooms on the second floor, the Green Room features two entrances.
The main entrance has a transom, and the other leads to the shared, Jack-and-Jill
Bath. The large, west-facing windows provide glorious afternoon light.
THE JACK-AND-JILL BATH
The Jack-and-Jill Bath features the second of two claw-foot tubs in the house.
THE BAY ROOM BED ROOM
This bedroom receives the most spectacular light in the house through its enormous,
Following the sign up to the Billiards Parlor and through the French door under the
lighted Saloon, the door on the left leads to the Laundry. The Laundry features a
highly-efficient, front-loading washer and dryer set, both installed by the current
owners. The window on the northwest corner has a full-house fan that draws and
exhausts warm air from the lower floors in the summer. There is an existing drainage
pipe below the tile to the right of the washer. This, along with the hot and cold water pipes coming from the wall could be used to install a bathroom on the third floor. The insulated water heater in this room provides a source of hot water for the washer that is separate from the main house water heater. The breaker box above the washer includes individual, 15 or 20 amp circuits for each room on the third floor.
Electricity was installed on the third floor by the current owners. Finally, there is a pull-down attic ladder leading to the crawl space below the roof. The current owners installed a heavy layer of blow-in insulation, which reduced the overall gas (heating) usage by 40 percent.
On your way up the stairs from the Laundry, notice the wallpaper-hanger’s signature
on the bare plaster from 1896. The third floor was the “Governess’s Quarters” in the
early 20th century. All of the rooms on the third floor were in disrepair and have been undergoing continuous restoration by the current owners. Electricity and baseboard heating were added in all three rooms.
THE BILLIARDS PARLOR
The Billiards Parlor is to your left. This room was completely restored by the current owners and has full electricity and baseboard heating. The pool table comes from the old Gamble Mill and was purchased from and installed with help from Ted Conklin (original restorer of the mill) in 2009. The pump organ works but requires strong legs. The dragonfly table shade is a Tiffany reproduction. The scoring slate for the dartboard is a reclaimed shingle from the roof of Penn State’s Old Main.
THE LA BOHÈME ROOM
The owners could not bring themselves to ever paint this room, which looks as it must
have when the house was built in 1883. This extra bedroom now features full
electricity, baseboard heating, and custom storm windows.
The Saloon serves as both a game room and flop house. It also has full electricity and baseboard heating. The room features two closets, the larger of the two is a mid-century addition, and is illuminated and lined completely in cedar for safe storage of delicate clothing. The final surprise in this room is the secret cabinet behind the portrait of Carry Nation, the hatchet-wielding hero of the Temperance Movement.
The Roof was installed in March of 2017.
The Shutters and Windows
The entire exterior of the house was painted in 2008. This included all shutters, windows, decorative trim and supports.
The grounds have been carefully maintained over the past decade with extensive replanting of trees where old ones had to be removed due to disease or age. All of the trees along the sidewalk, the maple and horsechestnut in the front, all of the spruces, and the oak tree in the back were all planted by the current owners.
The Back Porch
The back patio was added in 2012 to provide additional, private, outdoor eating space directly off the kitchen.
The treehouse was built in 2010 using an ingenious system where the corners of the
structure provide support and balance for all of the others. There is no required
connection to the ground, and the individual branch brackets are designed to adjust
over time as the tree continues to grow. All of the wood is pressure-treated and
Bellefonte is a borough and the county seat of Centre County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It lies about twelve miles northeast of State College and is part of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The borough population was 6,187 at the 2010 Census. It houses the courthouse located downtown on the square. Bellefonte has also been home to five of Pennsylvania's governors as well as two other governors. All seven are commemorated in a monument overlooking Talleyrand Park.
The town features many examples of Victorian architecture as well as a natural spring, from which the town gets its name ("la belle fonte") bestowed by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord during a land-speculation visit to central Pennsylvania in the 1790s. However, the spring, which serves as the town's water supply, has been covered to comply with DEP water purity laws. The early development of Bellefonte had been as a "natural town." It started with one house and a crossroad, then iron was found and the town grew.
Bellefonte was early remarkable for its concentration of wealth. Enterprising ironmasters cheated Milesburg out of being selected for county seat by dragging a boat to High Street, to prove Spring Creek was navigable. So the town became home to lawyers as well.
Still a village in 1856, Bellefonte totally charmed ambitious young lawyer James Beaver, in his own words "a mere boy fresh from college" (and from Kishicoquillas Valley):
The town was an inland village. Its communication with the outside world was exclusively by stages to and from Lewistown, Lock Haven, and Tyrone. No one came to town without the knowledge of every person in it. Curtin was at the time secretary of the commonwealth, appointed by his old friend and schoolmate Governor Pollock. His homecoming was an event. His office would be immediately besieged by a host of admirers; and when such a congenial company as Bond Valentine, Col. James Gilliland, Rev. John Toner, Hon. Samuel Linn, and a host of others would gather in his office, the sparkle of wit, the ludicrous traditions of the region and the fresh stock of anecdotes which Curtin would bring with him would keep the crowd in continuous session from morning till night, with a very short adjournment for dinner.
Bellefonte in 1883 strongly impressed Edison Company engineer Paul D. Dyer, who came to lay out plans for the generating plant that would make the town, now numbering 3,026, among the first ten in the country to be electrified. Mr. Dyer wrote:
This place is truly wonderful. It is not so large as Renovo in population by 1000 people. Yet supports two daily papers, three banks, an opera house, a Christian Association, and a gas company—institutions that Renovo will not have in 20 years... [T]he proportion of first-class dwellings is very large, mostly granite or marble and in a style of architecture that cannot be surpassed. The churches are magnificent stone and brick structures and larger generally than those of Erie or Utica. Two electric companies have been formed here, and both applied for a charter the same day...
363 Linn Street Interior and Exterior Improvements,
Restorations and Upgrades undertaken by current owners
New Roof installed in March 2017
Exterior of house and garage painted (shutters, windows, posts, trim) 2008
All new high efficiency appliances have been installed as older models broke down
• Front-loading washer and dryer (2006)
• Bottom freezer refrigerator (c. 2009)
• Range with high BTU burner and long burner and convection oven (c. 2010)
• Bosch dishwasher (c. 2013)
• Microwave (c. 2014)
• Added a freezer for the basement
Chimneys/fireplaces (all managed by Pennwood)
• All three chimneys capped (against birds’ nests)
• Two chimneys lined and up to code
• High-efficiency gas insert with fan installed in library
• High-efficiency wood-burning stove installed in parlor
• Electric base heaters installed in third floor billiards room and bedroom
Blow-in insulation in attic
• New toilet, sink in rose bathroom
• New toilet and porcelain tile flooring in “loo” (powder room)
• Toilet in maid’s room professionally reinstalled after leak
• Ceiling lights and outlets installed in third floor rooms
• Light fixtures added in cedar closet, pantry
• Side porch light and outlet installed
Vintage Sconces installed
• Billiards room – and pool table lamp
Wallpaper removed and plaster walls patched, painted
• Dining room
• Billiards room
Custom crafted bookcases using extra leaded glass doors and molding built into the western wall of the library
Oak mirror and coat/hat rack hung in the front hall entrance (came from an old pub)
Stained glass window fitted over entranceway
Pool table from the Gamble Mill restaurant moved and installed on third floor
Wood patio built for outdoor dining
Country-red privacy fence put up along Cowdrick and Church lanes
Tree house built with cantilever structure
Two beehives installed, pollinator garden planted with them
• 100 year-old diseased elm removed including stump and roots; replaced with
autumn blaze maple (east side of house)
• Decades-old, 100-foot diseased sweet gum tree removed; replaced with red oak
(right behind kitchen)
• Colorado blue spruce and several other varieties of evergreens planted to
offer privacy for humans and winter shelter for birds
• Two linden trees, a crabapple, and a horse chestnut tree planted out front
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