We will be enforcing COVID protocols during the tour. Details.
This Craftsman home was built by Virgil Routt owner of Routt Lumber company in 1922 and is listed in the Porter Tract Historic District Registry. Craftsman style, also known as Arts and Crafts, was popular between 1905 and the mid-1930s. In response to the machine dominated industrial era, the Arts and Crafts movement was an aesthetic affirmation of what could be produced with human hands. The original 1922 news article announcing the residence’s completion and features, “Modern Home is Erected on Porter Tract,” is available for viewing in the kitchen. Unfortunately, Routt lumber company succumbed to bankruptcy in the early 1930s as many companies did during the Great Depression and the home was sold.
The entire home has oak hardwood floors with mahogany inlay borders. Twelve-foot ceilings in the spacious living room and formal dining room feature stunning gumwood crown moldings and wainscoting. Imported from the Southeastern United States. Gumwood is featured in all the woodwork downstairs and matched in the recent kitchen remodel.
In the living room, the tapered columns, straight lines of the expansive natural gumwood fireplace make a bold masculine statement. The sturdy fireplace corbels were reproduced in the remodeled kitchen cabinetry. Two unique features of the home are the working original radiant heat pump system that has provided warmth to occupants for over 100 years and 60 windows for cooling which speaks to the fact of no central air in 1922!
Beveled glass pocket doors divide the living and formal dining rooms and were designed to be closed at the meal’s conclusion so the family could retire to the living room while the dining table was cleared by the house maid. The floor button to call the servants was located under the dining table but was removed when floor repairs were done.
A special interest of the homeowners has been hosting foreign exchange students. Note the “International Student Tree” in the dining room. Cultivating our family’s interest in world history, culture, and language led us to host 27 foreign exchange students from 11 countries. Wonderful exchange programs through Rotary International, Fresno/Münster Sister City Program. Fresno Pacific University, and Fresno State University provided the platform to develop these long-lasting relationships. Our “International Tree,” adorned with the country flags and student photos, is a tribute to the young ambassadors who enriched us in multiple ways and will always be considered family. Countries hosted include Austria, Bosnia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Sweden, Tajikistan, and Tunisia.
Beveled glass French doors lead from the dining room to the breakfast, kitchen and laundry areas, which were combined in the recent remodel. Gumwood cabinets with tapered columns and corbels match the woodwork on the fireplace and the large island lends to an open concept for “foodies” to gather and cook. The original laundry chute (of which many childhood stories have been told) can be seen in the laundry area.
The closed wood staircase opens to a central landing providing access to four spacious bedrooms. The front two bedrooms, connected with French doors, is the former terrain of three sons, but has been “aired out” and transitioned into guest rooms. The bedroom with the crib and trundle is now “reserved” for grandbaby sleepovers! A much-needed bath was added to the master bedroom in 2004. Finally, the landing bathroom, remodeled in 2022, boasts of the original cast iron tub and tile floor.
As you exit out the back door note the original servants’ quarters consistent with the style of the home. The location of the covered-up murphy bed can still be seen on the west wall.
This incredible home has seen various owners over its 100 year life span. The original owners, Virgil and Margaret Routt, lived in the home from 1922-1930. They were followed by Roy Peleg (1930-1942), John and Angela Mon Pere (1942-1965), Joseph and Patricia Mueller (1965-1984), and Fred Vierra (1983-1988). The present homeowners purchased the home at that time and have lived in it ever since.
Happy Holidays and we hope you enjoy a glimpse of this “Grand Madame” home.