We will be enforcing COVID protocols during the tour. Details.
As in so many architect-designed homes in the Wilson Island, this full 2-story residence shows the influences from several aesthetic sources and styles. The facade is rigorously rational as in the Italian Renaissance (and many Prairie homes). The center of the home is articulated in two ways: a second story room is stepped out and cantilevered over the first floor and the central entrance is inset and set off by classically inspired columns and posts. The plan of the home is essentially a rectangle: the construction is stucco over frame. The medium pitch truncated hipped roof has wide eaves, as in the Prairie tradition, with no exposed rafter tails. Double French doors with flanking sidelights on the first floor lead out to a terrace that extends across the facade. Windows on the second story are 1/1 double hung sash with one decorative divided window in the center above the portico. A porte cochere on the left side of the house covers the driveway that leads to the detached rear garage. The home is coming up on its centennial in 2023; it was completed 100 years ago. In that century, the home has had only four owners: the first was Frank Quick who was the second shortest tenured owner; Chester Andrews who was the longest for more than 50 years; the Durleys were the shortest in the 90’s and the Hardcastles are the second longest for more than 24 years. While this is an older home, it has been modernized with solar panels, new electrical panel, tankless water heater and low voltage LED lights in many of the remodeled rooms. It captures the essence of a time gone by with various upgrades to make it more comfortable.
The Hardcastles have done extensive remodeling over the years, all with the focus of retaining or returning the home to its original glory and period styling. One of the first things you’ll notice in the entry are the beautiful hardwood floors. When the current owners purchased the home in 1998, it had wall to wall carpet. One of the first restoration projects was to pull out more than 2,000 square feet of carpet and refinish the hard wood floors. In the entry you’ll also notice the wallpaper that was chosen to match the look of the 1920’s.
ln this large room with four beautiful, original French doors, the walls are grass cloth. The grass cloth was in good shape but faded with outlines of old pictures. Our painter/artist at the time painted the walls the color they are now. They still look just as good now as they did more than 20 years ago when they were painted. An aesthetic problem with old houses that have lath and plaster walls and ceilings is they form very noticeable cracks over time due to settling. ln the three main downstairs rooms a thin layer of sheetrock was installed to eliminate the cracks in the ceilings. Because the ceilings are so large, trim and medallions were added to the ceilings to give it more visual interest. Another outstanding original feature of this home are the large, mahogany baseboards and crown molding.
After 20 years as our daughter’s bedroom, this room was freshened up with new paint and wallpaper in 2019. The original wallpaper was pink with flowers. Our daughter, whose favorite color is green, chose this beautiful green toned wallpaper also with flowers. The ceiling also received the thin sheetrock treatment to create a beautiful, crack free ceiling.
As part of the bedroom refresh, this bathroom was updated as well. The shower is marble tile with an inlayed design, new tile to match the period, new cabinet facings and pulls, and new countertop. The bathtub, which is original, was reglazed.
For the size of the house and the period it was built, this is a large master bedroom. Sometime, probably in the 60’s, a large closet was added on the south wall. The small walk-in closet is original to the house.
The bathroom is actually a Jack and Jill style bath between the master bedroom and second bedroom. Once again, this room has been updated and redesigned to more period styling with the subway tile and intricate black line designs in the shower and along the base of the walls in the art deco style of the 1920’s.
This room has been freshened up over the years with paint and new ceiling sheetrock. It does have a potential patio spot off the east side over the porte cochere, but that project will be left for some future owner.
This room typifies the thinking of the time. Since guests generally didn’t come upstairs, all the expensive trim work and detail was downstairs. Upstairs was spartan. ln this room there was one small light in the center of the hallway. All the walls were hospital white. Period style hanging lights were installed at either end of the hallway to brighten it up along with bold blue wallpaper and crisp white trim. The ceiling was hand textured by the same artist/painter who painted the grass cloth in the living room.
Over the years it’s served many purposes for our family. Originally it was a home office, then a nursey for our youngest daughter, then a kids ‘TV room and now it’s an exercise/laundry/storage room.
This room is a standard dining room of the period with an interesting swinging door to the kitchen that harkens back to an era of old where the kitchen and dining rooms were separate areas. Three original French doors were the air conditioning of the day and can still be felt as the winds still blow from the Northwest in the summer evenings.
Over the past 100 years this room has been remodeled about every 25 years. ln the early 90’s the galley kitchen layout was remodeled in 2O21, the entire kitchen was updated and reconfigured for more modern living. While it’s now an open concept kitchen with modern amenities and flow, the design styling fits more with the 1920’s period of the house than any other remodel before. ln fact, multiple layers of flooring were found including linoleum on the south portion of the kitchen that used to be the flooring for a covered back porch. Chrome handles, white cabinets, white subway tile and marble counters, are all materials that would have been used in that era and are now incorporated in this design.
Originally, the doors from the living room and kitchen led to small steps probably added in later years. A new porch was built at door level allowing for an easy indoor/outdoor transition from either room and extending the living space. The porch was designed to match the front porch of the house so most would never know it isn’t original. If you’re ever on the Fresno City College campus at the old administration building, you’ll notice that the front and back porches and front walkway design on this home match the designs for the walkways and stairs at the old administration. All were built in the same time period. A back deck with a firepit and raised planters complete the hardscape upgrades to the space. A hitching post that was once in the front yard is now relocated in the back yard.
The Hardcastles take the holidays seriously. In addition to decorations inside the home, they reconstruct lawn art stored piece by piece in the basement. Through the years, those driving by have watched as the homeowners added decorations to the front yard. This year the outsized Santa and elf in the huge sleigh and the two giant reindeer are joined by strings of lights made to look like snow in the front of the house. Tourgoers might want to pause and take a photo with Santa or with Rudolph to mark the visit to this beautifully decorated home.