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HAMILTON C. JONES HOUSE

This report was written on May 7, 1986

1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the Hamilton C. Jones House is located at 201 Cherokee Rd., Charlotte, North Carolina.

2. Name, address and telephone number of the present owner of the property:
The owner of the property is:
James A. Risser & Wife, Virginia G.
201 Cherokee Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28207

Telephone: (704) 375-3608

3. Representative photographs of the property: This report contains representative photographs of the property.

4. A map depicting the location of the property: This report contains a map which depicts the location of the property.

Click on the map to browse

5. Current Deed Book Reference to the property: The most recent deed to this property is recorded in Mecklenburg County Deed Book 4231, page 532. The Tax Parcel Number of the property is: 155-074-01.

6. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains a brief historical sketch of the property prepared by Ms. Deborah Swanson.

7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report contains a brief architectural description of the property prepared by Mr. Thomas W. Hanchett

8. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the criteria for designation set forth in N.C.G.S. 160A-399.4:

a. Special significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property known as the Hamilton C. Jones House does possess special significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following considerations: 1) the initial owner of the house, Hamilton C. Jones III (1884-1957), was a prominent attorney, jurist, civic leader, and, from 1946 until 1952, member of the United States House of Representatives; 2) the Hamilton C. Jones House was designed by Martin Boyer, an important figure in the history of architecture in Charlotte-Mecklenburg; 3) the Hamilton C. Jones House is one of the finest local examples of the Tudor Revival style of architecture; and 4) the Hamilton C. Jones House occupies a pivotal position in terms of the townscape of Eastover, one of Charlotte's premier suburbs, designed for the E. C. Griffith Company by Earle Sumner Draper.

b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling, and/or association: The Commission contends that the architectural description included in this report demonstrates that the property known as the Hamilton C. Jones House meets this criterion.

9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes "historic property." The current appraised value of the improvements is $245,560. The current appraised value of the 1.699 acres of land is $81,000. The total appraised value of the property is $326,560. The property is zoned R12.

Date of Preparation of this Report: May 7, 1986

Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission
1225 S. Caldwell St.
Charlotte, NC, 28203

Telephone: (704) 376-9115

Historical Overview

From its beginning, the house at 201 Cherokee Road has been known as "The Stone House." It was just a handy reference to the people who used the house as a landmark, but to many others who have been more intimately associated with the house, it is an affectionate term.

This house was among the earliest built in Eastover and has to be its finest example of the Tudor style, and one of Charlotte's finest. There are only scattered examples of Tudor style architecture in the Eastover subdivision, as most of the early houses are red brick Georgian revival. The development of Eastover began in 1927 by the E. C. Griffith Company and was seen as being a competitor for the already established Myers Park.l The land originally included in the subdivision came from two dairy farms. Two hundred and seventy-three acres were purchased from McD. Catkins and the remaining forty-three acres came from Miss Cora Vail.2 The design of Eastover was done by E. S. Draper & Associates. Earle Sumner Draper started his career as John Nolen's resident landscape architect in George Stephens' development of Myers Park. Since then he had become a prominent planner in the Southeastern United States.3 Cherokee Road was planned as and still is the backbone of the Eastover neighborhood. Eastover was Charlotte's first exclusive automobile suburb.4 All the previous ones had street car service available, including neighboring Myers Park, which at the time it was built was considered to be in the country. The development of Eastover did much to seal the fate of the growth patterns of the city. This suburb along with Myers Park "firmly established the southeast edge of Charlotte as the city's prime residential area."5 In 1929, the land at the corner of Cherokee Road and Fenton Place was purchased from the E. C. Griffith Company and deeded to Bessie Erwin Jones, the wife of Hamilton C. Jones, a prominent Charlotte lawyer and politician. This acquisition included three lots, two facing on Cherokee Road and the third with frontage on Fenton Place.6 A fourth adjoining lot with frontage on Cherokee Road was purchased the same year by the Jones's from B. S. Blanton and wife, Rose M. Blanton.7

Hamilton C. Jones was born in Charlotte on September 28, 1884. He was one of six children born to Hamilton C. Jones, Jr. and Sophia Convere Myers Jones.8 His father, H. C. Jones, Jr., was noted for his gallant military service as an officer throughout the Civil War. He was wounded twice, captured by the Yankees and held prisoner for over a year. He moved to Charlotte in 1867 to practice law. In 1869 he was elected to fill an unexpired term as a state senator and was again elected in 1870. Grover Cleveland appointed him to be the United States District Attorney for the Western District in 1885.9 In the opinion of LeGette Blythe and Charles Brockmann: When the final quarter of the nineteenth century began, three of the most influential men in Charlotte were W. P. Bynum, Hamilton C. Jones, Sr. and Clement Dowd."10 Sophia Myers was the daughter of Colonel William R. Myers, one of Charlotte's leading entrepreneurs in the second half of the nineteenth century. One of his philanthropic deeds was the donation of eight acres of land to the fledgling Biddle Memorial Institute, later to become known as Johnson C. Smith University.11 This established the institution at its present location. The land Colonel Myers gave to his son, John Springs Myers, later became the development of Myers Park.

Sophia's father gave her a lot at 406 E. Trade Street,12 the area then known as Stumptown. The house built on this lot is where Hamilton C. Jones was born and raised. He had fond memories of Stumptown and the many prominent families of Charlotte that lived there at the time. The YWCA now stands on this land. 13 Hamilton C. Jones graduated from the University of North Carolina and then earned a law degree from Columbia University in New York City. He returned to Charlotte in 1908 and established himself as an attorney at law. In 1913 he became a judge in the City Recorder's Court and later was an assistant United States District Attorney in Charlotte. He was "influential in drafting and securing passage of the necessary legislation legalizing a special Juvenile Court" in Charlotte and became the first judge of this court , which was the first one to operate in the state. 14 Other legal and political activities Mr. Jones was involved in included being chairman of the Mecklenburg Democratic Executive Committee, president of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Mecklenburg Bar Association. He was a state senator for two terms and from 1946-1952 he represented the Tenth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.15

The social concerns this man had are obvious in his legal and political involvements, but did not stop there. He was continually reaching out to help others and giving of himself. He served as president of the Family Service Association, chairman of the Executive Committee of Thompson Orphanage president of the Charlotte Rotary Club a trustee of University of North Carolina, and vice chairman of the Charlotte Memorial Hospital Authority. As a member of the board of St. Peter's Hospital in Charlotte, he, along with B. J. Blythe, put much effort into merging St. Peter's into a new municipal hospital. Thus, Charlotte Memorial Hospital was formed.16 Hamilton C. Jones died August 10, 1957. Bessie Smedes Erwin was the wife of Hamilton Jones. She was the daughter of William Allen Erwin, the textile magnate who founded Erwin Mills in Durham. Mr. Erwin gave his hunting preserve to Duke University, where the new campus was built.17 Bessie was the granddaughter of Dr. Albert Smedes, the founder of St. Mary's School for Women in Raleigh.18 Bessie Erwin Jones was also a very socially-conscious person. Her activities involved work with Good Samaritan Hospital, Thompson Orphanage and St. Peter's Episcopal Church. She was a member of the Halifax Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 19 Mrs. Jones passed away April 14, 1966. Construction of the house at 201 Cherokee Road, at the intersection of Fenton Place, was begun in 1929. The architect was Martin E. Boyer and the general contractor was Blythe-Isenhour, who had their offices at the Latta Arcade 20.

Martin Boyer was "Charlotte's premier revivalist architect." He was the nephew of another prominent architect, James McMichael, who designed the First Baptist Church on North Tryon Street, which is now Spirit Square. Boyer made possible the saving and moving of the Charlotte Mint to its present Eastover site, where it is now the Mint Museum of Art.22 Stone was chosen as the building material of the Jones' new residence apparently at the instigation of W. A. Erwin. He was fascinated with stone buildings and is said to have made possible the building of twelve stone churches, including the Episcopal Chapel of Hope in Chapel Hill. He told his daughter and son-in-law that if they would build their house with stone, he would give them the stone from a quarry he owned in Alamance County and participate in the cost of the house.23 The chapel at Duke University was under construction at the time using granite from Erwin's quarry Martin Boyer went up to look at it and didn't like it, as he thought it to be a cold gray. He went to the quarry and asked for stone with more character, more life to it. He was shown some stone with more russet coloring in it, but still mostly gray. It seems that the closer to the surface the stone is, the more the iron in it has oxidized. Boyer took a sample back to W. O. Frank, a leading architect in the United States at the time, and the architect for Duke. As a result, the Chapel is the only building on the Duke campus of all gray stone. The rest are constructed of stones with some russet tones mixed in.24 Until 1979 it was thought by V. Erwin Jones, the son of Hamilton and Bessie Jones, who grew up in The Stone House and returned there as an adult to live, that the stone came from his grandfather's quarry. When this information was published in an article in The Charlotte Observer, he was contacted by the son of a stonecutter from Salisbury. This man had worked on the house with his father for two summers while he was in college.

Apparently, Boyer still had not been satisfied with the stone he saw in Erwin's quarry. The russet colored granite used in The Stone House came from northern Wake County. The rock formation was said to have been in a field and shaped like a tear drop, forty feet wide and sixty feet long. It projected above the ground thirty to forty feet. They took all the stone above ground and a lot from below ground level. The granite is unusual not only because of its coloring, but because of the few veins and seams it contains.25 The stone was chipped on the site at Cherokee Road to shape it. All the corners are squared, not rounded. Two masons from Scotland, both named Brown, but not related to each other, layed the stone. The son of one of the masons is said to operate Brown Brothers Stone Company in Greensboro. They manage A. A. Erwin's quarry, which was left to Duke University upon Erwin's death in 1932 to assure a continuing source of similar granite. Brown Brothers also does the stone work for Duke.26 The construction of this house lasted from l929 to 1931. This was during the depression and it was said to have been the only building under construction in Charlotte during part of this period. Because of this, each subcontractor had his key people on the job, or the owners of the firms did the work themselves. The plumbing was done by P. C. Godfrey, Incorporated and Mr. Godfrey himself was the chief estimator and chief engineer. This might explain why the plumbing for the house has six cutoff zones. The same is true of the heating, which is steam vapor heat.27 The original radiators are still in place, even though the source of fuel, and hence the boiler has changed over the years from coal to oil to gas.28 All of the workers were the best around and since they had no other jobs they took their time and did their best work. Boyer himself spent one and a half years on the job.29

This must account for all of the intricate details that are present in this house and are sure to be described more thoroughly in the architectural essay. A woodcutter from New York worked throughout the construction of the house. His work is evident from the roughly-hewn timbers used in the porte-cochere, the walkway leading from it to the house and the window trim to the intricately carved trim of the bay window on the southerly side of the building, away from Fenton Place. The woodwork of this bay window is representative of the totally asymmetrical nature of the entire house. There are two wooden columns, one on each outside corner of this bay window. Looking at them, one gets the feeling that a divider could have been placed at the middle of the window and a person placed on each side of it and told to carve what they pleased. This was not the case, as Erwin Jones was a witness. He remembers being an eager helper to the woodcutter as he carved this wood. Erwin, along with his friend Walter Lambeth, spent two summers on the job site. He would pack his lunch and walk to the new house from his family's home on Hermitage Road,30 which was in the Myers Park subdivision on the other side of Providence Road. The roofing material used on this house is Ludowici-Celadon clay tile, 3/4 inch thick. This is the tile used for the buildings on the new campus of Duke University. Boyer saw it when he was looking at the stone and liked it. It is made to look like slate with variations in colorant. The masonry work on each of the three chimneys is different. One of them is particularly unusual in that it is "twisted". Brick is used sparingly in this house, and each place where it is seen has a design all to itself. There is a grapevine design in the stucco above the dining room window on the front of the house. Martin Boyer fashioned this himself with his fingers.32 The interior of this house is as unusual and intriguing as the exterior. According to Sherman Pardue, a Charlotte architect who is an admirer of Martin Boyer's work, Boyer gave you something interesting to look at no matter where you looked. The theme that is repeated in this house is "a space behind an arch."33 The elliptical arch with an open space behind it is found throughout the house: in the public rooms, in bedrooms, and even in the basement. The entry hall is unusually large. The depth of the hall, with the curved staircase at the back of it, took space away from the library and what was originally the breakfast room. Bessie Jones is said to have complained about this when it was planned, but did accept it. The reason for it was that Boyer had never been permitted to do a stairway where you could see the entire thing from the first floor.34

Another distinguishing feature about the staircase is that each of the wrought iron plates that support the railings has a different design. The layout of the hall and staircase allowed for the establishment of a Jones family tradition. Each Christmas season, the focal point of their holiday decorations was a twenty foot Christmas tree.35 The walls on the first floor are stippled. This is a method of applying plaster to produce a somewhat patterned finish that is not smooth. After this was dry, stain was applied and then wiped off. Minwax was then applied as a finishing coat. The only care these walls required for years was an occasional washing. It was twenty-five years before these walls were painted, and then it was only done because a painter owed Hamilton Jones money for legal work and this was the way he was able to pay, so Mr. Jones let him do the work.36 The fireplace in the living room, which is called cast stone work, is a copy of one that Boyer saw in Warwick Castle in England.37 The symbols used on this fireplace, as well as those used on the fireplace in the dining room, on the plaster moldings, and other places throughout the house, interior and exterior, would necessitate the study of heraldry to be fully understood and enjoyed. The plaster molding in each of the four main floor public rooms was hand run and cast, in place. The molding in the library is different from that of the other three rooms. The millwork in the library is exquisite, with the same fine detailing being carried through in the bookcases and the fireplace. Warren Lumber Company was the millwork designer. They worked with Boyer on many houses, but he felt that this was their best work ever. The millwork in this house is unusual in that the wood used was tulip poplar, which has wide variations in color. This very feature is both the reason it was normally not used and the reason Boyer chose it for this house.38 Forked-leaf white oak was used for the flooring, which is also not common. This wood is the only wood suitable for cooperage.39

The third floor of the house consists mainly of a large room that was used as a playroom for the three children of Bessie and Hamilton that were raised in this house. The walls were of beaverboard, which is soft and has a rough finish, so the children's artwork could be easily displayed. When it rained, the children of the neighborhood often gathered in this room. The finished floors provided a good area for roller skating, as well as for dancing.40 The hardware in the house was all hand-wrought bronze, except for the doorknobs on the servants' quarters, which were ceramic. The servants' quarters consisted of two bedrooms and a bath located over the garage and accessible by a rear stairway.41 In the yard was a playhouse, also built of stone, that had the same clay tiles for the roof as were used for the main house. The playhouse has a miniature fireplace that was built into one of the two original stone walls. There was a circular stairway leading up to a loft. Many people in the neighborhood remember playing there as children. All of the wood members of this had rotted and the roof had caved in. The two stone walls, which remain as strong as ever, have been used as the base of a tool shed and workshop, with the area expanded and the roof higher than it was originally. 42

The landscaping was originally done by Henry Harkey, Sr. This has all been changed over the years, though.43 The property at 201 Cherokee Road remained in Bessie Erwin Jones' name until 1962 when she sold it to her son, W. Erwin Jones. She reserved a life interest in the property.44 She remained in the house until 1964, at which time she moved into an apartment. The house remained vacant for four months until Erwin Jones and his wife, Macy Ross Jones, moved into it.45 Erwin was and still is a manufacturer is agent for commercial building products, with his own business, Erwin Jones and Company, Incorporated. Erwin and Macy raised a second generation of Jones children in The Stone House. He was the first president of the Eastover Homeowners Association. In September l979 the house was sold to James and Virginia Risser46 who are the present owners. James Risser is the president of the United States Bottlers Machinery Company, which he also moved to Charlotte in 1979. The Rissers have four children who have all lived in the house.47 Since they moved into the house, the Rissers have done much work on the building, most of it being maintenance, renovation and cosmetic work. Work done has included redoing all of the mechanical systems; washing the clay tile roofing and stonework; cleaning, repairing and repainting the one hundred and sixty-eight leaded exterior windows; and painting and wallpapering.48

They have reconstructed the kitchen, which involved turning three rooms (a butlers pantry, kitchen and small breakfast room) into a large kitchen. This was planned with the age and feel of the house in mind. They have also restructured the servants' quarters, changing it into one room with a small bath.49 The few changes on the exterior are mostly at the back of the house. The wooden garage doors have been replaced with overhead doors. Next to the garage, the porte-cochere has been filled in with heavy wooden doors, the purpose being to enclose the backyard and make it more private. The circular drive through the yard has been removed and the area seeded in grass. The patio by the house has been lowered for better drainage away from the house, and it has been enlarged. A shallow concrete pond, two to four feet wide and about thirty feet long, and walkways have been added with plantings around them. Though the landscaping is changing, it is well-groomed and remains a quiet and tranquil setting. This home is one of the most prominent homes among many fine homes in the Eastover area. The time and thought that went into the planning and construction of this house is obvious. This building is not only solid, but is unique and beautiful. It is a home from a different era which could not be copied today.


NOTES

1 Thomas W. Hanchett, "Charlotte and Its Neighborhoods: The Growth of a New South City, 1850-1930," (Unpublished manuscript in office of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission), p. 10.

2 Ibid. , p 8.

3 "Myers Park, Charlotte, NC," a brochure based on findings of the Charlotte Neighborhood Survey, conducted by Thomas W. Hanchett, 1981-1982.

4 Hanchett, p. 12.

5 Ibid., p. 13.

6 Deed Book 701, p. 581, 16 July 1929.

7 Deed Book 741, p. 182, 4 April 1929.

8 Samuel A. Ashe, Stephen B. Weeks, editors, Biographical History of North Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present, Vol. VII (Greensboro, NC: Charles L. VanNoppen, l908) p. 271.

9 Ibid., pp. 269-271.

10 Legette Blythe and Charles Raven Brockmann, Hornets' Nest -- The Story of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (Charlotte: McNally of Charlotte, l96l), p. 188.

11 William H. Huffman, "A Historical Sketch of the Carnegie Library, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, N.C.", January 1983, pp. 1-2.

12 Information supplied by W. Erwin Jones.

13 The Charlotte Observer, February 28, 1950, p. 2.

14 The Charlotte Observer, August 11, 1957, p. 1.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Information supplied by W. Erwin Jones.

18 The Charlotte Observer, April 15, 1966, p. 18-A.

19 Ibid.

20 Mecklenburg County Building Standards Department, Building Permit #9966, 15 April 1929.

21 "Myers Park, Charlotte, N.C.", a brochure.

22 The Charlotte Observer, April 14, 1977, p. C 1.

23 Information supplied by W. Erwin Jones.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid.

27 Ibid.

28 Information supplied by Virginia Risser.

29 Information supplied by W. Erwin Jones.

30 Ibid.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

40 Ibid.

41 Information supplied by Virginia Risser.

42 Ibid.

43 Information supplied by W. Erwin Jones.

44 Deed Book 2374, p. 174, 30 October 1962.

45 Information supplied by W. Erwin Jones.

46 Deed Book 4231, p. 532, 13 September l979

47 Information supplied by Virginia Risser.

48 Ibid.

49 lbid.

Architectural Description

The Hamilton C. Jones III House, built 1929-1931, is among the most impressive examples of the Tudor Revival style in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Prominently located on the corner of Cherokee Road and Fenton Place in the prestigious Eastover suburb, the large dwelling with its cut- stone exterior is the work of leading Charlotte residential architect Martin Boyer. Today, except for changes to the kitchen, bathrooms, utilities, and rear yard, the house remains in good original condition. In basic massing, the Jones House is a simple two-and-a-half story rectangular block with a one-and-a-half story rear service ell. Facades are treated asymmetrically, with bays, chimneys, gables and windows applied in playful abandon, giving the house the rambling rustic appearance characteristic of the Tudor Revival. The main exterior covering of the dwelling is random-coursed-ashlar russet-colored granite, which is said to have come from the same Alamance County quarry that produced the stone used at Duke University. Four-inch hollow terra cotta tile lies hidden behind the nine to twelve inch thick granite walls. Roofs are clay, tile made to resemble varicolored slate by the Loudice Celaden Company, who also did work for Duke.

Several gables feature plaster or half-timbering, and windows throughout the house are casement type, with small rectangular panes of glass. The front facade, facing west toward Cherokee Road, is the most complex. A gabled two-story entrance bay projects from the facade near the center. Its gable is plastered and features a scalloped bargeboard and pendant of dark stained wood. The tripartite gable window has a projecting wood lintel. Below the gable is a tripartite second-story window with a surround of smooth stone. At the first-story level, a smooth stone surround with two carved rosettes shelters the deeply inset front entry. Originally the entry had massive double doors of solid wood, but the current owners replaced them with a single door (salvaged from the remodeled kitchen area) surrounded by sidelights, in order to let natural light into the hall inside. Low stone walls curve outward on either side of the entrance bay, simultaneously sheltering terraces and guiding the visitor toward the door. To the right of the entrance bay, one faces the house, is a half-timbered gable and a massive projecting chimney. The gable features curved timbers, a pendant and scalloped bargeboards, and a two-part window. The chimney is asymmetrically double-sloped for rustic effect, and includes a deeply-inset window at the second-story level and a trench door at the first-story. Two round chimney-pots with elaborate brickwork surmount the stone chimney.

To the left of the entrance bay, Boyer designed a complexly-massed projecting bay. Its gable has a single window surrounded by plastering, which was worked by hand by Boyer himself in a grapevine motif. At the second-story level the bay is sheathed in red brick laid crazily in angles and curves. At the first-story level, a tall tripartite window lights the dining room inside. The north end facade of the Jones House is comparatively simple. It boasts a projecting second-story bay window with half-timbering and a standing-seam copper roof, and a tall exterior chimney of stone topped by another round chimney pot of rustically-laid brick. The south end facade of the dwelling is slightly more elaborate. In addition to the expected rectangular casement windows it has round-arched openings at the first-story for a sunporch. There is also a projecting first-story bay window with an ornate copper roof, and a tiny second-story balcony with a conical copper roof and a delicate wrought iron railing. The Jones House's rear elevation includes a shed-roofed, wood shingle sided dormer, and another first-story projecting bay window with a copper roof. Running back from the main block of the house is the rear service ell, containing the three-car garage, the servants stair to the second-floor of the main house, and a small porte-cochere. A roofed-colonnade with heavy hand-hewn columns of dark stained wood extends along the south side of the wing, originally designed to shelter visitors as they walked from the port-cochere to the back door of the main house. The original garage doors have been replaced with modern units, but the garage still retains its numerous gables, and is topped by a small cupola.

Before turning to the interior of this residence, we shall look briefly at its setting. The Jones House sits on a slight rise near the center of its large lot. Its naturalistic landscaping on the Cherokee Rood and Fenton Place sides -- consisting of random-spaced trees, lawns, and occasional spots of low ground-cover -- is now near maturity and appears much as the dwelling's original owners might have envisioned it. A flagstone walk curves with studied informality from Cherokee Road to the front door. The unknown designer of the dwelling's landscaping took care to provide privacy for the residents. As noted above, low walls shelter front terraces, and other terraces extend along the south and east side of the house, carefully hidden from the street by tall bushes and by the house itself. At the south side of the house is a large private lawn not visible from the street, which was designed for parties and as a children's play area. A small stone playhouse nearby has been enlarged and rebuilt as a workshop by the current owners. Originally the driveway from Fenton Place passed through the gated port-cochere and made a circle behind the house. The present owners have added parking close to Fenton Place, and are now replacing the circular drive with a swimming pool, whose curving asymmetrical design is chosen to be in keeping with the house.

The interior of the Jones House is not quite symmetrical in plan, but it is much more regular than the playful exterior suggests. Detailing continues the Tudor Revival rusticity that is found outside, with plaster walls, handsome tulip poplar four-panel door and woodwork, and floors of fork-leafed white oak. According to the present owners, the theme that Boyer built into the house is "a space behind an arch." Thus, an elliptical arch with an opening behind it is found not only in the public rooms, but also in several bedrooms end even in the basement. One enters a large central entrance hall, which has a rustically handcrafted plaster cornice featuring flowers, oak leaves, and acorns. Through an arch to the right is the spacious living room. It continues the cornice and stippled plaster walls of the hall. A window seat inset under an arch dominates the south wall, and a large carved-stone fireplace with seven heraldic medallions and a Tudor-arched opening is the focus of the west wall. To the rear of the living room, through a pair of Hopes brand metal-framed trench doors, is the stone-floored sunporch. Its original exterior doors have been replaced recently with new units. Next to the sunporch, at the rear of the house behind the living room, is the library. It too features a window seat under an arch, a fireplace, and a plaster cornice.

The tulip-poplar bookcases have delicate Tudor-arched detailing. Returning to the central entrance hall, one can look left through an archway with sliding pocket doors into the dining room, which is somewhat smaller then the living room. The dining room has a bay window on its west wall and a smaller carved stone fireplace on its north wall. It continues the plaster cornice of the hall. To the rear of the dining room is the recently-remodeled kitchen. Several small pantries and food preparation areas were combined to create a single large L-shaped eat-in kitchen, with all new fixtures. A small service hall leads from the kitchen, past the back door, across the back of the house past closets and a bathroom to the library. Behind the kitchen is a servants' pantry with service stairs to the basement and the second floor. Coming back to the entrance hall yet again, one can walk forward to the grand stair. Elliptically-shaped, it features a hand-wrought bronze balustrade with a variety of decorative panels, including one featuring the silhouette of a squirrel. At the top of the stairway is a smaller hall with its own window seat, five bedrooms open off the hall. Three have private baths, and the last two share a bathroom. Most of the baths retain their original ceramic tile wainscoting and some original fixtures, but the bathroom serving the northeast headroom still has all original fixtures including pedestal sink.

There is a small sleeping porch at the north end of this floor, and a larger sleeping porch off the master bedroom at the south end. The master bedroom has a small carved stone mantel with a Tudor arch. In addition to the main bedrooms, there are two other upstairs areas. Opening northeastward off the top of the grand stair is the hall to the former servants' quarter, which is located over the garage. Originally containing two rooms and a bath, it has been completely gutted and rebuilt in recent years as a one-room office. Above the main bedrooms under the each of the main house is the Dance Room. It has an oak floors and the original rough particle-board walls. Underneath the house is a fully excavated laundry room and furnace room, but the rest of the dwelling has only a crawl-space.